The piccolo oboe, also known as the piccoloboe and historically called an oboe musette (or just musette), is the smallest and highest pitched member of the oboe family. Pitched in E♭ or F above the regular oboe (i.e. notated a minor third or perfect fourth lower than sounding), the piccolo oboe is a sopranino version of the oboe, comparable to the E♭ clarinet. It is most commonly found in early 20th-century marching band music, and the occasional rare chamber music ensembles or contemporary compositions.[1]


Two shawm players from the Cantigas de Santa Maria (13th century)

Piccolo oboes are produced by the French makers F. Lorée (pitched in F) and Marigaux (pitched in E♭), as well as the Italian firm Fratelli Patricola (pitched in E♭). Lorée calls its instrument piccolo oboe or oboe musette (in F), while Marigaux and Patricola call their instruments simply oboe musette.


The instrument has found the most use in chamber and contemporary music, where it is valued for its unusual tone colour. It is also employed in double-reed ensembles such as Amoris,[2] and in film scoring. Perhaps the best-known pieces requiring piccolo oboe are Solo for Oboe Instruments (1971) and Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra No. 2, both by Bruno Maderna, Vérifications by Samuel Andreyev, and Ar-Loth (1967) by Paolo Renosto.

Other contemporary works for the instrument are Scherzo Furioso[3] by William Blezard, Tasmanian Ants[4] by Ian Keith Harris, Iberian Improvisations[5] and Bailables[6][7][8][9][10] by Leonard Salzedo, Variations on a Sicilian Shepherd Tune[11] by Clive Strutt.

Two concerti have been written featuring the piccolo oboe in addition to the other four members of the oboe family, these works being David Stock's "Oborama" and James Stephenson's "Rituals and Dances," both written for Alex Klein.

See also


  1. ^ "Piccolo Oboe". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  2. ^ "Amoris International". Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  3. ^ "Scherzo furioso (Blezard, William)" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Tasmanian Ants (Harris, Ian Keith)" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Iberian Improvisations, Op.143 (Salzedo, Leonard)" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Bailables, Op.127 (Salzedo, Leonard)" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Bailables, Op.127 (Salzedo, Leonard)".
  8. ^ "Bailables, Op.127 (Salzedo, Leonard)".
  9. ^ "Bailables, Op.127 (Salzedo, Leonard)".
  10. ^ "Bailables, Op.127 (Salzedo, Leonard)".
  11. ^ "Variations on a Sicilian Shepherd Tune (Strutt, Clive)" (PDF).