Recorder

The recorder is one of the first woodwind instruments. The recorder has a very smooth, round and gentle sound. Recorders have been made from various hardwoods, ivory and bone. Now they are also made from differing qualities of plastic. Inexpensive ones have a straight wind way while the better ones have a curved wind way. Often, each company will have their own tuning, determined by the placement and size of the holes. Sometimes, small ensembles have to be careful about which brands can play nicely together. The diameter of the internal bore and circumference of the body affect the timbre of the recorder.

How Many Voices

As with other families of instruments, the recorder hosts the Garklein sopranino - the tiniest, then the sopranino , the soprano or descant, alto or treble, tenor, bass and even a contra-bass or great bass. Every other voicing is an octave apart, with the other voices being a fifth away.

Famous Players

My favorite performer is Michala Petri. Her playing is absolutely remarkable. The Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet is an amazing ensemble. The contra-bass recorder is bigger than the performer. Marion Verbruggen is another leading recorder player who recorded the Suzuki method recorder CDs. Here is a list of other famous recorder players.

Here is a little fun. Michaela has a hard time controlling her breathing with Victor Borge. Check out her other serious recordings at her YouTube channel.

Marion Verbruggen

Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet

Tonguing

Like all other wind instrument, the tongue is an integral part of articulating the music. Learning to play the recorder well requires the training of your fingers, breathing, and tongue. Say tu, du and ru. They all sound different and so it is while you play the recorder.

Lessons

Learning the recorder is probably the least expensive way to learn a musical instrument. The instrument is considerably cheaper than most, although the voice is free, but voice lessons are usually more expensive and not everyone wants to sing. The recorder lesson is suitable for small group learning, and so the cost of lessons can be divided by the size of the group. In recorder lessons, you will learn to read and perform music and learn to play parts in an ensemble. Group playing is sometimes more inviting to shy students who do not want to be a solo performer, as in the piano or voice. Recorder lessons are highly recommended for families on a budget. The instruction is of equal quality as piano and voice, and the rewards just as satisfying.

Hidden talent counts for nothing.

-Latin Proverb

© Brigitte Doss-Johnson. Artwork images are paintings by Tomoe Ishikawa Doss.