An introduction to the Recorder


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This presentation gives a brief historical overview of the musical instrument, the recorder, and has links to examples of excellent recorder players

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An introduction to the Recorder

  1. 1. Prepared by Sandra D Crawford
  2. 2. History of the Recorder (Adapted from  Recorders have been around for centuries.  They were popular as far back as the 14th Century.  The earliest existing recorder, found in Dordrecht, Holland, has been dated to the early 14th Century. Last revised Sept. 2013
  3. 3. Medieval Recorders Three recorders thought to be from the 14th century. Last revised Sept. 2013 3
  4. 4.  In the 15th and 16th Centuries, it was common to have groups of recorders of different sizes to play together.  These groups were known as consorts. Last revised Sept. 2013
  5. 5.  The recorders had a limited range but produced a loud sound and blended with each other well.  This type of recorder is now called a Renaissance recorder. Last revised Sept. 2013
  6. 6. Recorder Consort Listen to this recorder consort on YouTube by following this hyperlink. Last revised Sept. 2013
  7. 7. Types of Recorders – The Modern Consort Last revised Sept. 2013
  8. 8.  In the 17th Century, the design of the recorder changed.  It now had a bigger range and could play all semitones accurately in tune, making it better able to play the Baroque music of the time.  Unfortunately, the Baroque recorder was not as loud as the Renaissance recorders. Last revised Sept. 2013
  9. 9.  Although Baroque recorders were still made in different sizes, the fashion of playing groups of different recorders together lessened somewhat and the recorder became more of a solo instrument - the most common size the treble or alto size (about 45cm). Last revised Sept. 2013
  10. 10.  With the increase in popularity of the orchestra, recorders became unpopular because they were not loud enough to play with the other instruments.  By the end of the 18th Century, they were displaced by the flute and music which had been written for recorder was played by flutes.  Recorders and the techniques used to play them were forgotten. Last revised Sept. 2013
  11. 11.  At the beginning of the 20th Century, there was a revival of interest in the music of long ago, along with the instruments used to play it.  This happened mainly in the UK and Germany.  Instrument makers started to make recorders again and the techniques for playing them were rediscovered. Last revised Sept. 2013
  12. 12.  In Germany, the adoption of the recorder by the Youth Movement as an instrument for playing folk tunes led to millions of recorders being produced in the 1930s.  Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of quality recorders available and of people able to play them. Last revised Sept. 2013
  13. 13. Young Recorder Player  Listen to this young lady play the Brahms’ popular Hungarian Dance number 5 on the descant (soprano recorder)  Last revised Dec. 2013
  14. 14. Resources  Information on history:  Recorder Consort  Image Last revised Sept. 2013