You can buy recorder books and other music books from recorder resource web site. Recorder for beginners and good resource for teachers. Learn to play and teach the recorder.
This page presents some composing ideas and resources for Recorders.
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Compose for recorders
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Benjamin Thorn has written a comprehensive online guide for composers who are writing for recorders. He gave many useful pointers and explains some contemporary techniques that one can use. You may like to visit Orpheus music web site to read his article.
If you are interested in recordings for recorder which incorporate new technical and musical approaches, there are some contemporary recorder music also available on Orpheus music site.
If you are an educator and would like to know more about composing and arranging for school ensembles, you may like to read Dr. Alan Charlton's articles on Instrumental Writing and Ensemble Writing.
Other composers / composing related links:
  • The Living Composers Project
  • Composers past and present
  • Free, easy to use composition package that allows you to create your own quality music regardless of your music experience. Try the Theta Composer. You need to register at the Thetamusic site in order to use it.
  • Music MasterWorks MIDI Editor is superb. If you can't play a keyboard instrument but can sing or play the recorder, you can compose with this amazingly easy to use composing software because it uses sound recognition through your PC microphone! The product is FREE for 35 days and definitely worth a try. It is especially ideal for composing lessons in school where most children have little or no music theory / keyboard playing experience.

  • Composing for Recorders
    Why compose for recorders?

    There are many good instructional materials available for the teaching of recorders. Some are suitable for self-instruction, some for classroom use and others for the more advanced players. Many types of music are also available. These music may come from the tunes of folk songs, original scores and some are easier versions of  original recorder music.

    So why compose your own? Well, there are many advantages, especially for recorder teachers. Below are some pointers for you to consider.

    • match the level of difficulty of the materials to suit your students
    • match the interest of your students to the material you use
    • easier on the budget, especially when you are in a school that does not allocate too much money for the music programme
    • no more worries about copyright infringements when you make copies for your students because you are the copyright owner of your own compositions
    • when you need a specific kind of music to teach a specific concept (eg.notes that moves in steps) or to reinforce certain fingerings which students have difficulty mastering
    • when you need music for the less popular sopranino, tenor or bass recorders (there's a great repertoire for the soprano and alto recorders already)
    • although you may use music for descant recorders to teach tenor recorders, usually, it is difficult to use alto recorder music for sopranino because they are generally more complex and too difficult for very young children
    • it is extremely difficult to find any easy music (or instructional guides) for sopranino recorder
    • when you need to integrate recorder players into your other music groups and you need suitable music (or vice versa)
    • when you are running a very short course on recorder playing and you need suitable music to reinforce all the fingerings taught
    • for self-expression / to fulfill your creative instincts
    • for professional development (it is important for musicians to compose because it helps them understand music from the inside)
    • you will gain more understanding about the musical instrument you compose for because you will be deeply thinking about the possibilities and restrictions your instrument is capable of
    • if you are successful at composing, you can earn yourself some royalties on the sale of your work
    • if recorder lovers, teachers and players don't compose for recorders, who will?

    How to compose for recorder?

    Before you write, think about these factors.

    • Which member of the recorder family are you writing for (sopranino, descant, treble. tenor or bass)? They each have their own range of pitches.
    • Who are you writing for (children or adults, beginners or accomplished players)? Different music appeals to different audience.
    • Why are you writing the music? (having a clear objective before you start helps channel your creative energy in the right direction)
    • What style will you be using?
    Composing is a personal thing if you're doing it for yourself. However, doing a little research into the different possiblities of expanding the recorder's role beyond its use as an early instrument will provide you with more ideas to work on.

    If you want your music to sound like authentic 15th or 16th Century music, then you need to know more about the styles used for that era. You can begin by listening to recorder recordings typical of that period, get yourself some scores of the music and read up more about the composers. 

    If you want to base your music on traditional folk tunes, you can come up with different variations of the original. A wide range of today's recorder repertoire is of this nature. 

    One may like to take a look at music for woodwind-like instruments and write something suitable for the characteristics of these instruments (but at the same time keeping  in mind  the limitations and strengths of the recorder). Experiment with interesting techniques and try new musical approaches in your compositions. 

    Many ethnic cultures have their own 'flute-like' musical instruments and music. It is worth studying them for inspiration. You may even become an expert in this area and be able to share this distinct cultural music with others. Why not write something where you can incorporate the use of some  ethnic musical instruments to accompany your piece?

    The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. If you need more knowledge in this area, resources are not hard to get. Visit your nearest library, search the internet, go to your bookshop or even shop online for books related to the topic.

    Books On Composing:

    Listed below are some books on composing (in general) and composers that you may be interested. They are available at Click on them for more details if you like:

         ** Please note that some of these books may go out of stock from time to time

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