What are the advantages/disadvantages of ebonite piccolos?


P.S. sorry but I'm probably going to have a lot of questions for you.

Hello Sharon!

The main benefit of a plastic or composite piccolo (regardless of what type of plastic...Ebonite is just one type) is stability.  Wooden piccolos can crack, warp, or otherwise become damaged by the elements if they are not cared for properly, but plastic does not have this problem.  Barring abuse, of course.

Keep in mind, however, that the material the instrument is made of does not determine how the piccolo plays or sounds.  That is determined by the design and quality of craftsmanship, particularly with regards to the bore and embouchure hole.  As with your question about open holes, what your piccolo is made of is not something you need to be concerned with.  For the use you described (strictly concert use), you should have no trouble with a wooden instrument, but a good quality plastic or metal piccolo would work just fine too, so find the best piccolo you can and don't get worked up over what it's made of.

I hope this is helpful.  If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.



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Herbert Smith


I can answer questions about almost any flute-related topic.

I have trained professionally as a flute repair tech and music educator, and have a broad range of experiences as a performer. I also have experience with a huge array of flutes with any imaginable material or specification, and can comment on the quality of various instruments, as well as guide people through the flute-buying process. I'm willing and able to discuss various flute gadgets (Valgon rings, Foster extensions, etc.) as well.

I'm very familiar with piccolo, alto, and other harmony flutes (including those in unusual keys, such as Eb flute, Db piccolo, G treble, Ab alto piccolo, Flute D'amore, Contrabass, etc.).

I am also glad to offer advice on how to approach difficulties within pieces of music, offer teaching tips to those who give lessons, or answer just about any other flute-related query you can throw at me!

Please note, however, that I am not an appraisal service, and will not provide estimates of value. Please do not ask me about the value of your flute. I also must decline to date instruments based on their serial numbers.


I'm a professional repair tech with years of experience, and a veteran high school band director. I've maintained a successful studio for private flute lessons for many years, and have performed professionally in just about any imaginable venue.

I have bachelor's degrees in music education and performance from highly regarded universities, and have trained with one of the best flute techs/flute makers in the US.

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