Piccolo Headjoints




Lillian Burkart
“The piccolo sound has a notable presence when used in the ensemble. The player’s ability to control it with ease is greatly affected by the embouchure shapes. To accommodate differences in the shape of the lips, use of the oral cavity, and direction of the airstream, I have developed three styles of headjoint for the piccolo.”

– Lillian Burkart          

 

Modified Wave: The headjoint profile is carved with a slightly higher front wall (the blowing edge) and lower back wall against which the chin rests. It produces a very rich, clean, projecting tone, with easy control of dynamics. The low register is very focused, enabling good projection and articulation.

Burkart: The rectangular shape of this embouchure is slightly overcut at the sides of the embouchure hole for an open, “flute-like” sound that blends well in ensembles. Our most flexible headjoint style, you can push it to the extremes of fortissimo high notes without it being shrill, and it can produce a colorful, sustained diminuendo.

Clarion: This relatively small embouchure hole, with modest rounding of the edges, is reminiscent of early French and German piccolos. The tone it produces is very focused and sweet. For players using a small aperture when playing, it will have the most stable, clear tone of the various headjoint styles.