Recorder Facts

Recorder Facts
The recorder is a musical instrument from the woodwind family. It is a member of the internal duct flute family which means it is a type of flute with a mouthpiece. The recorder has an upper hand thumb hole and seven finger holes which distinguishes it from other duct flutes. The recorder comes in a variety of sizes and different ranges including the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Traditionally the recorder was made of ivory or wood but many are made of plastic today. The very first evidence of recorders dates back to the Middle Ages and although not popular during the classical and romantic periods it was popularized again in the 1900s and is commonly used to teach children about music.
Interesting Recorder Facts:
The recorder is believed to be derived from the earlier whistle, which dates back as far as the Iron Age.
The recorder is known by several names depending on the country. It is called the Blockflote in Germany, the Flauto dolce in Italy, the Flute a bec in France, the flauta dulce in Spain, the rekoda in Japan, and the blockflojt in Sweden.
In English the name 'recorder' has been used since the 1300s.
The name 'recorder' is derived from the Latin word 'recordari' which means 'to recollect'. This word is associated with the instrument because it is used to learn to play, repeat or recite music.
In the 1600s French influence changed the name recorder to flute, and until the 1720s the word 'flute' referred to the recorder, but as the flute gained popularity it became necessary to distinguish them again.
The recorder was so popular in the 1500s and 1600s that King Henry the VIII of England had a collection of at least 76 recorders.
Modern recorders are named after their vocal ranges including soprano, alto, bass, contrabass, and sub-contrabass.
The parts of the recorder include the mouthpiece, body, fingerholes, foot joint, and some also have a head joint. The three main parts are the head, body, and foot.
The recorder is mentioned in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. It is also mentioned in Paradise Lost, an epic 1600s poem by John Milton.
The recorder most commonly used in schools to teach children music is the soprano recorder. This size recorder is also known as a descant.
Recorders that are capable of higher notes than the soprano recorder are the sopranino recorder and the Garklein recorder.
A recorder orchestra can have as many as 50 or 60 musicians playing as many as nine different sizes of recorders.
Recorders can be made from a variety of materials including maplewood, pearwood, plumwood, boxwood, olivewood, rosewood, palisander, kingwood, ebony, and granadilla.
A recorder was created by Peter Harlan in the early 1900s that made it easier to finger the instrument. This resulted in the term 'German fingering' being applied to the technique used for this type of recorder.
Unlike the flute, the recorder is played outward from the lips, while the flute is played to the side making it easier to distinguish the flute player from the recorder player.


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