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This page tells you some interesting facts about recorders.
Read about Recorders
Which family of instruments does the recorder belong to?
The recorder, which is an end-blown tubular flute, belongs to the woodwind family.

What material is it usually made of ?
It is usually made of wood and ivory, and later of plastic.

How many members are there in the recorder family?
Six in all. Starting from the highest in pitch (smallest in size) to the lowest(largest in size). They are the Sopranino , Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass and Contra-bass. 

What is a"Descant" and "Treble" recorder?
In Great Britain, the Soprano recorder is also known as Descant recorder, and the Treble recorder is known as Alto recorder.

What is Baroque fingering and German fingering?
Generally, these are the two systems of fingerings. Some German instruments have a lowered fifth hole. Although German fingering is relatively easier to learn, the instruments designed for it are less useful in their higher rehisters. Baroque or English fingering is more common.

How  are the fingerings different?
The main difference is the F and the F-sharp in the Soprano and Tenor  instrument and the B and B-flat in the Alto and Bass instrument.

Why do some recorders sound higher than others?
Modern recorders are tuned to A440Hz. Some Japanese models are tuned to A443Hz.(higher) Renaissance recorders are tuned even higher at A446Hz while the Baroque recorders are tuned to one semi-tone lower at A415Hz. The French Baroque ones are tuned to A392Hz.
 

Since when did people start to play the recorder?
It became very popular in many European countries from the early Middle Ages. Between the 16th and 18th century, it was the leading flute in the Renaissance and Baroque music. The word "recorder" first appeared in a document in 1388, and a recorder tutor was published in Venice, in 1535.

What happened after that?
After about 1750 the recorder was largely replace by the flute (tranverse flute).

Why is that so ?
This is because the flute is a much more expressive instrument, with greater dynamic range (from very soft to quite loud) and a slightly larger range (of pitches). These are factors important in the music of the Classical and Romantic period (1785-1900).

Is the recorder a popular musical instrument now ?
Yes. In the early 20th Century, an Englishman called Arnold Dolmetsch, who was very interested in early music and early instruments, revived the recorder. He was also a maker of the instrument.

Why is it so popular in school music today?
1. It's easy to learn.   2. It's quite inexpensive.   3. Its closely spaced finger holes are within reach of young children (very young ones can choose to play the Sopranino recorder).
4. It's suitable for solo music and  ensemble music.  5. It's portable  6. There's quite a wide repertoire of music available for Soprano recorder.

What kind of recorders should I buy?
Your first instrument should be one tuned to A440Hz or A443Hz.
The rest are specialist instruments!

 

Story of the Recorder - Something interesting and historical
The present revival of recorder making and playing is chiefly due to the work of an Englishman, Mr Arnold Dolmetsch.

Recorders were used to produce incidental music in Shakespeare's play, 'Hamlet' and the 'ACT V of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the 17th Century.

In the middle of the 17th Century, many beautiful handmade recorders in the music shops of the City were destroyed during the Great Fire of London.

In the beginning of the 16th Century, King Henry VIII of England loved music very much and he was a great collector of musical instruments. He had more than 70 recorders in his collection!
 


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