The piccolo, or octave flute, is a member of the transverse flute family. It is the highest-pitched wind instrument in the orchestra. Its range (an octave above that of the concert flute) reaches far higher than the human voice. In the Classical period (the second half of the 18th century) the orchestral piccolo was used to imitate sounds of nature, such as birdsongs or storms and for special effects. In the Romantic period (19th century) it became an established part of the woodwind section of the orchestra.
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