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:


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
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    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
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 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
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 8:13
  • 1
    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
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


(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
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 22:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.