The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument in the family of duct flutes. It is end blown and the mouth of the instrument consists of a wooden plug. The main difference from the other members of the family is the fact that it has holes for seven fingers: three for the upper hand and four for the lower. Recorders are usually constructed from wood, ivory or plastic. The recorder has a clear and sweet sound. The instrument is notable for its quick response and its ability to produce a wide variety of tone colours and special effects.

The shape and size of the player’s mouth cavity has an important effect on the tone, timbre and response of the recorder. The skill of recorder playing is concerned with using the parts of the mouth and the diaphragm in order to control and shape the stream of air entering the recorder.

The name ‘recorder’ derives from the Latin word ‘recordārī’, which means to call, to mind, to remember.

One of the earliest surviving instruments was discovered in 1940, in a castle moat in Dordrecht, Netherland. It has been dated to the 14th century. The earliest recorders were designed to be played either with the right hand or with the left hand. Except for the lowest hole, that was used for the lower hand’s little finger, the others were all in a line. Recorders were very popular during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The success of the recorder in the modern era is attributed to Arnold Dolmetsch in the UK. His efforts were preceded by those of musicians at the Brussels Conservatoire, and also the work of other musicians in Germany, such as Willibald Gurlitt, Gustav Scheck and Werner Danckerts.

At Varsity music we provide a great range of new and used recorders available to buy online. They are the best on the market and serviced by our trained musicians.

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