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English:  recorder , Italian:  flauto dolce or flauto diritto , French:  flûte à bec
Tenor, alto, soprano and sopranino recorder
Tenor, alto, soprano and sopranino recorder
classification Aerophon
wind instrument
range Range soprano recorder
(Soprano recorder)
Template: Infobox musical instrument / maintenance / sound sample parameters missing Related instruments


List of recorder players
List of recorder makers

The recorder is a woodwind instrument that belongs to the group of longitudinal flutes . To generate sound, your head contains a core (called a block ) made of wood or plastic, which only leaves a narrow gap ( core gap ) free. Because of the shape of its mouthpiece (in the most common, smaller types) it is one of the beaked flutes .

The recorder family

In Europe , the recorder has established itself as a whole family of instruments across all pitches since the Renaissance . The following instruments were built (the lowest playable note is given):

Renaissance and early baroque

High and late baroque

  • Sopranino recorder in f 2
  • Sixth flute (soprano recorder in d 2 )
  • Soprano recorder in c 2 (also called fifth flute)
  • Fourth flute (soprano recorder in b 1 )
  • Alto recorder in g 1
  • Alto recorder in f 1
  • Voice flute in d 1
  • Tenor recorder in c 1
  • Bass recorder in f 0

20th century

In addition to the copies based on historical models of the sizes mentioned above, there are also the following sizes.

  • Sub-bass recorder in C.
  • Sub double bass recorder in F 1

The terms are not used consistently. Sometimes the bass flute in f is called bassett and only the one in c is called bass. Especially in the area of ​​the flutes below the large bass there are different names; The above names are based on the Kunath Paetzold recorders. The double bass recorder is also known as the sub-bass recorder, the two lowest recorders also called the sub-double bass and the sub-sub-double bass. Sometimes the term choir flute is used for the soprano recorder. The range of the individual recorders is around two octaves each . Modern, newly developed models, so-called harmonic recorders, reach a range of slightly more than three octaves. Sopranino to bass recorders are particularly popular today.

Range, pitch and notation

The traditional names of the recorder sizes correspond to the voice ranges one octave lower in other music. The position of the tenor recorder (range c 1 to d 3 ) is therefore the normal soprano register and thus corresponds to the soprano singing voice, transverse flute , oboe or violin ; the bass recorder (f to g 2 ) is heard in the alto range and corresponds to Alt-voice, the English horn or viola . The pitch of the soprano recorder corresponds to that of the piccolo flute. A possible explanation for these “shifted” names of the recorder types is that the sound of the instrument is very fundamental compared to almost all other musical instruments . Because of the less pronounced overtones , it is felt to be less high than, for example, the same high note played by a violin.

The recorder types usually have the following pitch ranges:

  • Garklein recorder : c 3 - a 4 (g 5 )
  • Sopranino recorder: f 2 - g 4 (c 5 )
  • Soprano recorder: c 2 - d 4 (g 4 )
  • Treble recorder: f 1 - g 3 (c 4 )
  • Tenor recorder: c 1 - d 3 (g 3 )
  • Bass recorder: f - g 2 (c 3 )
  • Large bass recorder : c - d 2 (g 2 )
  • Double bass recorder: F - g 1 (c 2 )
  • Sub-bass recorder: C - d 1 (g 1 )
  • Sub-double bass recorder: F 1 - g (c 1 )

The common notation follows accordingly:

  • for Garklein recorder in treble clef , but the note sounds two octaves higher
  • for soprano and sopranino recorder in treble clef , but the note sounds an octave higher
  • for alto and tenor recorder in treble clef in real pitch (however, the alto flute was notated an octave lower in some editions until the 1950s, so-called chorus notation )
  • for bass and large bass recorder in the bass clef , the tone sounds an octave higher
  • for bass recorder less often also in the treble clef in real pitch
  • for large bass recorder less often in the treble clef, but the tone sounds an octave lower
  • for double bass recorder in bass clef in real pitch
  • for sub-bass recorder and sub-double bass recorder in bass clef, the tone sounds an octave lower

The notation around 1600 used the treble, alto, tenor and bass clef for choral flute playing. In the baroque manuscripts, the French treble clef was also notated for the alto flute .

Structure and functionality

Usual designs


Structure of a recorder, front and back view
Schematic longitudinal section of a recorder head with block (A), wind tunnel (B) and cutting edge (C).

Recorders are usually made up of three parts and consist of a head piece, middle piece and foot piece. Sopranino, soprano and treble recorders are also built in two parts, with the middle and foot pieces made in one piece. The Garklein recorder is usually built in one piece. The individual parts are put together by means of pegs, turning slightly (not visible in the picture). The cones are wrapped with a waxed thread as a seal or provided with a cork ring. Like all larger recorders, the bass recorder can inevitably have a special blowing device, the S-bend .

When put together, all three parts of a recorder form a tube, the bore of which runs from the head to the foot, depending on the type of instrument, either cylindrical or vice versa, conical (i.e. tapering). At the lower end (foot piece) this tube is open, at the upper end it is closed in the head piece by a core or block that forms a wind tunnel (core gap). With simple school recorders, the wind tunnel is wide and rectangular. With soloist flutes it is usually curved and made tighter. For sizes up to about the tenor flute, the headpiece is also the carrier of the mouthpiece, also known as the beak, which is placed on the lips. The air flow is fed to the instrument through the core gap above the block (see diagram). This meets a cutting edge ( blowing edge ), which is part of the labium (also called cold cuts) and essential for the sound production of the recorder. The middle piece and foot piece are carriers of tone holes .

Large recorders such as tenor, bass and large bass flutes are also built with an angled headjoint. Due to the kink, the instruments "sit" higher on the player's body and are therefore easy to play even for children or adults with short arms.

Recorders usually have seven finger holes on the front and one on the back, which also functions as an overblow hole . The two lowest finger holes can be designed as double holes, which makes the relevant semitones easier to play. Most of the tone holes in the larger recorders are closed with keys because of their large gaps. With simple recorders, the tone holes are usually drilled cylindrically. With higher quality instruments the tone holes are partially undercut . When undercutting, the flute maker expands the tone hole inwards. This can be done evenly, but also only towards the mouthpiece or the foot. The undercutting improves the intonation behavior and the response of the flutes significantly.

Sound creation

The air flow (air sheet) formed in the wind tunnel starts to vibrate at the edge of the labium, so that the air flows alternately into the inside of the flute and outside. The frequency of the oscillation and thus the pitch is determined by resonance with the air column inside the instrument. The sound generation is described in more detail under woodwind instruments .

In contrast to the transverse flute, for example, no special techniques have to be learned to generate tones . A tone can be generated simply by blowing it in. However, the advanced recorder player is able to achieve a multitude of sound variations through various blowing techniques and above all through sound sounds and tongue techniques (e.g. "t", "d", "dg" ...).

Condensation in the wind tunnel can interfere with sound generation. This is known as droplet hoarseness .


The bore of the Renaissance recorders is relatively large and, in terms of construction, goes back to the medieval recorders. The bore is often approximately cylindrical. Such a recorder has a fundamental sound, the range is a treadmill up to well over two octaves , depending on the model . These instruments are primarily designed for ensemble playing and blend well with each other in terms of sound, but also with other Renaissance instruments of similar volume. Nowadays there are also recorders with an approximately cylindrical bore that have a powerful, fundamental sound and respond well over two octaves. The sound of these instruments is very stable and only increases in sharpness in the overblowing area.

In the Baroque period , the idea was to narrow the bore and, conversely, to make it conical. That means: The hole tapers towards the foot. This increases the air flow speed; In addition, the air pressure increases at the head end of the instrument, i.e. where the sound is created. This makes the sound sharper and sharper. A good baroque recorder responds very well over more than two octaves. Baroque recorder pieces, such as the solo parts in the Brandenburg Concertos 2 and 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach , the solo concerts by Antonio Vivaldi or the Fitzwilliam Sonatas by Georg Friedrich Handel , are designed accordingly in their range. The color of the sound of a recorder in baroque design changes clearly audibly with the pitch. From the low to the high notes the tone becomes stronger and sharper.

Especially for the very deep recorders (below the large bass) that were not used in historical times, square cross-sections are also used today, as the flutes can be made more cheaply or at all. Strictly speaking, such flutes have no bore at all. Their cross-section tapers towards the base, similar to that of baroque instruments. Physically, such a square cross-section behaves similarly to a corresponding hole.


Because of its excellent moisture properties, the block is almost always made from cedar wood , more precisely: from the wood of the Virginia cedar ( Juniperus virginiana ), which, strictly speaking, is not cedar, but belongs to the juniper family. The body is mainly made of hard wood, whereby the hardness of the wood, unlike its density and surface texture, should largely have no influence on the sound of the recorder. The origin of the wood used was mostly the geographic area of ​​the recorder maker; The original material for recorders in Central Europe are harder local types of wood such as fruit woods ( pear , plum ) or maple . With the increasing supraregional, even intercontinental trade activities, non-native types of wood found their way into European wind instruments and recorders, including boxwood , which is more found in southern Europe , or tropical woods ( precious woods ) such as grenadilla , ebony , rosewood and rosewood . With the clearing of the tropical forest, these tropical woods have become scarce. In the 20th century, therefore, types of wood such as olive and beech attracted the attention of instrument makers - the latter especially in the field of music education. A special case is the use of plywood , which because of its dimensional stability is a sensible and quality-enhancing material for larger bass recorders.

As early as the 18th century, recorders made of alternative building materials such as ivory were known, whose high density and relative insensitivity to moisture made them interesting for instrument making. For these reasons and also for cost reasons, plastics such as Bakelite , ABS or Colo have been used since the 20th century . Plastic recorders and combinations of plastic and wood are available on a large scale and in different qualities. They are cheaper and at the same time easier to care for and therefore find z. B. frequent use in early recorder pedagogy.

For reasons of sound, professional recorder players mostly use handcrafted wooden instruments.

Intonation systems

In the case of school recorders, a balanced intonation system is generally sought. Historical recorders, especially Renaissance instruments, are also made in mid-tone intonation .

Special form echo flute

A special design of the Baroque period, the echo flute (“Fiauto d'echo”), consists of two parallel flutes of the same pitch but different volume. She was able to circumvent the low dynamic range of the recorder and perform the terrace dynamics common in baroque music .

There are two types of construction: the two flutes are either drilled into a common body or individual instruments that are subsequently attached to one another. Alpert cites several examples of the first type in museums; Such an instrument can be seen in an engraving in Christoph Weigel's "Ständebuch" published in 1698 . A soprano echo flute of the second type is in the Leipzig Musical Instrument Museum.

The only surviving work in which echo flutes ( fiauti d'echo ) - in the f 1 old register - are expressly required is the 4th Brandenburg Concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach . There are well-founded doubts that instruments of the type from Leipzig would be useful for the performance of such demanding works. On the other hand, two echo flutes of the first type mentioned have recently been built for the Ensemble Concerto Köln and used in a recording of this concert.

Style of play


Finger position in J.-M. Hotteterre's flute school from 1707

The recorder, up to and including the tenor recorder, is held at an angle of about 45 ° to the body. It is placed with the beak on the headpiece slightly on the lips, which gently surround it. The lower lip thus forms one of the two holding points. The other stop is with the thumb of the right hand positioned behind. Sometimes a thumb rest is used for this purpose, which is intended to give particularly larger and therefore heavier instruments (tenor and bass recorder) more support. The large recorders, from the bass recorder onwards, are held in a similar way to the bassoon and attached to a shoulder strap or even placed directly on the floor.


Already in 1529 sees Martin Agricola in vibrato a basic stylistic device in the flute:

"Even wiltu have the ground and ground So learn to whistle with a trembling odem"

- Martin Agricola: Musica instrumentalis deudsch


The notes of the recorder are usually articulated with the tongue. In schools for beginners, they usually begin with the syllable . Silvestro Ganassi recommends the articulation syllables le re , te re and te che . Martin Agricola recommends the syllable de as the main articulation and diri for faster notes and the flutter tongue . Ganassi also knows the tone attachment without a syllable, the lingua di testa (head attachment), in which the breath is formed by the lips. Johann Joachim Quantz also describes diri and tiri in his flute school . For quick passages he teaches the articulation with did'll .


The finger holes on the front are operated - from top to bottom - by the index, middle and ring fingers of the left hand as well as by the index, middle, ring and little fingers of the right hand. The overblow hole on the back, at the upper end of the middle piece, is operated by the left thumb. The lowest note ("root note") of a recorder is generated by closing all tone holes, all other notes by combinations of closed and open tone holes. These grips are shown in grip tables . For some tones, so-called fork grips are necessary, with closed tone holes below them. To create the lowest semitones, it is necessary to only half cover the lowest or second lowest tone hole. Many flutes have double holes in these places to facilitate a clean half cover. Large recorders also have flaps so that the finger holes, which are widely spaced, can be reached with your fingers.

For the higher notes from the third note of the second octave , the thumb only partially covers the thumb hole. This ensures that the tone tilts twice (octave) or three times (duodecime) of the basic frequency (see overblowing ).

"Baroque" fingering

Fingering chart for an alto recorder, baroque fingering

The most common fingering for recorders among advanced and professional players is the baroque fingering . It is so named, although it does not match the fingering of historical recorders from the Baroque period, but was introduced by the rediscoverer of the recorder, the French Arnold Dolmetsch .

With this fingering , a fork grip is required for one note on the basic scale, the fourth step ( i.e. f 2 and f 3 on a c 2 soprano recorder). It is disputed among recorder teachers whether this makes learning the instrument and quickly playing certain tone sequences more difficult.

German fingering

With the re-emergence of the recorder in Germany in the 20th century, Peter Harlan came up with the idea of ​​modifying the bore and the position of the finger holes, in particular to narrow the bore of the third lowest tone hole. So the basic scale can be played without forked handles . In the case of certain tones outside the fundamental scale, however, this is at the expense of the clean intonation, and fork grips are still necessary for most tones which deviate from the fundamental scale.

The recorder virtuoso and teacher Hans-Martin Linde writes: “It [the German fingering] was created in the twenties due to a misunderstanding. Peter Harlan changed the supposedly unclean grip for the 4th step of a historical flute he had copied. According to his grip system, instead of a fork grip, only the index finger of the right hand forms the tone. This overall, insignificant grip relief of the so-called German fingering is bought at the cost of a reduction in quality: its disadvantage lies in the excessively high grip for the overblown 4th level and in further deficits in intonation in semitone steps. "

Nevertheless, recorders are now made in German fingering, but only the beginner's instruments: Beginners usually only play simple pieces in the basic scale anyway, and in this area of ​​application the German fingering is indeed easier to learn and play. More expensive instruments for advanced and professional players are built exclusively in baroque fingering.

Modification of the pitch

By pulling the center piece out of the head piece, depending on the size of the instrument by one to a few millimeters, the instrument can be tuned lower . By turning the top pin on the lathe, an instrument maker can tune the flute a few cents higher. Both of these are only possible to a limited extent, without causing discrepancies in the instrument itself, i.e. major intonation problems.

The height of the note played can also be changed by adjusting the blowing pressure: blowing harder results in a higher note. This can be used when several instruments play together to achieve good sounding chords .



Flutes have been used as musical instruments since prehistoric times. Existing flutes from this period consist of hollow bones and already have tone holes. Such flutes, in which the sound is generated by a core gap, came and still occur in various forms all over the world.

The most common type of flute in Europe in the early Middle Ages, however, were pan flute-like instruments in which hand-hole-less pipes of increasing length were bundled together.

The vertically held recorder with finger holes was introduced to Europe simultaneously from Africa by the Moors and from Asia by the Slavs. It was widespread in various forms. Recorders that could be played with both hands have been documented in Europe since the 11th century. In addition, there were handed flutes to which a drum was beaten with the other hand and double flutes , where every hand played a flute. When today's recorder developed from this multitude of instruments cannot be precisely dated, since it is not possible to distinguish unequivocally on medieval depictions whether a recorder, another type of split flute or a shawm is depicted.

The English name recorder is first recorded for 1388. According to popular opinion, it is derived from the verb to record in the meaning of “twittering”, which is no longer used today. Accordingly, the flutes of that time must have been tuned high.

14th Century

The recorder was one of the most important woodwind instruments as early as the 14th century. The types of recorders used were drilled cylindrically and consisted of only one piece.

As a result, they sounded mild, soft and lacking in overtones, from which the names Flûte douce and Flauto dolce can be traced back. These sound characteristics made them particularly suitable for supporting singing. For this purpose, the different pitches of recorders mentioned above were developed.

The recorders were all equipped with seven front finger holes; the lowest finger hole, the so-called little finger hole, was, however, duplicated in order to take account of the inconsistent playing practice, in which, in addition to the posture common today - left hand over right hand - many musicians also used the reverse hand position. The little finger hole not required by the player was plugged with wax .

Medieval recorders have hardly been preserved in the original, but are mainly known from images that only show the front. However, there are isolated finds of recorders from the Middle Ages: For example, the so-called Dordrecht flute was found in 1940 during an excavation of a castle near the Dutch city of Dordrecht . In its current state it is unplayable and presumably incomplete, but allows interesting conclusions to be drawn about the instruments of the time. In August 2005, another flute was found in Tartu (Estonia), the creation of which can be dated to the second half of the 14th century. Probably the oldest surviving recorder in Europe was excavated by archaeologists in Göttingen in 1987 and is in the local musical instrument collection. These early models lack the double hole for the little finger, the finger holes are arranged in a row so that both hand positions are possible.

Nowadays there are workshops that deal with the reconstruction and reproduction of these instruments.

15th and 16th centuries

In the Franco-Flemish epoch (Renaissance), the composers did not usually determine the instrumentation. The instrumental ensembles played dance music on the one hand, as it has been handed down in the prints of Pierre Attaignant , Pierre Phalèse and Tielman Susato , on the other hand they played vocal music: masses , motets or canzons . The instruments could replace voices or double voices. Vocal music could also be performed purely instrumentally by consorts. Depending on the ability of the players, the works were decorated with improvisation . The textbooks La Fontegara la quale insegno di suonare il flauto (1535) by Silvestro Ganassi and the Musica instrumentalis deudsch (1529) by Martin Agricola testify to the high level of flute playing of the time . 1618 Michael Praetorius recommends Baßblockflöte by the instruments dulcian or trombone replace. The recorder was not uncommon in this age. In the estate of Count Fugger (1529 to 1569), 111 flutes of 507 wind instruments are documented.


Early baroque recorders (around 1620) ( Syntagma musicum )

In baroque music, instrumental music broke away from vocal music. In addition to higher demands on the virtuosity of an instrument, this also made a different sound spectrum necessary. The sound of an instrument had to be more distinctly different from the sound of human singing. In the case of the recorder, this was achieved through a different construction. The body of the recorder was composed of three parts; the tube was drilled in an inverted conical shape (narrower at the bottom than at the top) and the handle holes were set closer together. Since the 16th century, the thumb hole on the back of the instruments was also common. The tone of the recorder became clearer, brighter and richer in overtones.

On the other hand, it became unusual to make the lowest of the finger holes, the little finger hole, twice. Instead, the lowest part of the flute was now movable so that the musician could turn it into a position that was comfortable for him. The Baroque composers wrote music for recorders in various formations. The alto recorder in particular, and to a lesser extent the soprano and sopranino recorders, also emerge as solo instruments in sonatas and concerts. On the threshold from the Renaissance to the Baroque, Claudio Monteverdi used not only trumpets, trombones, string and string instruments but also recorders in the orchestration of his opera L'Orfeo .

The first and to this day most extensive solo work for recorder, " Der Fluyten Lusthof " (printed edition in three volumes from 1648 to 1654) by the blind flutist Jacob van Eyck from Utrecht , was also created in the early baroque period , a very extensive collection of dances popular at the time, Songs and chorales each with a few variations , so-called “modes”, which become more and more virtuoso and playful in ascending order. Jacob van Eyck probably used an almost cylindrically drilled, one-piece recorder in c 2 , which thus still corresponded to the type of recorder in the Renaissance.

Antonio Vivaldi wrote at least three concerts for the "flautino", the sopranino recorder. It is controversial which keynote (f 2 or d 2 ) the instrument to be used had. He also composed several highly virtuoso concertos for treble recorder in f 1 or g 1 and strings. With Johann Sebastian Bach , treble recorders appear as solo instruments in the Brandenburg Concerts No. 2 and No. 4 , as well as in cantatas and passion music. However, Bach's flute sonatas are intended for the transverse flute.

In England it was Henry Purcell , among others , who used recorders in his music. Later, during his long creative period in London , George Frideric Handel wrote a large number of sonatas for recorder and basso continuo such as The Fitzwilliam Sonatas . It was, as it were, a by-product of his work as a composer of large suites, operas and oratorios, because many of the themes and motifs used in them reappear in this chamber music for flute. In England in the Baroque era, the recorder was the most common melody instrument for the amateur musician. This is how many transcriptions of famous compositions for recorder such as the Folia Variations by Arcangelo Corelli were made .

Other composers of the Baroque period, of whom music for recorder has been handed down, include Jacques Hotteterre , Jacques-Christophe Naudot , the two cousins Jean-Baptiste Loeillet de Gant and John Loeillet and, among Vivaldi's Italian contemporaries, Benedetto Marcello , Francesco Barsanti and Giuseppe Sammartini and Francesco Mancini . In addition to Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Mattheson and Georg Philipp Telemann, for example, left outstanding works for recorder among the German composers .

In the late baroque era, the recorder coexisted for a long time with the emerging transverse flute . Particularly impressive examples are the Concerto in E minor for recorder, flute and string orchestra by Telemann and the trio sonata in C major for recorder, flute and thoroughbass by Johann Joachim Quantz .

Displacement of the recorder in the 18th century

In the further course of the 18th century it was supplanted by the flute, which had a stronger sound and was more assertive in interaction with the expanded orchestras: the recorder was no longer a common instrument in classical and romantic music. The dwindling importance of the recorder can also be seen in the fact that the designation Flauto (flute) in an instrumentation up until around 1750 clearly denoted a recorder; a transverse flute, on the other hand, was expressly required by the designation Flauto traverso or simply Traversa . After around 1750 this was reversed. To this day, the term flute in orchestration means a transverse flute. If a recorder is to be used, this is stated explicitly.

The csakan (stick flute) was a recorder instrument of the 19th century in Austria-Hungary . The virtuosos Anton Heberle and Ernest Krähmer have left numerous compositions for this type of recorder.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the recorder was so unusual as an instrument that Igor Stravinsky thought it was a kind of clarinet when he first saw a recorder. It was not rediscovered until the 20th century, primarily as an instrument for house and school music.

Use in 20th and 21st century music

The recorder was rediscovered in the 1920s when efforts were made to create a sound image of Renaissance and Baroque music that was as true to the original as possible. In particular, Arnold Dolmetsch and the instrument maker Peter Harlan made a major contribution to the renewal of this instrument. In the youth movement, the easy-to-transport and relatively inexpensive recorder became the most popular instrument alongside the guitar . In addition to the instruments in use today, flutes were also built in other tunings (for example in G 1 or A flat 1 ) in order to be able to use them more easily for other keys.

Composers like Luciano Berio , Jürg Baur , Hans-Martin Linde , John Tavener , Paul Hindemith , Felicitas Kukuck , Malcolm Arnold , Michael Tippett , Benjamin Britten , Leonard Bernstein , Erhard Karkoschka , Mauricio Kagel , Matthias Kaul , Günter Kochan , Kazimierz Serocki , Gordon Jacob , Bertold Hummel and Edmund Rubbra wrote music for recorders. The literature for the recorder has grown rapidly in the 20th century and continues to grow, also thanks to commissioned compositions.

Occasionally the recorder is also used in pop and rock music; So it appears in pieces by the Beatles (e.g. "The Fool On The Hill"), the Rolling Stones , Jimi Hendrix , Yes , Led Zeppelin (e.g. "Stairway To Heaven") and especially by Gentle Giant on. Through compositions z. B. by Pete Rose or Paul Leenhouts it has found its way into jazz. Recorders also play a role in folk music .

The recorder is also rarely used in film scores, mostly in those with a medieval setting. These include "Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Alan Menken and "Polar Express" by Alan Silvestri.

Audio sample for the use of a soprano recorder head as a noise, rhythm and effects instrument

The headjoint can also be used as a rhythm and effects instrument . During the blowing process, the lower opening of the flute head is alternately covered and opened with the palm of the hand. Even bird calls can imitate with recorder heads.

Recorder Day has been celebrated on January 10th since 2007.

Sociology of the recorder

In ancient times, flutes were mainly played by men. The iconographic sources document many male recorder players up to 1800 as well as images with erotic symbolism. The instrument was played by noble lords, citizens and professional musicians ( town pipers ). In the 20th century, the instrument became popular in large parts of the population for the first musical education for children. In the recorder ensembles for adults, the female players clearly predominate today.

Use in music education

After its revival at the beginning of the 20th century, the recorder was discovered as an instrument for educational purposes. In the youth movement it was valued as easily transportable. At the same time industrial mass production began, for example by the companies Moeck in Celle and Adler-Heinrich in Markneukirchen , which made recorders cheap and widely available. After the Second World War , the recorder became widely used as an entry-level instrument for teaching purposes, both in general schools and in the growing (communal) music schools.

Plastic recorder

The basic terms of playing the recorder - especially the soprano recorder - can easily be learned by children at pre-school age. The first successes can be achieved very quickly, as neither a complicated approach nor an overly virtuoso fingering technique is required. On the other hand, it is difficult, especially for very young beginners, to coordinate fingers, tongue and breath and to develop a beautiful and consistent sound. Even at the slightly advanced level, the grip and blow technique becomes quite complex. For small children, playing on the flute head can therefore only be an alternative, as no fingering technique has to be learned and the sound is basically not really "beautiful", so that there is no need to pay attention to a beautiful sound.

Recorders in German fingering can be converted into pentatonic flutes in a few simple steps . For this purpose, the second hole from above, the third from below and the thumb hole on the back are masked with adhesive tape. On a soprano flute (in C), f and b are then no longer playable. With sopranino and alto flutes (in F), b and e are no longer playable. Plastic recorders “converted” in this way are suitable for playful improvisation with children, but also for adults who want to “get a taste” of the recorder without having to deal with it in depth.

See also


Trade journals

Historical textbooks

Reference books

  • Karl Geiringer : Instruments in the Music of the Occident. CH Beck, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-406-09095-8 .
  • Manfred H. Harras: recorder. In: Music in the past and present. Sachteil, Vol. 1: 1576–1600. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1994, ISBN 3-7618-1100-4 and Metzler, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-476-41022-6 .
  • Herbert Heyde: Flutes. Catalog of the Musikinstrumenten-Museum Leipzig Volume 1, ISBN 3-370-00084-9 .
  • Hermann Alexander Moeck : Origin and tradition of the core-gap flutes in European folklore and the origin of the music-historical core-gap flute types. Edition Moeck No. 4063, ISBN 3-87549-062-2 .
  • Hermann Alexander Moeck: On the "post-history" and renaissance of the recorder . In: Tibia. Magazine for woodwinds , Vol. 3 (1978), pp. 13-20 ( online ; PDF; 12 MB) and Pp. 79-88 ( online ; PDF; 13 MB). Also special print: Edition Moeck No. 4021, Celle 1980.
  • Hans-Martin Linde : Handbook of the recorder game. 8th ed. 2nd ext. Edition Schott, Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-7957-2531-3 .
  • Christoph Mühle: Investigations into the resonance properties of the recorder. (Series of publications Das Musikinstrument. Vol. 16). The musical instrument, Frankfurt am Main 1979, ISBN 3-920112-73-3 .
  • Eve O'Kelly: The Recorder Today. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 1990, ISBN 0-521-36660-7 .
  • Reclam's musical instrument guide. Reclam, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-15-010349-5 .
  • Ursula Schmidt: Notation of the new recorder music. Moeck, Celle 1981, ISBN 3-87549-013-4 .
  • Erich Valentin : Handbook of musical instrument science. Gustav Bosse, Regensburg 1980, ISBN 3-7649-2003-3 .
  • Peter Thalheimer: The recorder in Germany 1920–1945. Tutzing 2010, ISBN 978-3-86296-002-6 .

Web links

Commons : Recorders  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Recorder  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Paetzold by Kunath ( Memento from February 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Company Dolmetsch Recorders
  3. This is how Michael Praetorius argues : Syntagma musicum . Volume 2.2: Theatrum Instrumentorum. Elias Holwein, Wolfenbüttel 1620, p. 21 ( online ). See also: Hildemarie Peter: The recorder and how it is played in the past and present. Robert Lienau, Berlin 1953 (also dissertation, Free University Berlin 1952), p. 50.
  4. Michael Praetorius: Syntagma Musicum II , p. 21.
  5. In his textbook La Fontagara, Silvestro Ganassi lists fingerings up to two octaves plus sixth above the root note
  6. Lorenzo Alpert: The echo flute . Weigel's engraving “Der Pfeiffenmacher” with the echo flute is also shown there.
  7. echo flute on , accessed on 10 December 2013
  8. ^ Josef Wagner: The "Fiauti d'Echo" in Johann Sebastian Bach's fourth Brandenburg Concerto (BWV 1049) . In: TIBIA , magazine for woodwinds, Celle, 34th year, issue 4/2009
  9. Sjur Haga Bringeland: Bach's enigmatic "echo flutes". In: Bach magazine issue 32, 2018/2019, pages 26-27, ISSN 1611-5724
  10. Concerto Köln with echo flutes
  11. Martin Agricola : Musica instrumentalis deudsch (1529) The first chapter
  12. Peter Harlan - instrument maker of the youth music movement
  13. Hans-Martin Linde : Handbook of the recorder game. Schott , 2003, p. 36.
  14. David Munrow : Musical instruments of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Moeck Verlag, Celle 1980, p. 22.
  15. Curt Sachs : Real Lexicon of Musical Instruments at the same time a polyglossary for the entire field of instruments . 1913 (reprint: Olms, Hildesheim 1979), p. 318
  16. Brockhaus Riemann, Musiklexikon: Einhandflöte (Flabiol). Digital Library, Volume 38, Directmedia, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89853-438-3 .
  17. ; accessed on June 22, 2020
  18. ↑ The oldest recorder in Europe is in Göttingen. Göttinger Tageblatt of December 22, 2010, accessed on June 22, 2016.
  19. Shown in: Jacob van Eyck : Der Fluyten Lusthof: first complete edition with complete comments. Volume I. Ed. By Winfried Michel, Amadeus Verlag, Winterthur 1984.
  20. Nik Tarasov: What is a Csakan? , Windkanal issue 2009-1 article as PDF
  21. Example: Composition "Tongue Twisters" by Agnes Dorwarth [1]
  22. Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne: Teaching material for the ears up school concert 02 for primary school classes, 2016, p. 21
  23. International Recorder Day always on January 10th ( Memento from October 11th, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  25. Verena Fischer-Zernin: Day of the recorder: The recorder - torture tool or magic wand? In: . January 10, 2014, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  26. ^ The music in past and present , Volume IV, p. 319, article: Flute instruments
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on November 18, 2004 in this version .