Just a few years ago, the recorder was used in the classes AMV (General Musical Education) at the music school, in order to be able to put the learned into practice in a simple way. From this arose the curious prejudice, that the recorder was nothing more than an exercise instrument; for the 'real work' you had to switch to something else. That is of course a misconception and fortunately the recorder is hardly used for this purpose anymore and can again take the rightful place among the full-fledged instruments.
Only at the beginning of the 20th century, when the instrument was' rediscovered 'by the general public after years of oblivion, did the term' recorder 'come into use. Other names were used for this purpose: flat flute beak flute bekflute mean flute (old Dutch for: ordinary flute) handflute In other languages The Dutch name 'bekflute' is probably derived from French flûte à bec. In English, the term 'flute' is also used, but does not refer to the recorder. Here is meant the flute. If the English mean a recorder, they say “recorder.”.
In the picture you see the head of the recorder viewed from the side, and from the top. From the side you can see the nozzle well. In the photo you can see from the mouthpiece a darker color of wood: that's the block from which the flute takes its name.. From the top, the window is visible, and the labium.
You can also see a cross section of the head of the recorder. To produce a tone, blow air through the mouthpiece. The air passes through the core gap, and enters the window against the side edge of the labium. The air in the flute is thus vibrated. That's what causes the sound. (Compare it to blowing over the edge of a bottle, where you also hear a tone.) If you close all finger holes, you will hear a low tone, because then the air column in the flute will be as long as possible. When the holes are opened, the air column in the flute is shorter, and the tone sounds higher.
If the air blown through the flute is affected by damage or dirt, the sound will be worse in quality. Maintenance of the recorder is therefore important, and after use it is wise to use the brush that came with the purchase of the flute.
Most recorder flutes were originally made of wood, but nowadays you also have very good plastic specimens. There are different recorder in different sizes. As we already saw above, if the air column in a flute is longer, the tone will be lower. Shorter recorder therefore have a higher sound, a higher mood than lower. There are the following recorder in the contemporary recorder family. The letter and number indicate the mood of the instrument and the octave in which the base note is found.
- Very small sopranino recorder (gar-garkleinflötlein), f3
- Small sopranino recorder (garkleinflötlein), c3
- Sopranino Recorder, f2
- Soprano Recorder, c2
- Alt recorder, f1
- Tenor recorder, c1
- Bass Recorder, f
- Grand bass recorder, c
- Double bass recorder, F
- Submajor bass, C (Sub is here: an octave lower than the main bass recorder)
- Subdouble bass, F (Sub is here: an octave lower than the double bass recorder)
You can play more than two octaves with each recorder. In the diagram you see how the range of the different recorder always overlaps. You can see that the f-instruments always differ from each other an octave. You can also see the same in the c-instruments.
(On the picture you see, from left to right my assortment: sopranino, soprano, alt, tenor, bass)
Recorder with other moods have also been in use in the past. For example:
- Sixt Flute (or: Discant Flöt), soprano recorder tuned in d
- Fourth Flute, soprano recorder tuned in berry.
- Alt Flöt in g, alt-recorder tuned in g
- Voice flute, an alt-recorder tuned in d (you can also consider this as a tenor recorder tuned in d)
- Fourth Flute, tenor recorder tuned in berry.
- Bass Flöt in Bes, bass recorder only one tone lower, tuned in berry.
Playing a recorder is harder than you think. To form a tone, blow air through the instrument and hold the different holes closed — or not. But the amount of air and the force with which you blow also affects the tone. If you blow louder, the tones will sound higher. Of course, that is not the intention when playing together, because then it will sound impure. If you need to put more power, you will also have to lower your tone with special help handles.
Those who like to learn how to play recorder can go to many music teachers. If you want to take it much further, you can also study at one of the conservatories, where you will be trained to become a musical professional. Music For the recorder a lot of music is written. The earliest known music dates back to the end of the Middle Ages, the beginning of the Renaissance. From that moment on, modern music notation also develops. Thanks to that modern notation and the techniques to release it in print, a lot of that music is left to us. Of course, there is not only Renaissance recorder music. Also nowadays there is still a lot of music written for the recorder and the recorder ensemble.
What do I play
I usually play sopranino, soprano or tenor. A very once also the alto. I also have the bass, but it really doesn't come out of his suitcase.. At the Stadpipelpers of 's-Hertogenbosch I mainly play on shalmei and tenor-dulcian , but some pieces are better for the recorder. There, of course, I can not use the modern looking recorder set, as shown above. Of course there are also special Renaissance recorder, but unfortunately they did not fit my budget..
On this picture you can see the sopranino (second from the left) that you already saw above, and on the right side the sopranino and the soprano I use with the Stadpipelpers. The very little whistle on the left is a gar-garklein flötlein. Funny with such a small instrument is that the holes are not all under each other, but in two rows. It's the only way to get the fingers to fit the instrument. This whistle always goes along when we perform, but is rarely or never used in the interplay. Instead, it goes with a string around my neck. After all, the eye also wants some.