The idea for this catalogue was prompted by a Concise Survey of Music for the Piccolo which was compiled in 1986 for a study week for flutists in De IJsbreker, centre for contemporary music in Amsterdam. The piccolo was given quite a lot of attention during that week, which is why the coordinator, the flute player Rien de Reede, asked my wife Rineke Smilde, who is a musicologist, and myself to draw up a list of works for piccolo. This stencilled list, which was compiled in a few weeks’ time and was hence far from complete, evidently catered to a need and was frequently consulted by flute players with an interest in the piccolo. Rien de Reede, himself a veteran compiler of catalogues and an indefatigable propagandist for just about everything to do with flutes, saw perspectives for an improved and printed edition, supplemented with an overview of works for alto flute and bass flute. At his initiative I began, some twenty-five or so years ago, to collect titles in the precious spare time I could eke out from my daily activities as a flute teacher. In the meantime a new era dawned: the age of the computer and Internet. This shed an entirely new light on collecting. I slowly came to realise that the worldwide availability of information yielded a treasure-trove of new data, but also that so much had been composed for these instruments that a complete survey was nothing short of utopian. What is more, the limits of what should and what should not be included were almost impossible to define. Notably in the case of more heavily scored works in which the flute often doubles the piccolo, alto or bass flute, it is impossible to make consistent choices in, say, the large repertoire for wind quintet, when a flutist sometimes has to play only a few notes, sometimes important passages and even entire movements on the piccolo. I found myself unable to define suitable criteria for the selection, in which of necessity I let chance play a large part. Ultimately, I decided to end (provisionally) my collecting activities and, as was customary in Quantz’ day, to submit a ‘Versuch’ for a catalogue, ‘Versuch’ in the literal sense of ‘attempt’. I hope that the many enthusiastic piccolo, alto and bass flute players to whose existence the internet bears witness will be satisfied for the time being with this extensive list of works. I also hope that they will support my further efforts by apprising me of errors and omissions.
This book has turned out to be for practical use and is not a scholarly catalogue, however much I would have preferred the latter. That means that its importance lies primarily in enabling the user to find literature for these instruments which differ from the concert flute in C for the purpose of study or concert practice. In order to give the user as wide a choice as possible, I have included arrangements. For easy reference these arrangements do not appear under separate headings, but they have been made as identifiable as possible. The only exception is the flute choir/flute orchestra section which, due to the large number of compositions, I have subdivided into original music and arrangements. The catalogue consists of three categories in hierarchical order:
piccolo alto flute bass/contrabass flute
These are followed by a fourth category with works for flute choir or flute orchestra, subdivided as follows:
original music for flute choir/orchestra
arrangements for flute choir/orchestra
Each category is subdivided into subsections based on the scoring or the number of performers.
The first column of each subsection lists:
a. in alphabetical order, the composer’s (arranger’s) surname, first name(s) or initials, year of birth, year of death (where applicable), as far as these data are known to me.
b. in alphabetical order, the title of the work followed, if extant and traceable by the opus number and subtitle(s).
Any additional information might comprise:
1. the year of composition (between brackets).
2. if applicable, the remark that a work is an arrangement, if possible with the arranger’s surname.
The second column indicates the abbreviated scoring of a work. Abbreviations are explained in an appendix (click in the menu of this website on “Abbreviations”).
The third column contains the name of the publisher or information about the work’s possible availability, and in my online supplement sometimes the website from where the composition is available.
The name of the publishing house is preceded by the publisher’s location and followed by the year of publication as far as this information is traceable.
Information about publishers and other sources can be found in the appendix “Publishers and other sources information” (to find on this webside at the end of each section).
Some compositions are in manuscript or printed by the author. Where possible, I have listed information about the composer (i.e. home address and/or Internet address) by referring to the appendix “Composers”. (to be found on this website at the end of each section).