family of instruments does the recorder belong to?
The recorder, which is an end-blown
tubular flute, belongs to the woodwind family.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!