bamboo chamber flute bamboo flutes bansuri basin drum bilma clapsticks bolivian wood flute
bolon border pipes bulbultarang cajon chromatic harmonica circle flute clarinet classical flute
congas curved soprano sax daf darbuka didgeridoo djembe duduk from armenia
indian double chamber flute kaen kalimba mbira kaval kora launeddas melodica mezoued
ocarina organpipes overtone flute panflute recorder santoor saw.u scottish tin whistles
straight soprano sax suling indonesian flutes talking drum tambourine tenor saxophone
udu drum zither
The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument of the family known
as fipple flutes or internlduct flutes-whistle-like instruments
which include the tin whistle and ocarina. The recorder is end-blown
and the mouth of the instrument is constricted by a wooden plug,
known as a block or fipple. It is distinguished from other members
of the family by having holes for seven fingers (the lower one or
two often doubled to facilitate the production of semitones) and
one for the thumb of the uppermost hand. The bore of the recorder
is occasionally cylindrical but is usually tapered slightly, being
widest at the mouthpiece end.
The recorder was popular from mediaeval times but declined in the eighteenth century in favour of orchestral woodwind instruments, such as the flute and possibly the clarinet, which have greater chromatic range and louder volume. During its heyday, the recorder was traditionally associated with birds, shepherds, miraculous events, funerals, marriages and amorous scenes. Images of recorders can be found in literature and artwork associated with all these. Purcell, Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi used the recorder to suggest shepherds and birds, and the pattern continued into the 20th Century.
The recorder was revived in the twentieth century, partly in the pursuit of historically informed performance of early music, but also because of its suitability as a simple instrument for teaching music and its appeal to amateur players. Today, it is often thought of as a child's instrument, but there are many excellent virtuosic players who can demonstrate the instrument's full potential as a solo instrument. The sound of the recorder is remarkably clear and sweet, partly because of the lack of upper harmonics and predominance of odd harmonics in the sound.
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