Recorder reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
In this series...
The Recorder is descended from a number of vertical Flutes, including the Shakuhachi from Japan, and the Quena from South America.
It was first introduced in Europe during the 15th century, and rapidly became one of the most commonly used musical instruments.
Despite a decrease in popularity during the late 19th century, the Recorder became more popular than ever during the 20th century, mainly thanks to its wide use in schools.
There are many different sizes of Recorder, the most popular being the Soprano (also known as the Descant) and the Alto (also known as the Treble).
They all have the same basic parts:
- Mouthpiece (or Beck)
- Window (a small hole underneath the mouthpiece)
- Tone holes (opened and closed by the player’s fingers to change the pitch)
- Foot joint
How To Play
The Recorder is played by putting the mouthpiece between your lips and blowing gently. If you blow too hard the instrument will make a harsh sound, so producing a slow, steady stream of air is an important technique to master.
Recorder players place a finger on each of the instrument’s tone holes, and the note that’s produced depends on which of these holes are open and closed.
The largest Recorder ever made was 5m long, with holes 8.5cm wide!
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