Anthony Rowland-Jones has suggested that the thumb hole on these early flutes was an improvement upon the flageolet to provide a stronger fingering for the note an octave above the tonic, while the seventh finger hole provided a leading tone to the tonic. As a result, he has suggested that these flutes should be described as improved flageolets, and has proposed the condition that true recorders produce a tone rather than a semitone when the seventh finger is lifted.
Controversy aside, there is little question that these instruments are at least precursors to later instruments that are indisputably recorders. Because there is sparse documentary evidence from the earliest history of the instrument, such questions may never be resolved. Indeed, historically there was no need for an all inclusive definition that encompassed every form of the instrument past and present. Recorders with a cylindrical profile are depicted in many medieval paintings, however their appearance does not easily correspond to the surviving instruments, and may be stylized.
Clara, Tortosa, now in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, in which a group of angels play musical instruments around the Virgin Mary, one of them playing a cylindrical recorder.
Starting in the Middle Ages, angels have frequently been depicted playing one or more recorders, often grouped around the Virgin, and in several notable paintings trios of angels play recorders. This is perhaps a sign of the trinity, although the music must have often been in three parts. No music marked for the recorder survives from prior to Groups of recorder players or recorder playing angels, particularly trios, are depicted in paintings from the 15th century, indicating the recorder was used in these configurations, as well as with other instruments. Some of the earliest music must have been vocal repertory.
Modern recorder players have taken up the practice of playing instrumental music from the period, perhaps anachronistically, such as the monophonic estampies from the Chansonnier du Roi 13th , Add MS 14th or 15th , or the Codex Faenza 15th , and have arranged keyboard music, such as the estampies from the Robertsbridge codex 14th , or the vocal works of composers like Guillaume de Machaut and Johannes Ciconia for recorder ensembles. In the 16th century, the structure, repertoire, and performing practice of the recorder is better documented than in prior epochs.
The recorder was one of the most important wind instruments of the Renaissance, and many instruments dating to the 16th century survive, including some matched consorts. Nonetheless, understanding of the instrument and its practice in this period is still developing. In the 16th century, the recorder saw important developments in its structure. As in the recorders of the Middle Ages, the etiology of these changes remains uncertain, development was regional and multiple types of recorder existed simultaneously. Our knowledge is based on documentary sources and surviving instruments.
Far more recorders survive from the Renaissance than from the Middle Ages. Most of the surviving instruments from the period have a wide, cylindrical bore from the blockline to the uppermost fingerhole, an inverted conical portion down to around the lowest finger hole the "choke" , then a slight flare to the bell. Externally, they have a curved shape similar to the bore, with a profile like a stretched hourglass. Their sound is warm, rich in harmonics, and somewhat introverted.
This type of recorder is described by Praetorius in De Organographia A surviving consort by "!! The range of this type is normally an octave plus a minor 7th, but as remarked by Praetorius and demonstrated in the fingering tables of Ganassi's Fontegara ,  experienced players on particular instruments were capable of playing up to a fourth or even a seventh higher see Documentary evidence: treatises. Their range is more suitable for the performance of vocal music, rather than purely instrumental music.
This type is the recorder typically referred to as the "normal" Renaissance recorder, however this modern appellation does not fully capture the heterogeneity of instruments of the 16th century. Another surviving Renaissance type has a narrow cylindrical bore and cylindrical profile like the medieval exemplars but a choke at the last hole.
The earliest surviving recorders of this type were made by the Rafi family, instrument makers active in Lyons in Southern France in the early 16th century. Two recorders marked "C. A consort of recorders or similar make, marked "P. Other recorders by the Rafi family survive in Northern Europe, notably a pair in Brussels. It is possible that Grece worked in the Rafi workshop, or was a member of the Rafi family. They have a relatively quiet sound with good pitch stability favoring dynamic expression.
In , French author Philibert Jambe de Fer gave a set of fingerings for hybrid instruments like the Rafi and Grece instruments that give a range of two octaves. Here, the 15th was now produced, as on most later recorders, as a variant of the 14th instead of as the fourth harmonic of the tonic, as in Ganassi's tables. The first two treatises of the 16th century show recorders that differ from the surviving instruments dating to the century: these are Sebastian Virdung 's b. Musica getutscht , and Martin Agricola 's — similar Musica instrumentalis deudsch , published in Basel and Saxony respectively.
Musica Getutscht , the earliest printed treatise on western musical instruments, is an extract of an earlier, now lost, manuscript treatise by Virdung, a chaplain, singer, and itinerant musician. The printed version was written in a vernacular form of Early New High German , and was aimed at wealthy urban amateur musicians: the title translates, briefly, as "Music, translated into German Everything there is to know about [music] — made simple. While the illustrations have been called "maddeningly inaccurate" and his perspectives quirky,  Virdung's treatise gives us an important source on the structure and performing practice of the recorder in northern Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
The recorders described by Virdung have cylindrical profiles with flat heads, narrow windows and long ramps, ring-like turnings on the feet, and a slight external flare at the bell above, far left and middle left. As previously mentioned, the accuracy of these woodcuts cannot be verified as no recorders fitting this description survive. Virdung also provides the first ever fingering chart for a recorder with a range of an octave and a seventh, though he says that the bass had a range of only an octave and sixth.
In his fingering chart, he numbers which fingers to lift rather than those to put down and, unlike in later charts, numbers them from bottom 1 to top 8. His only other technical instruction is that the player must blow into the instrument and "learn how to coordinate the articulations Martin Agricola's Musica instrumentalis Deudsch "A German instrumental music, in which is contained how to learn to play Agricola also calls the tenor "altus," mistakenly depicting it as a little smaller than the tenor in the woodcut above, middle right.
Like Virdung, Agricola takes it for granted that recorders should be played in four-part consorts. Unlike Getutscht , which provides a single condensed fingering chart, Agricola provides separate, slightly differing, fingering charts for each instrument, leading some to suppose that Agricola experimented on three different instruments, rather than copying the fingerings from one size to the other two.
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The next treatise comes from Venice: Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego's —mids Opera Intitulata Fontegara , which is the first work to focus specifically on the technique of playing the recorder, and perhaps the only historical treatise ever published that approaches a description of a professional or virtuoso playing technique.
Ganassi was a musician employed by the Doge and at the Basilica di San Marco at the time of the work's publication, and indication of his high level of accomplishment, and later wrote two works on the playing the viol and the violone, although he does not mention being employed by the Doge after Fontegara. Fontegara can be broadly divided into two parts: the first concerns the technique of playing the recorder, the second demonstrated divisions regole, passagi, ornaments , some of great complexity, which the player may use to ornament a melody or, literally, "divide" it into smaller notes.
In all aspects, Ganassi emphasizes the importance of imitating the human voice, declaring that "the aim of the recorder player is to imitate as closely as possible all the capabilities of the human voice", maintaining that the recorder is indeed able to do this. For Ganassi, imitation of the voice has three aspects: "a certain artistic proficiency," which seems to be the ability to perceive the nature of the music, prontezza dexterity or fluency , achieved "by varying the pressure of the breath and shading the tone by means of suitable fingering," and galanteria elegance or grace , achieved by articulation, and by the use of ornaments, the "simplest ingredient" of them being the trill, which varies according to the expression.
Ganassi gives fingering tables for a range of an octave and a seventh, the standard range also remarked by Praetorius, then tells the reader that he has discovered, through long experimentation, more notes not known to other players due to their lack of perseverance, extending the range to two octaves and a sixth. Ganassi gives fingerings for three recorders with different makers marks, and advises the reader to experiment with different fingerings, as recorders vary in their bore.
The makers mark of one of the recorders, in the form of a stylized letter "A", has been associated with the Schnitzer family of instrument makers in Germany, leading Hermann Moeck to suppose that Ganassi's recorder might have been Northern European in origin. Ganassi uses three basic kinds of syllables te che , te re , and le re and also varies the vowel used with the syllable, suggesting the effect of mouth shape on the sound of the recorder. He gives many combinations of these syllables and vowels, and suggests the choice of the syllables according to their smoothness, te che being least smooth and le re being most so.
He does not, however, demonstrate how the syllables should be used to music. Most of the treatise consists of tables of diminutions of intervals, small melodies and cadences, categorized by their meter. These several hundred divisions use quintuplets, septuplets, note values from whole notes to 32nd notes in modern notation, and demonstrate immense variety and complexity. The frontispiece to Fontegara shows three recorder players play together with two singers. Like Agricola and Virdung, Ganassi takes for granted that recorders should be played in groups of four, and come in three sizes: F 3 , C 4 and G 4.
He makes a distinction between solo playing and ensemble playing, noting that what he has said is for solo players, and that when playing with others, it is most important to match them.
Unfortunately, Ganassi gives only a few ornamented examples with little context for their use. Nonetheless, Ganassi offers a tantalizing glimpse at a highly developed professional culture and technique of woodwind playing that modern players can scarcely be said to have improved upon.
Girolamo Cardano's also Jerome Cardan, — De Musica was written around , but not published until when it was published along with other works by Cardan, who was an eminent philosopher, mathematician and physician as well as a keen amateur recorder player who learned from a professional teacher, Leo Oglonus, as a child in Milan. His account corroborates that of Ganassi, using the same three basic syllables and emphasizing the importance of breath control and ornamentation in recorder playing, but also documents several aspects of recorder technique otherwise undocumented until the 20th century.
These include multiple techniques using the partial closing of the bell: to produce a tone or semitone below the tonic, and to change semitones into dieses half semitones , which he says can also be produced by "repercussively bending back the tongue". He is the first to differentiate between the amount of the breath full, shallow, or moderate and the force relaxed or slow, intense, and the median between them as well as the different amount of air required for each instrument, and describes a trill or vibrato called a vox tremula in which "a tremulous quality in the breath" is combined with a trilling of the fingers to vary the interval from anything between a major third and a diesis.
He is also the first writer to mention the recorder in D 5 "discantus" , which he leaves unnamed.
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Composer and singer Philibert Jambe de Fer c. He prefers fleute d'Italien or the Italian flauto. His fingering chart is notable for two reasons, first for describing fingerings with the 15th produced as a variant on the 14th, and for using the third finger of the lower hand as a buttress finger, although only for three notes in the lower octave. Aurelio Virgiliano's "Il dolcimelo" c. The Syntagma musicum —20 of Michael Praetorius — in three volumes a fourth was intended but never finished is an encyclopedic survey of music and musical instruments.
Praetorius was the first author to explain that recorders can confuse the ear into believing that they sound an octave lower than pitch, which phenomenon has more recently been explained in relation to the recorder's lack of high harmonics. Additionally, he proposed cutting the recorder between the beak and the first finger hole to allow for a kind of tuning slide to raise or lower its pitch, similar to the Baroque practice of adjusting a recorder's pitch by "pulling out" the top joint of the recorder. The recorders described in Praetorius are of the "stretched hourglass" profile see above, far right.
He gives fingerings like those of Ganassi, and remarks that they normally have a range of an octave and a sixth, although exceptional players could extend that range by a fourth. Some paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries depict musicians playing what appear to be two end-blown flutes simultaneously. In some cases, the two flutes are evidently disjoint, separate flutes of similar make, played angled away from each other, one pipe in each hand.
In others, flutes of the same length have differing hand positions. In a final case, the pipes are parallel, in contact with each other, and differ in length. The identification of the instrument depicted is further complicated by the symbolism of the aulos , a double piped instrument associated with the satyr Marsyas of Greek mythology. An instrument consisting of two attached, parallel, end-blown flutes of differing length, dating to the 15th or 16th century, was found in poor condition near All Souls College in Oxford.
The instrument has four holes finger-holes and a thumb hole for each hand. The pipes have an inverted conical "choke" bore see Renaissance structure. Bob Marvin has estimated that the pipes played a fifth apart, at approximately C 5 and G 5. Although the instrument's pipes have thumb holes, the lack of organological precedent makes classification of the instrument difficult.
Marvin has used the terms "double recorder" and the categorization-agnostic flauto doppio double flute to describe the Oxford instrument. Marvin has designed a flauto doppio based on the Oxford instrument, scaled to play at F 4 and C 5. Italian recorder maker Francesco Livirghi has designed a double recorder or flauto doppio with connected, angled pipes of the same length but played with different hand positions, based on iconographic sources.
In the s, when recorder makers began to make the first models of recorders from the 16th and 17th centuries, such models were not always representative of the playing characteristics of the original instruments. Especially notable is Fred Morgan 's much copied "Ganassi" model, based loosely on an instrument in the Vienna Kunsthistorisches museum inventory number SAM , was designed to use the fingerings for the highest notes in Ganassi's tables in Fontegara. As Morgan knew, these notes were not in standard use; indeed Ganassi uses them in only a few of the hundreds of diminutions contained in Fontegara.
Historically, such recorders did not exist as a distinct type, and the fingerings given by Ganassi were those of a skilled player particularly familiar with his instruments. When modern music is written for 'Ganassi recorders' it means this type of recorder. Recorders were probably first used to play vocal music, later adding purely instrumental forms like dance music to their repertoire. Much of the vocal music of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries can be played on recorder consorts, and as illustrated in treatises from Virdung to Praetorius, the choice appropriate instruments and transpositions to play vocal music was common practice in the Renaissance.
Additionally, some collections such as those of Pierre Attaingnant and Anthony Holborne , indicate that their instrumental music was suitable for recorder consorts. In Giovanni Alvise, a Venetian wind player, offered Francesco Gonzaga of Mantua a motet for eight recorders, however the work has not survived. Pierre Attaingnant's fl. Of the twelve marked for both, seven use chiavi naturali , or low-clefs typically used for recorders, while the others use the chiavette clefs used in the motets marked for flutes. Hence, the seven notated in chiavi naturali could be considered more appropriate for recorders.
Vingt et sept chansons is the first published music marked for a recorder consort. Earlier is a part for Jacobus Barbireau's song "Een vrolic wesen", apparently for recorder, accompanying the recorder fingering chart in Livre plaisant et tres utile Antwerp, , a partial French translation of Virdung's Musica getutscht. Jacques Moderne's S'ensuyvent plusieurs basses dances tant communes que incommunes published in the s, depicts a four-part recorder consort like those described in Virdung, Agricola, Ganassi and others, however the dances are not marked for recorders.
In —40, Henry VIII of England, also a keen amateur player see Cultural significance , imported five brothers of the Bassano family from Venice to form a consort, expanded to six members in , forming a group that maintained an exceptional focus on the recorder until at least when the recorder consort was combined with the other wind groups. Most wind bands consisted of players playing sackbutts, shawms, and other loud instruments doubling on recorder. Some music probably intended for this group survives, including dance music by Augustine and Geronimo Bassano from the third quarter of the 16th century, and the more elaborate fantasias of Jeronimo Bassano c.
Additionally, the Fitzwilliam wind manuscript GB-Cfm contains wordless motets, madrigals and dance pieces, including some by the Bassano family, probably intended for a recorder consort in six parts. The English members of the Bassano family, having originated in Venice, were also probably familiar with the vocal style, advanced technique, and complex improvised ornamentation described in Ganassi's Fontegara , and they were probably among the recorder players who Ganassi reports having worked and studied with: when they were brought to England, they were regarded as some of the best wind players in Venice.
While most of the music attributed to the consort uses only a range of a thirteenth, it is possible that the Bassano's were familiar with Ganassi's extended range. Recorders were also played with other instruments, especially in England, where it was called a mixed consort or "broken consort". Other 16th century composes whose instrumental music can be played well on recorder consorts include. The recorder achieved great popularity in the 16th century, and is one of the most common instruments of the Renaissance.
From the 15th century onwards, paintings show upper-class men and women playing recorder, and Virdung's didactic treatise Musica getutscht , the first of its kind, was aimed at the amateur see also Documentary evidence. Famously, at Henry VIII of England was an avid player of the recorder, and at his death in an inventory of his possessions included 76 recorders in consorts of various sizes and materials.
At the turn of the 17th century, playwright William Shakespeare famously referenced the recorder in his most substantial play, "The Tragedy of Hamlet , Prince of Denmark," creating an extended metaphor between manipulation and playing a musical instrument. Several changes in the construction of recorders took place in the 17th century, resulting in the type of instrument generally referred to as Baroque recorders, as opposed to the earlier Renaissance recorders. These innovations allowed baroque recorders to possess a tone regarded as "sweeter" than that of the earlier instruments,  at the expense of a reduction in volume, particularly in the lowest notes.
The evolution of the Renaissance recorder into the Baroque instrument is generally attributed to the Hotteterre family, in France. They developed the ideas of a more tapered bore, bringing the finger-holes of the lowermost hand closer together, allowing greater range, and enabling the construction of instruments in several jointed sections. The last innovation allowed more accurate shaping of each section and also offered the player minor tuning adjustments, by slightly pulling out one of the sections to lengthen the instrument.
The French innovations were taken to London by Pierre Bressan , a set of whose instruments survive in the Grosvenor Museum , Chester , as do other examples in various American, European and Japanese museums and private collections. Bressan's contemporary, Thomas Stanesby , was born in Derbyshire but became an instrument maker in London. He and his son Thomas Stanesby junior were the other important British-based recorder-makers of the early 18th century. In continental Europe, the Denner family of Nuremberg were the most celebrated makers of this period.
The baroque recorder produces a most brilliant and projecting sound is in the second octave, which is more facile and extended than that of earlier recorders, while the lowest notes in its range are relatively weak. Composers such as Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi exploit this property in their concertos for the instrument. Measured from its lowest to its highest playable note, the baroque alto recorder has a range of at most two octaves and a fifth with many instruments having a smaller range.
Even the most developed instruments of the period, however, cannot produce the augmented tonic, third and fourth of the third octave. Notably, Georg Philipp Telemann 's concerto TWV F1 makes use some of these notes in the third octave, posing significant technical challenges to the player, perhaps requiring the covering of the bell or other unusual techniques.
During the baroque period, the recorder was traditionally associated with pastoral scenes, miraculous events, funerals, marriages, and amorous scenes. Images of recorders can be found in literature and artwork associated with all of these. Purcell , J. Bach , Telemann , and Vivaldi used the recorder to suggest shepherds and imitate birds in their music.
Although the recorder achieved a greater level of standardization in the Baroque than in previous periods, indeed it is the first period in which there was a "standard" size of recorder, ambiguous nomenclature and uncertain organological evidence have led to controversy regarding which instruments should be used in some "flute" parts from the period. The concertino group of Bach's fourth Brandenburg Concerto in G major, BWV , consists of a violono principale , and due fiauti d'echo , with ripieno strings.
The desired instrument for the fiauti d'echo parts in BWV has been a matter of perennial musicological and organological debate for two primary reasons: first, the term fiauto d'echo is not mentioned in dictionaries or tutors of the period; and second, the first fiauto part uses F 6, a note which is difficult to produce on a Barque alto recorder in F4. For the first and last movements of the concerto, two opinions predominate: first, that both recorder parts should be played on alto recorders in F4; and second, that the first part should be played on an alto recorder in G and the second part on an alto in F.
Tushaar Power has argued for the alto in G4 on the basis that Bach uses the high F 6, which can be easily played on an alto in G4, but not the low F4, a note not playable on the alto in G4. He corroborates this with other alto recorder parts in Bach's cantatas. Michael Marissen reads the repertoire differently, demonstrating that in other recorder parts, Bach used both the low F4 and F 6, as well as higher notes.
Marissen argues that Bach was not as consistent as Power asserts, and that Bach would have almost certainly had access to only altos in F.
He corroborates this with examinations of pitch standards and notation in Bach's cantatas, in which the recorder parts are sometimes written as transposing instruments to play with organs that sounded as much as a minor third above written pitch. Marissen also reads Bach's revisions to the recorder parts in BWV as indicative of his avoidance of F 6 in BWV , a sign that he only used the difficult note when necessary in designing the part for an alto recorder in F4. In the second movement, breaking of beaming in the fiauto parts, markings of f and p, the fermata over the final double bar of the first movement, and the 21 bars of rest at the beginning of the third have led some musicologists to argue that Bach intended the use of "echo flutes" distinct from normal recorders in the second movement in particular.
The breaking of beaming could be an indication of changes in register or tonal quality, the rests introduced to allow the players time to change instruments, and the markings of f and p further indicative of register or sound changes. Marissen has demonstrated that the f and p markings probably indicated tutti and solo sections rather than loud and soft ones. A number of instruments other than normal recorders have been suggested for the fiauto d'echo. One of the earliest proposed alternatives, by Thurston Dart, was the use of double flageolets, a suggestion since revealed to be founded on unsteady musicological grounds.
Dart did, however, bring to light numerous newspaper references to Paisible's performance on an "echo flute" between and Perhaps the echo flute was composed in two halves: one which plays strongly, the other weakly? On this we can only speculate. Surviving instruments which are candidates for echo flutes include an instrument in Leipzig which consists of two recorders of different tonal characteristics joined together at the head and footjoints by brass flanges. There is also evidence of double recorders tuned in thirds, but these are not candidates for the fiauto parts in BWV They feature virtuosic solo writing, and along with his concerto RV and trio sonata RV 86 are his most virtuosic recorder works.
They each survive a single hastily written manuscript copy, each titled Con. Also of note is the occasional use of notes outside the normal two octave compass of the recorder: the range of the solo sections is two octaves from notated F4 to notated F6, however there is a single notated C4 in the first movement of RV , a notated E4 in a tutti section in the first movement of RV and low E4 in multiple tutti sections of RV A number of possible flautini have been proposed as the instrument intended for the performance of these concertos. The first suggestion was the use of the one keyed piccolo, or another small transverse flute, however such instruments had fallen out of use in Venice by the generally accepted time of composition of these concertos in the s, and this opinion is no longer considered well supported.
Another suggestion, first proposed by Peter Thalheimer, is the "french" flageolet see Flageolets below in G5, which was notated in D4, appearing a fourth lower, possibly explaining the note in the margins of RV and RV Gl'istromti transportati alla 4a and supported by Bismantova rev.
Two instruments are conventionally accepted today for the performance of these concertos, the sopranino recorder, notated like an alto but sounding an octave higher, and the soprano recorder, following the instruction to transpose the parts down by a fourth. Winfried Michel was first to argue in favor of the soprano recorder in , when he proposed to take Vivaldi at his word and transpose the string parts down a fourth and play the flautino part on a soprano recorder in C5 also "fifth-flute" using the English practice of notating such flutes as transposing instruments using the fingerings of an alto recorder.
Michel notes that this transposition allows for the use of the violins' and viola's lowest strings in sections where they provide the accompaniment without bass and the lowest two notes of the 'cello. He attributes the presence of notes not in the recorder's normal compass to Vivaldi's haste, noting that these notes do not appear in the solo sections. Federico Maria Sardelli concurs with Michel in supposing that the margin note was intended to allow the performance of the concertos on the soprano recorder on a specific occasion, however concludes that they were probably written for the sopranino recorder in F5, noting that small transverse flutes had fallen out of use in Italy by Vivaldi's time, the paucity of flageolets in Italy, the range of the parts, and uses of the flautino in vocal arias.
The recorder was little used in art music of the Classical and Romantic periods. Researchers have long debated why this change occurred, and to what extent the recorder remained use in the late 18th century, and later the 19th century. A significant question in this debate is which, if any, duct flutes of this period are recorders or successors to recorders. The recorder work of the latter half of the 18th century most known today is probably a trio sonata by C.
Bach , Wq. Also of note are the works of Johann Christoph Schultze c. Hector Berlioz may have intended "La fuite en Egypte" from L'enfance du Christ for the instrument. Many reasons supporting the conventional view that the recorder declined have been proposed. The first significant explanation for the recorder's decline was proposed by Waitzman ,  who proposed six reasons:. In the Baroque, the majority of professional recorder players were primarily oboists or string players. For this reason, the number of professional exponents of the recorder was smaller than that of other woodwinds.
Others attribute the decline of the recorder in part to the flute innovators of the time, such as Grenser , and Tromlitz , who extended the transverse flute's range and evened out its tonal consistency through the addition of keys, or to the supposedly greater dynamic range and volume of the flute. A complementary view recently advanced by Nikolaj Tarasov is that the recorder, rather than totally disappearing, evolved in similar ways to other wind instruments through the addition of keys and other devices, and remained in use throughout the 19th century, with its direct descendant's popularity overlapping with the late 19th and early 20th century recorder revival.
For more on this question, see "Other duct flutes". Duct flutes remained popular even as the recorder waned in the 18th century. As in the instrument's earliest history, questions of the instrument's quiddity are at the forefront of modern debate. The modification and renaming of recorders in the 18th century in order to prolong their use, and the uncertainty of the extent of the recorder's use the late 18th and early 19th centuries have fueled these debates.
Some recent researchers contend that some 19th century duct flutes are actually recorders. This article briefly discusses the duct flutes presented as successors to the recorder: the English flageolet and the csakan, which were popular among amateurs in the second half of the 18th century, and the whole of the 19th. The word " flageolet " has been used since the 16th century to refer to small duct flutes, and the instrument is sometimes designated using general terms such as flautino and flauto piccolo , complicating identification of its earliest form.
It was first described by Mersenne in Harmonie universelle as having four fingers on the front, and two thumb holes on the back, with lowest note C6 and a compass of two octaves. Like the recorder, the upper thumb hole is used as an octaving vent. Flageolets were generally small flutes, however their lowest note varies. Indeed, when the recorder was introduced to England it was presented as an easy instrument for those who already played the flageolet, and the earliest English recorder tutors are notated in the flageolet tablature of the time, called "dot-way".
Starting in the early s, a number of innovations to the flageolet were introduced, including the addition of keys to extend its range and allow it to more easily play accidentals. They also included novel solutions to the problem of condensation: most commonly, a sea sponge was placed inside the wind chamber the conical chamber above the windway to soak up moisture, while novel solutions like the insertion of a thin wooden wedge into the windway, the drilling of little holes in the side of the block to drain condensation and a complex system for draining condensation through a hollowed out block developed, were also developed.
From at least this time to the present, the flageolet in its first form has been called the French flageolet to differentiate it from the so-called English flageolet. From around , when the London instrument maker William Bainbridge obtained number of patents for improvements to the English flageolet, instruments were often referred as "improved" or "patent" flageolets with little reference to how they actually differed from their predecessors.
In this period, the instrument had six finger holes and single thumb hole, and had as many as six keys. Tarasov reports that the English flageolets of the late 18th century had six finger holes and no thumb hole, and later regained the thumb hole seventh finger hole see above, right. Both remained popular until the beginning of the 20th century. A significant amount of music was written for the flageolet in the 19th century, like the etudes of Narcisse Bousquet although much of it was directed at amateurs.
English flageolets that may qualify as recorders are of two types: those early instruments, called "English flageolets," which were actually recorders, and 19th century instruments with seven finger holes and a thumb hole. These instruments are not typically regarded as recorders, however Tarasov has argued for their inclusion in the family.
The csakan from Hung. The first documented appearance of the csakan was at a concert in Budapest on February 18, in a performance by its billed inventor, Anton Heberle fl. Tarasov has contested Heberle's status as the inventor of the instrument, and has argued that the csakan grew out of a Hungarian war hammer of the same name, which was converted into a recorder, perhaps for playing military music. Around , it was highly fashionable for make walking sticks with additional functions e. The earliest instruments were shaped like a walking stick with a mouthpiece in the handle and had no keys, although they could eventually have up to thirteen keys, along with a tuning slide and a device for narrowing the thumb hole.
In the s a csakan "in the pleasing shape of an oboe" was introduced in a "simple" form with a single key and a "complex" form with up to twelve keys like those found on contemporaneous flutes. Around works for the csakan were published in the first half of the 19th century, mainly for csakan solo, csakan duet or csakan with guitar or piano. The csakan's repertoire has not yet been fully explored. Modern recorder makers such as Bernhard Mollenhauer and Martin Wenner have made csakan copies.
Similarities in fingering and design make the csakan at least a close relative of the recorder. Additionally, Tarasov reports that some recorders by Baroque makers were modified, around , through the addition of keys, including a J. Another modification is the narrowing of the thumb hole, by way of an ivory plug on the J. Denner basset and an alto by Benedikt Gahn — , to allow it to serve purely as an octaving vent, as found on many flageolets and csakans.
These changes may be archetypal to those found on csakans and flageolets, and constitute an inchoate justification for the continuous development of the Baroque recorder into its 19th-century relatives. The concept of a recorder "revival" must be considered in the context of the decline of the recorder in the 18th and 19th centuries. The craft of recorder making was continued in some form by a number of families, such as the Berchtesgaden Fleitl produced by the Oeggle family, which traces its lineage to the Walch family of recorder makers  the careers of the Schlosser family of Zwota.
Heinrich Oskar Schlosser — made instruments sold by the firm of Moeck in Celle and helped to design their Tuju series of recorders. The recorder, if it did persist through the 19th century, did so in a manner quite unlike the success it enjoyed in previous centuries, or that it would enjoy in the century to come in.
Nonetheless, the recorder was considered primarily an instrument of historical interest. The eventual success of the recorder in the modern era is often attributed to Arnold Dolmetsch. While he was responsible for broadening interest in the United Kingdom beyond the small group of early music specialists, Dolmetsch was not solely responsible for the recorder's broader revival. Carl Dolmetsch, the son of Arnold Dolmetsch, became one of the first virtuoso recorder players in the s; but more importantly he began to commission recorder works from leading composers of his day, especially for performance at the Haslemere festival which his father ran.
Initially as a result of this, and later as a result of the development of a Dutch school of recorder playing led by Kees Otten, the recorder was introduced to serious musicians as a virtuoso solo instrument both in Britain and in northern Europe. Munrow's double album The Art of the Recorder remains as an important anthology of recorder music through the ages.
Recorder player Sophie Westbrooke was a finalist in the competition. The first recorders to be played in the modern period were antique instruments from previous periods. Anecdotally, Arnold Dolmetsch was motivated to make his own recorders after losing a bag containing his antique instruments. Recorders made in the early 20th century were imitative of baroque models in their exterior form, but differed significantly in their structure. Dolmetsch introduced English fingering, the now standard fingering for "baroque" model instruments, and standardized the doubled 6th and 7th holes found on a handful of antique instruments by the English makers Stanesby and Bressan.
Dolmetsch instruments generally had a large rectangular windway, unlike the curved windways of all historical instruments, and played at modern pitch. Nearly twice as many pieces have been written for the recorder since its modern revival as were written in all previous epochs. These include, but are not limited to multiphonics, glissandi, flutter tonguing, at least five ways to produce vibrato, singing while playing known since the time of Mersenne, , playing multiple recorders at once, finger and key tapping and other percussive sounds, microtones, playing the recorder like a flute using a fingerhole as an embouchure hole, blowing across the window to produce white noise, and various modifications of the recorder such as taping over holes, or playing with only the headjoint or without the foot.
The trade of recorder making was traditionally transmitted via apprenticeship. Notable historical makers include the Rafi, Schnitzer and Bassano families in the renaissance; Stanesby Jr. Most of these makers also built other wind instruments such as oboes and transverse flutes.
Notably, Jacob Denner is credited with the development of the clarinet from the chalumeau. Recorder making declined with the instrument's wane in the late 18th century, essentially severing the craft's transmission to the modern age. With few exceptions, the duct flutes manufactured in the 19th and late 18th centuries were intended for amateur or educational use, and were not constructed to the high standard of earlier epochs.
Arnold Dolmetsch , the first to achieve commercial production in the twentieth century, began to build recorders in While these early recorders played at a low pitch like that of the available originals, he did not strive for exactitude in reproduction, and by the s the Dolmetsch family firm, then under the direction of Arnold's son Carl Dolmetsch, was mass-producing recorders at modern pitch with wide, straight windways, and began to produce bakelite recorders shortly after the Second World War.
Nonetheless, the Dolmetsch models were innovative for their time and proved influential, particularly in standardizing the English fingering system now standard for modern baroque-style instruments and doubled 6th and 7th holes, which are rare on antique instruments. In Germany, Peter Harlan began to manufacture recorders in the s, primarily for education use in the youth movement.
Following Harlan's success, numerous makers such as Adler and Mollenhauer began commercial production of recorders, fueling an explosion in the instrument's popularity in Germany. These recorders shared little in common with antiques, with large straight windways, anachronistically pitched consorts, modified fingering systems and other innovations. In the latter half of the twentieth century, historically informed performance practice was on the rise and recorder makers increasingly sought to imitate the sound and character of antiques.
The German-American maker Friedrich Von Huene was among the first to research recorders held in European collections and produce instruments intended to reproduce the qualities of the antiques. Von Huene and his Australian colleague Frederick Morgan sought to connect the tradition of the historical wind-makers to the modern day with the understanding that doing so creates the best instruments, and those most suited to ancient music.
Virtually all recorders manufactured today claim ascendancy to an antique model and most makers active today can trace their trade directly to one of these pioneering makers. French maker Philippe Bolton created an electroacoustic recorder  and is among the last to offer mounted bell-keys and double bell-keys for both tenor and alto recorders. Those bell-keys extend easily the range of the instrument to more than three octaves. In the midth century, German composer and music educator Carl Orff popularized the recorder for use in schools as part of Orff-Schulwerk programs in German schools.
Orff's five-volume opus of educational music Music for Children contains many pieces for recorders, usually scored for other instruments as well. Manufacturers have made recorders out of bakelite and other more modern plastics; they are thus easy to produce, hence inexpensive. Because of this, recorders are popular in schools, as they are one of the cheapest instruments to buy in bulk. It is, however, incorrect to assume that mastery is similarly easy—like any other instrument, the recorder requires study to play well and in tune, and significant study to play at an advanced or professional level.
The recorder is a very social instrument. Many recorder players participate in large groups or in one-to-a-part chamber groups, and there is a wide variety of music for such groupings including many modern works. Groups of different sized instruments help to compensate for the limited note range of the individual instruments. Four part arrangements with a soprano, alto, tenor and bass part played on the corresponding recorders are common, although more complex arrangements with multiple parts for each instrument and parts for lower and higher instruments may also be regularly encountered.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Recorder disambiguation. See also: Fingering music. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. See also: List of recorder players. Etherea Colin Ross, New-age music performed on the recorder.
Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved Schick, J. Lydgate's Temple of Glas. Oxford English Dictionary 2nd ed. Bergen, Henry ed. The revival of the recorder began towards the end of the 19th century, when interest was growing for music of the past. At the same time museums were starting to build up collections of early instruments. Among these was the Museum of the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels, founded by the instrument maker and acoustician Victor Charles Mahillon.
At first the instruments were there, but their playing technique was not generally known. Arnold Dolmetsch is considered to be one of the principal pioneers of the recorder revival. He was born in in Le Mans and came from a family of organ builders. He went to Brussels to study the violin, and met some musicans there who were interested in renaissance and baroque music, and who played some of the instruments belonging to the museum.
Later he went to London to enter the newly founded Royal College of Music, where he discovered the music of Purcell, Handel and other composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. At an auction sale he bought an alto recorder by Bressan Pierre Jaillard , the famous London maker, and played this in concerts. Some time later this instrument was unfortunately lost, having been forgotten on a platform at Waterloo Station.
The regrettable event led Dolmetsch to make a recorder as a remplacement, and then to build others for his family and friends.
What to Look For.
This was the start of the Dolmetsch workshop, that specialised in the production of high quality had made instruments Dolmetsch settled in Haslemere, and, in , launched a festival there where his instruments could be heard, and which was was to become an annual event. Carl, his youngest son, began to study music, and became a talented recorder player. After his father's death in he took over the management of the festival. He played regularly in concerts, and gave first performances of works written for him by contemporary composers like Herbert Murril, Edmund Rubbra, Lennox Berkely and many others.
However Arnold Dolmetsch was not the first person to take up the challenge. The recorder continued to progress in Germany under the influence of musicians such as Gustav Scheck et Willibald Gurlitt. However the instrument was soon to take another direction there when Peter Harlan, a guitar maker from Markneukirchen, paid a visit to Haslemere.
He became aware of the recorder's potentialities, and started to have it built industrially. He modified the design to his own taste to make it into an "uncomplicated folk instrument".