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I am studying Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (just for my own pleasure) and I have the Dover Miniature Score.

On the instrumentation page, I see entries such as these:

Piccolo

3 Flutes (Fl. III = Picc. II)

Alto Flute (G)

Is this saying that the third flautist will double with a piccolo? So, there may be a need for 3 flutes and 1 piccolo or 2 flutes and 2 piccolos but never 3 flutes and 2 piccolos. On the other hand, there should be a dedicated player for the alto flute.

There are similar entries for oboe and English horn, bassoon and contrabassoon, etc.

P.S. I have only surprisingly recently encountered the term "English horn". Despite being in England, I am much more used to "cor anglais".

  • Re English horn - I remembered this from a course I once took English Horn - History and etymology : cor anglais is French for English horn, but the instrument is neither from England nor related to the various conical-bore brass instruments called "horns".... gave rise in German-speaking central Europe to the Middle High German name engellisches Horn, meaning angelic horn... More there. – Stinkfoot Dec 23 '17 at 16:31
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    I immediately recognised what English horn referred to. Apart from knowing the literal meaning of cor anglais being between the oboes and bassoons was a big clue. It just sounded odd to me. Rather like Americans talking of "British units" for pound, foot, etc; we don't say that. – badjohn Dec 23 '17 at 17:12
  • I understand. I'm just pointing out that the name really doesn't make much sense - indeed, we really shouldn't say that. :) – Stinkfoot Dec 24 '17 at 8:13
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    Agreed. A varient of oboe would be more appropriate. However, I am used to cor anglais so it sounds familiar while English horn still sounds odd. – badjohn Dec 24 '17 at 10:32
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(Disclaimer: I didn't go through the whole score to verify)

You have it exactly correct. One dedicated piccolo part, one dedicated alto flute part, and 3 flutes with the third doubling piccolo.

  • Thanks. I did just go through the whole score but while listening to the music. At that speed, I could not verify my interpretation. I need to study it in parts next. It is nice though, it allows me to spot details that I had not without the score. – badjohn Dec 23 '17 at 22:48

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