I am preparing for my Grade 5 AMEB music theory test and you are required to know about woodwind and string instruments in it.

When researching, I've noticed different websites list different answers for just about everything. Could someone please tell me the limits (highest and lowest note) of woodwind and string instruments especially the latter? Also, what are the clefs they play in?


2 Answers 2


This website seems to be pretty accurate in my experience: http://www.orchestralibrary.com/reftables/rang.html

  • On the first line of that table, I see "Db: minor 9th higher". Is there a Db piccolo? That is the weirdest transposing instrument that I have heard of.
    – badjohn
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:04
  • 1
    The Db piccolo is not used much anymore but was often used in marching bands. It was the instrument Sousa had in mind when he composed the famous Stars and Stripes piccolo part.
    – user44145
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 14:55


"At one time, bands used Piccolos pitched a half-step higher in the key of D-flat. While instruments are extant, none are currently being manufactured. I only include the instrument here as a historical curiosity. I do however, know a flutist who owns a D-flat Piccolo just for the sole purpose of playing the solo from Stars and Stripes Forever as the Piccolo part for the C Piccolo is in A-flat, while the D-flat Piccolo part is in the much easier key of G."


  • Thanks. I used to think that my baritone saxophone was weird enough. I guess that I need to look for a F# / Gb transposing instrument.
    – badjohn
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:27
  • You seem to have answered a comment question, rather than the OP's question. Maybe a comment to badjohn is more appropriate?
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 21:56

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