Jim Gornall

 

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Piccolo

The simple system piccolo is rarely seen in traditional Irish music today. It was occasionally to be found lurking in ceili bands half a century ago but has slipped into relative obscurity in more recent times. Perhaps the most famous piccolo player of recent times was John Doonan from the North East of England. He recorded a couple of albums in the 1970's and because he played in strict dance time, they were much used by dance teachers. I have been playing for over thirty years now and have yet to sit down and play with another piccolo player.

The instrument itself is similar to the concert flute but pitched a full octave higher. It is roughly 12 inches long and normally made of wood (various kinds) with six metal keys. There are six holes along the main body of the instrument and the mouthpiece is adjustable to facilitate tuning.

 

 

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