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Recorder          Return to list of instruments

The recorder was popular in the renaissance and baroque periods, when it was known in England as "the common flute". In Germany it is a "BlockFlotte", in France "Flute a bec' and in Italy "Flauto dolce".

The descant recorder has two parts, the mouthpiece or "beak' (as in French "bec"), and the body or "Block".  There are seven finger-holes and a thumb hole.

It has a low volume and is not capable of a great range of expression, so in the classical period it went out of favour, to be replace by the transverse flute, used in orchestras up to the present time.

In recent times there has been a resurgence of interest in the recorder, which has a very soft, pure and sweet tone. There is a family of  four sizes of recorder now in use. The descant is the highest pitched recorder, pictured above beside a tenor recorder. Its lowest note is the C above middle C, and it has a range of 2 octaves. Then there are treble, tenor and bass recorders. The treble is a fifth lower than the descant, so its lowest note is the F above middle C. The tenor recorder is pitched exactly one octave below the decant, so its lowest note is middle C. The bass recorder is featured in the video clip on the left. Its lowest note is the F below middle C.


Music featuring the Recorder. Audio is available for 1 tunes for this instrument.
No.Name of WorkCategoryComposer
1 This Old ManFolk SongVarious
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