I own and play a large variety of flutes. Here is some info about them.
The C and Db piccolos--both have a sweet, but possibly shrill sound in their higher registers. The Db has very little use, except for playing Stars and Stripes (Thank you J.P. Sousa) in Ab, which would put the Db piccolo in G major! (A relief for those trills!!!!)
The G Treble Flute:
A sweet little flute, by Emerson, which has a poignant sound, and combines the best (and worst!) of the flute and piccolo. An octave above the G Alto Flute.
The Eb Soprano Flute:
A small flute, good for students with small fingers, or Eb Alto Saxophonists, who have a good repertoire in the 'world' of Eb instruments--no transposing! Pleasant, easily controllable--nice sound!
The C Flute:
The 'norm' for most flute players, either with or without: open holes(French Model), and/or a low B key. Wonderful sound, and color.
The Bb 'Tenor' Flute:
A 'tenor flute'? Hmmmm....it is pitched above the alto flute, but is called a 'tenor flute'. Mine has 4 keys on the foot joint, so it plays down to low Bb (sounding Ab concert). Similar in sound to the C flute, but a warmer, richer sound, approaching the velvety smoothness of the alto flute in G. Good for the Bb Tenor Saxophonist who doesn't want to transpose their 'learned' repertoire.
The G Alto Flute:
A lovely, velvety, sound , preferred by Bohem himself, good for soft romantic, and pretty phrases and tunes. Needs a microphone to really project, but can be used in an intimate setting.
The Bass Flute:
This rare bit of plumbing in the flute family, has a rich, warm deep sound, easily playable, but definitely needs a microphone to project. Takes quite a bit of air to make the sound full and round.
Contrabasses, Octobasses, etc.
Pictures of these can be found on my homepage, and these have relatively few uses due to their cost , size, and air requirements. Some CD's using them in ensembles exist.
I have found that using these together in a section (eg. sax section doubles in a jazz band) is a very effective change of 'color' in some arrangements.
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