RESOURCES FOR COMPOSERS
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
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
Alan Charlton's articles on Instrumental Writing and Ensemble Writing.
Other composers / composing related links:
Living Composers Project
past and present
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
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.
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
/ 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
if you are successful
at composing, you can earn yourself some royalties on the sale of your
if recorder lovers,
teachers and players don't compose for recorders, who will?
to compose for recorder?
Before you write,
think about these factors.
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
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
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
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?
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.
below are some books on composing (in general) and composers that you may
be interested. They are available at Amazon.com. Click on them for more
details if you like:
** Please note that some of these books may go out of stock from time to