The more I am playing piccolo, the more I am becoming puzzled with why the 4th valve on a piccolo takes you down a 4th - can anyone shed any light on why this particular tuning was chosen? From what I can see, the note that the 4th valve is most commonly used for is a bottom F (written), why not just have the 4th valve the length of a 5th, meaning that this note would require just the 4th valve? This would also mean that the low C (that is required in Messiah and Seraphim, to name but two) would be more accessible. I can understand that the 4th valve gives alternative fingering further up the instrument, but with most of the professional level piccolos now having a mobile third valve slide (and some having mobile first slides) is this as necessary as it once was? After all - we are all now accustomed to using these slides on the bigger instruments. Just interested in whether anyone has any historical information as to why this is the case. Why don't we have a 4th valve tuned to a 5th?