LIBRARY: INSTRUMENTS: WOODWINDS:
The recorder is a whistle flute
and was notably important to renaissance and baroque music. Bone whistle flutes
have existed since antiquity. The wooden recorder, however, can be dated back to
the 14th century.
While many other instruments were becoming increasingly complex, the recorder
remained very simple. Around 1750, the recorder was replaced in popularity by
the orchestral flute. However, in 1919, Arnold Dolmetsch revived the peoples
interest in the recorder.
The recorder is a wooden or
plastic wind instrument. It has been used in classrooms as teaching devices for
a long time, but also was once even more important. It is because the recorder
is so commonly used as a teaching aid, that people forget how many terrific
works were written for the recorder.
Recorders were very important to Baroque
music. They do best in smaller orchestras or ensembles, because their sweet,
gentle sound can be easily overwhelmed. When correctly played, the recorder can
either have a sound that is uniquely its own, or very flute-like. In fact, the
recorder is a vertical flute.What makes it a whistle is its mouthpiece.
The name, recorder, suggests it may have been used to recall tunes and repeat
them. Recorders can be found in tiny forms, like the sopranino, or large forms
like the great bass. The treble is the most common recorder and is found in
The tin whistle is another flute, being a whistle only because of itís
mouthpiece. Aside from being a popular toy, the tin whistle is a fine
instrument. It can be made of wood or metal and is often heard in folk music or
that of Ireland.
The flageolet, another whistle-flute, is a wooden instrument which can be
composed of up to 3 pipes all sharing whine mouthpiece. It is because the
instrument can require the user to manage 3 whistles at once, that the flageolet
has lost itís past popularity.
Like the flageolet, this instrument has two whistles which share a mouthpiece.
Using the wooden dvojnice, a musician can even play two tune simultaneously.