The recorder is a woodwind instrument from the group known as internal duct flutes—flutes with a whistle mouthpiece (the fipple). A recorder can be distinguished from other duct flutes like pennywhistles by the presence of thumb-hole for the upper hand and seven finger-holes: three for the upper hand and four for the lower. It is the most prominent duct flute in the western classical tradition.
Recorders are made in different sizes with names and compasses roughly similar to different vocal ranges. The sizes most commonly in use today are
- Sopranino (lowest note F5)
- Soprano (aka "descant", lowest note C5)
- Alto (aka "treble", lowest note F4)
- Tenor (lowest note C4)
- Bass (lowest note F3).
- Contrabass (lowest note C3).
Recorders are traditionally made from wood and ivory, although recently some are made from plastic. The bore is generally reverse conical (i.e. tapering towards the foot).
The recorder was used in Europe in the Middle Ages and was popular into the Renaissance and Baroque periods, but little used in classic music.
It was revived in the 20th century due to renewed interest in historical music and became a popular amateur and educational instrument. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recorder_(musical_instrument)
Composers who have written for the recorder include Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach and Leonard Bernstein. Today, there are many professional recorder players who demonstrate the instrument's full solo range and a large community of amateurs.
The sound of the recorder is often described as clear and sweet, and has been associated with birds and shepherds. It is notable for its quick response and its corresponding ability to produce a wide variety of articulations. This ability, coupled with its open finger holes, allow it to produce a wide variety of tone colors and special effects. Acoustically, its tone is relatively pure.
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