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Recorders revisited; Another thread continued
Topic Started: 27 Dec 2009, 08:29 PM (31,257 Views)
ubizmo


I figured the thread about recorders vs ocarinas was morphing into a thread just about recorders, which would probably belong here. So.... check out this recorder ensemble, QNG. Check out the wide-bore recorders they're playing in the very first piece. They have a very distinctive sound.

I'm not sure whether anybody is interested, but I just bought this album by Pamela Thorby, which provides yet more proof that the recorder is a living, growing instrument. Her ability to bend notes is amazing, giving her playing an ocarina-like sound at times, and a tin whistle sound at other times. Note bending is difficult on the recorder, since the instrument is designed to prevent note bending, to a great extent. Listening to her music makes me realize that the future of the ocarina is still wide open.

Ubizmo
Edited by ubizmo, 28 Dec 2009, 01:20 AM.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Wow, I really dig their style - I would definitely see them live if I ever had the opportunity. I especially enjoyed the sound of the wooden bass recorders near the end of the video. Those are some amazing ladies!
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IceWind91
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Ocarinist - Clarinetist - Composer

I have a CD from the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet of Bach's Art of Fugue. It's really impressive to hear it played on recorders.

I'm considering getting an alto, as it seems that's what most of the Baroque repertoire is written for. This is the one I'm looking at;
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Simulated-Rosewood-3-Piece-Recorder/dp/B0002E1GYI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1261896105&sr=1-5

Does anyone have any experience with this model? I think this is the one Ubizmo recommended in the other topic. I'm sort of curious if it's tuned to A=415 or A=440. I assume it'd be A=440, but you never know...
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ubizmo


IceWind91
28 Dec 2009, 03:47 AM
I'm considering getting an alto, as it seems that's what most of the Baroque repertoire is written for. This is the one I'm looking at;
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Simulated-Rosewood-3-Piece-Recorder/dp/B0002E1GYI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1261896105&sr=1-5

Does anyone have any experience with this model? I think this is the one Ubizmo recommended in the other topic. I'm sort of curious if it's tuned to A=415 or A=440. I assume it'd be A=440, but you never know...
I have a soprano in that model, and an alto in the plain finish 300 series. The first (long) reviewer on that Amazon page has some perceptive comments. I share the suspicion that the rosewood/ebony finish model has a better tone, but if so it's very subtle and may be a placebo effect. And yes, the alto is the usual solo/lead voice in Baroque and other recorder music. It has a more interesting and pleasing tone than the soprano or tenor, usually. It's tuned to A=440.

Ubizmo
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IceWind91
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Ocarinist - Clarinetist - Composer

Thanks, Ubizmo! I've ordered the recorder, and I'll hopefully get it sometime next week.
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DracoNyon
Beginner
Nice, I just got a recorder yesterday. Yamaha plastic. I think they are some good instruments. I have a descant.
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ubizmo


Have fun with those Yamahas! For your enjoyment, here's a video of Carlos Nu˝ez playing a Mollenhauer Modern Recorder. The Mollenhauer Modern has a few keys, unlike a traditional recorder. These keys allow it to play down to low E, and to play F/F# combinations more fluidly. If I had a lot of money to spend on a recorder, this is the one I'd want.

More about the Mollenhauer Modern

As you can see, they cost a few bucks.

Ubizmo
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IceWind91
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Ocarinist - Clarinetist - Composer

I just got my recorder! It's pretty awesome! Reading sheet music for it is a bit awkward so far (probably because my natural impulse is to read the music like the other woodwinds I play), but I'll start doing some scales to overcome that.

Also, even though I have pretty big hands, the fingerholes seem to be quite an awkward stretch for me, and my wrists get sore quickly. Anyone got any advice for that?
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Awesome! I hope you'll record something on it at some point, because I'm thinking about getting one too!
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ubizmo


IceWind91
7 Jan 2010, 12:16 AM
I just got my recorder! It's pretty awesome! Reading sheet music for it is a bit awkward so far (probably because my natural impulse is to read the music like the other woodwinds I play), but I'll start doing some scales to overcome that.

Also, even though I have pretty big hands, the fingerholes seem to be quite an awkward stretch for me, and my wrists get sore quickly. Anyone got any advice for that?
The fingering is comparable to the low register on a clarinet, more or less. As for the finger stretch, I don't find it to be too bad--again, comparable to clarinet. Of course, coming from the relatively cramped fingering of the ocarina, the alto recorder feels very different. But I doubt you'll find it to be a long-term problem. The tenor recorder, on the other hand, really is a stretch for most hands, like the low D tin whistle.

Ubizmo
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FrozenNorth
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Inline Ocarinist x 5
The most amazing recorder I ever saw was a contra bass recorder played by the Finnish band Gjallerhorn. The instrument was amplified, and shook the room like no bass guitar ever could. Here is a video of the group, the recorder is the big boxy thing, taller than the man playing it ( http://www.gjallarhorn.com/video/gjallarhorn-rimfaxe.mov ). And, here is a picture of the instrument, on the right ( http://www.contrabass.com/pages/big-recorders.html ).
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

This seemed the most appropriate recorder thread to revive, let's hope I'm right.

I just ordered a Yamaha YRA-312b Alto Barowue Recorder from Amazon. I look forward to getting it and learning it. It's strange but my perspective is actually that of "ocarina is for serious play, and recorders are for fun messing around on". By no means is this backed up by anything factual, in fact it's purely based on my fondness for ocarinas.

I'm more intrigued by recorder's method of sound production than anything. It has a fipple yet is open ended and works like an aerophone and not a helmholtz resonator. I'm curious what would happen if you sealed the end. How does one small thumb hole cause a two octave jump? You don't break the airstream like in a flute so there's something "unseen" going on. Basically what makes a recorder not an ocarina and not a flute?!

I look forward greatly to experimenting (nondestructively) with my recorder.
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
18 Jun 2010, 02:04 PM
I'm more intrigued by recorder's method of sound production than anything. It has a fipple yet is open ended and works like an aerophone and not a helmholtz resonator. I'm curious what would happen if you sealed the end. How does one small thumb hole cause a two octave jump? You don't break the airstream like in a flute so there's something "unseen" going on. Basically what makes a recorder not an ocarina and not a flute?!
A recorder is, essentially, a kind of tubular flute. Moreover, helmholtz resonators are aerophones. All fipple instruments break the airstream, just as a transverse flute and a quena do. The only difference is that in recorders and ocarinas and whistles, there's a flue that directs the air stream, instead of this being done entirely with the lips. But when you blow across the sound hole of a transverse flute, or over the notch of a quena or shakuhachi, the far edge splits the air stream, just as the labium of a fipple instrument does. And that's what initiates the vibration of the air. The main difference between a tubular flute and a vessel flute is that the fingering of a tubular flute effectively changes the length of the tube, and thus the pitch. On a vessel flute, the fingering basically changes the volume of the chamber. That's why the fingering of a tubular flute has to be more or less linear. The fingering of an ocarina can be whatever the maker wants it to be; it's only the size of the holes that matters.

If you plug the end of your recorder, and cover all the holes, you'll get a note that's lower than what you can ordinarily play--very faint, if you can get it at all. You'll, in effect, have a one-note ocarina.

The thumb hole on a recorder is only uncovered for middle D and D#, and for an alternate fingering for middle C#. For other notes in the second octave, it is only partially opened--just cracked open a bit. For reasons I don't understand very well, this causes the wave to "break" from the fundamental to the first harmonic, an octave higher. The effective range of a Baroque recorder (soprano) is C5 to D7. There are some higher altissimo notes possible, using special fingerings and overblowing into the next harmonic, but they sound pretty rough, except perhaps when played by a master on an exquisitely well-constructed recorder. Good recorders are extremely delicate instruments, requiring very subtle adjustments to the bore shape, tone holes, and so on. It's easy to spend more than $1,000 on a soprano recorder. Well, it's easy if you have the money, I guess. In general, the bore is conical, but master makers will create tiny "chokes" at key points in the bore, to facilitate certain notes, or flatten the bore slightly at certain points.

In short, the recorder is a very sophisticated instrument. It attempts to combine a number of design goals into a single keyless instrument: precise tuning with equal temperament; fully chromatic play; two-octave range. It satisfies these goals about as well as can be done. The ocarina, in comparison, has much less stable pitch, and less range. The use of two (ore more) chambers solves the range problem, but the trade-off is the inescapably clumsier handling involved in chamber switching. Yes, practice can minimize this, but I don't think it's humanly possible to play a double ocarina with the same virtuosity that's possible on a recorder. For that matter, I don't think it's possible to play a recorder with the same fluidity that you can get on a tin whistle, due to the fact that the whistle's fingering is even more efficient. The trade-off there, of course, is that the whistle isn't fully chromatic, unless you do half-holing, which introduces another bit of clumsiness. But for the kind of diatonic music that the whistle is most at home with, it is unmatched.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

So in a recorder if the fingering determines tube length like on a flute, are all recorders about the same diameter and their length determines their voice range? I guess diameter would determine volume then?
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Ocarinadiva
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ubizmo
18 Jun 2010, 04:44 PM
The use of two (ore more) chambers solves the range problem, but the trade-off is the inescapably clumsier handling involved in chamber switching.
Switching chambers was a real challenge for me at first, but now it's become much easier for me. There are still a few transitions that don't really quite work, such as trilling between Eb and E between the first and second chambers. I think that Noble and Pachioni's solution to overlap some of the notes may be the answer for that problem, since it gives you a little more flexibility to decide when you want to switch chambers.

Quote:
 
but I don't think it's humanly possible to play a double ocarina with the same virtuosity that's possible on a recorder.


You know, I was thinking exactly the same thing last night as I was searching for some new recorder music to learn on the ocarina. Some of the recorder sonatas written by Handel sound like they would be very difficult to learn for the ocarina. I hope that more composers will write music for the ocarina, taking into account both its strengths and weaknesses.
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
18 Jun 2010, 05:20 PM
So in a recorder if the fingering determines tube length like on a flute, are all recorders about the same diameter and their length determines their voice range? I guess diameter would determine volume then?
I think it's a bit more complicated than that, but I believe that's approximately correct. There is some increase in diameter as you go from sopranino to soprano to alto to tenor, etc. This, I believe, has something to do with the ease of doubling the frequency to break to the 2nd octave, so it's not just about volume.

If you go to The Recorder Home Page and follow the "Construction" link, you'll find some fairly technical material there about how the recorder works.

It's interesting to study and compare these instruments. As you do, it becomes clear why keyed instruments quickly supplanted keyless ones. With keys and pads, you can get precise tuning, maximally efficient fingering, and extended range, without the need for trade-offs. There are no recorders in symphony orchestras because keyed flutes can play rings around them, especially when you get away from the "easy" keys. The Baroque recorder takes the keyless flute concept about as far as it can go (and of course the lower pitched recorders have to have some keys anyway), which is impressive, but still limited in comparison to a Boehm flute. And the ocarina, for all its charm, is limited compared to a recorder. But the great players make you forget about those limitations.

One of my favorite CDs that I've bought in recent years is Pamela Thorby's "Ammonite." It's contemporary music, written by her, and what she is able to do with that recorder is simply mind-boggling. I find a lot of the standard recorder repertoire--Telemann, etc.--pretty tedious, personally. I love seeing new music being invented for the instrument. And now, the instrument itself is being reinvented by imaginative makers. It's every bit as exciting and interesting as what's going on with the ocarina.

Ubizmo
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Poltergeist
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Pink Elephant on Parade

Sigurthr
18 Jun 2010, 05:20 PM
So in a recorder if the fingering determines tube length like on a flute, are all recorders about the same diameter and their length determines their voice range? I guess diameter would determine volume then?
The air column can be compared with strings. The longer and thicker a string or air column, the lower the note. A double bass string is necessarily ticker than a violin string, and a bass recorder's tube has a larger diameter than that of a soprano. And just like with strings, the relation between length and diameter have an influence on the sound colour, because the strength of the overtones is different.
Also it is important if the bore is conical, cylindrical or anti-conical. This not only changes the sound colour. A bore that is wide enough or anti-conical enough (narrowing towards the lower end) can make the whole instrument behave like a vessel flute.
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ubizmo


Coincidentally, I ordered a Susato wide-bore plastic recorder at the beginning of the week: One of these

It arrived today. It's pretty interesting, and unlike any other recorder I've played. In addition to several standard Baroque recorders, I also own a Mollenhauer "Adri's Dream" recorder that has a wider bore and a "Renaissance Style."

To repeat what was said above, Baroque recorders have a conical bore, which makes them work well in the high register, but they tend to be weak-sounding in the low register. Renaissance recorders, with roughly cylindrical bore, are the opposite, and indeed actual Renaissance recorders had a range of an octave and a sixth. My "Adri's Dream" soprano can theoretically go the full 2 octaves + 1 tone of a Baroque, but in practice, it's very difficult to get the notes above high G.

Now, the Susato... In the lower register the sound is gorgeous! It has a lovely flutey sound, a bit like a whistle, which is no surprise since with the nearly cylindrical bore it almost is a whistle. In the second octave, the notes up to A are a bit harsher, but not bad--again not unlike a whistle. The second octave of any whistle or recorder is always edgier than the first. The highest notes, from high A up to D, are just as tricky on the Susato as they are on the Adri's Dream, although at least the A is clear.

I note that on the alto model of the Susato wide-bore, they don't even claim that you can play above the traditional octave and a sixth.

So, the way I see it, this is basically an octave + sixth instrument, but on the soprano and sopranino, if you like to live dangerously, you can maybe get up to C or D. I'm not sure that those high notes pass Yo-Yo Ma's rule: "Never play a note that you wouldn't actually want to listen to." But, apart from those highest notes, beyond the traditional Renaissance range, this recorder has a very sweet sound. It does not have double holes for C# and D# (Renaissance recorders didn't have them), so you have to half-hole. Of course, the double holes are just a way of half-holing anyway. Since those holes are quite large on this model, half-holing isn't very difficult.

It comes with a removable sliding thumb rest for the right hand. I've never needed a thumb rest on a soprano recorder before. On a tenor, it would be handy.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

So in preparation for receiving my recorders and tin whistle later this week I went ahead and did some searching for available information and resources.

I registered on chiff & fipple since I'd been lurking there now and again since I picked up ocarina. But upon reading closer I see it is mostly geared for pennywhistly and Irish flute, with very little recorder information (even less than ocarina info!).

Does anyone know a recorder forum or resource page? Any and all applicabale links are welcomed!
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RicTheGrt
Transverse Ocarinist x 2
Quote:
 
Does anyone know a recorder forum or resource page? Any and all applicabale links are welcomed!


Try Hampshire Recorder Simphonia
Quote:
 
Does anyone know a recorder forum or resource page? Any and all applicabale links are welcomed!


Try Hampshire Recorder Simphonia
Also More Hampshire RecorderSimphonia
Edited by RicTheGrt, 23 Jun 2010, 02:49 AM.
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ubizmo


The "Recorder Home Page", which I linked to above, has lots of information. There's also a web forum that tends to be quiet, but can be helpful: The Recorder Haven.

And even though Chiff & Fipple is mostly oriented to whistle and ITM, there are some knowledgeable recorder players there, and posting in the "World/Folk Winds" section may get you good info.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

Thanks for al the info!

I got my two recorders today and I love them! I'm focusing on the soprano now because the finger spread is so comfortable and it being in C makes things easier.

After a out an hour I can already play most single AC songs and have all chromatic fingerings from C to 2nd octave E memorized. I'm still getting squeaking on low C and sometimes D, and C# is damn near impossible most of the time.

The only issue iv had so far is accidentally using ocarina fingering for F (xooo) instead of recorder fingering (xoxx).

This cheap Pearwood Soprano sounds great, I guess I lucked out on it.
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Poltergeist
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Pink Elephant on Parade

Sigurthr
24 Jun 2010, 05:41 AM
The only issue iv had so far is accidentally using ocarina fingering for F (xooo) instead of recorder fingering (xoxx).
A good reason to rather start with the alto and learn the F fingering first. It's less confusing because it's less similar.

Also, there's plenty of classical music for alto recorder (or sopranino recorder, which has F fingering, too), but literature for soprano recorder is fairly sparse.
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ubizmo


On most Baroque recorders, the maximum breath pressure you can use for the bottom notes is very, very gentle, and it gets worse as you go to lower pitched recorders. I have a pear wood tenor and anything over a whisper of breath will break the bottom C. This is one of the things that makers try to correct in more expensive recorders.

For what it's worth, I never use the xoxx fingering for F. I just use xoxo. The difference is very very subtle, and I just don't consider it worth the trouble. The ocarina fingering, however, really is too sharp. Recorders with German fingering use xooo and it works fine, but it creates problems for F# and G#, which is why it never really caught on.

You should be able to play anything that you can play on your double AC ocarina on that recorder, as long as it doesn't go below the tonic.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

Quote:
 
For what it's worth, I never use the xoxx fingering for F. I just use xoxo. The difference is very very subtle, and I just don't consider it worth the trouble. The ocarina fingering, however, really is too sharp. Recorders with German fingering use xooo and it works fine, but it creates problems for F# and G#, which is why it never really caught on.


Ah yes, I noticed German fingering used xooo but it made the rest of the scale look funky lol. I had noticed xoxo worked but didn't know if I should be taking short cuts yet or not.

Quote:
 
On most Baroque recorders, the maximum breath pressure you can use for the bottom notes is very, very gentle, and it gets worse as you go to lower pitched recorders. I have a pear wood tenor and anything over a whisper of breath will break the bottom C.

I'll have to be more carefull with breath on low notes I guess, I thought I wasn't covering something properly but a huge breath drop seems to remedy it.

Are you supposed to use fingertips or flat fingers? I can play much more comfortably and accurately with flat fingers for all but the two lowest (double) holes.

I'm on the soprano now mostly because my fingers can't quite reach well on the alto and I miss the holes a lot on my right hand, but after playing the soprano a while I can tell it's getting easier to finger the alto.
By the way, why can't I play tenor sheets on the soprano? We do it all the time on ocarina =P.

I noticed it has a DACs range, I just need to memorize everything above E now hehe.
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
24 Jun 2010, 01:57 PM
Are you supposed to use fingertips or flat fingers? I can play much more comfortably and accurately with flat fingers for all but the two lowest (double) holes.

Flat fingers will do the trick. Watch the incomparable Michala Petri's fingers on the sopranino: click

Quote:
 
By the way, why can't I play tenor sheets on the soprano? We do it all the time on ocarina =P.

I noticed it has a DACs range, I just need to memorize everything above E now hehe.


You can play tenor sheets. There's no problem there.

The fingerings above E are similar to those of the first octave, until you get past high A. Then they're pretty different, and tone control gets more difficult. But you should realistically be able to get up to D above middle D.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

@Ubizmo; I think I saw somewhere on one of the other now dead forums you said you had a Hohner recorder.

What one is it and what is your opinion on it?

I have a Hohner Musica Pearwood Soprano-C http://www.hohnerusa.com/index.php?262 . I like it a lot but mostly because it is wood and I love wood instruments. Plus it has a nice taste of pear skins. It sound great from low E through high A. Low C and D are finicky, and above high A is incredibly hard to achieve. I think it may be similar to the older renaissance recorders that only achieved a range of an octave and a sixth.

I also have a Yamaha YRA-312B Alto F, and it doesn't seem to suffer the same range issues. It has a better tone but it's not a wood tone, you can tell. It is definitely a higher quality recorder but it's tone color is very different. I can't say which I like better, but I can say I like soprano size better than alto size.




Also:
I recently wrote Charlie Hind about recorders because I know he used to make and play them. To my delight he also played and made the Rottenburgh style. He said that he used a cylindrical bore similar to renaissance recorders though. What characteristics did a cylindrical bore impart?
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
27 Jun 2010, 03:46 AM
@Ubizmo; I think I saw somewhere on one of the other now dead forums you said you had a Hohner recorder.

What one is it and what is your opinion on it?

I have a Hohner Musica Pearwood Soprano-C http://www.hohnerusa.com/index.php?262 . I like it a lot but mostly because it is wood and I love wood instruments. Plus it has a nice taste of pear skins. It sound great from low E through high A. Low C and D are finicky, and above high A is incredibly hard to achieve. I think it may be similar to the older renaissance recorders that only achieved a range of an octave and a sixth.

I also have a Yamaha YRA-312B Alto F, and it doesn't seem to suffer the same range issues. It has a better tone but it's not a wood tone, you can tell. It is definitely a higher quality recorder but it's tone color is very different. I can't say which I like better, but I can say I like soprano size better than alto size.




Also:
I recently wrote Charlie Hind about recorders because I know he used to make and play them. To my delight he also played and made the Rottenburgh style. He said that he used a cylindrical bore similar to renaissance recorders though. What characteristics did a cylindrical bore impart?
Yes, I do. I'm playing it here and here. Those are some old videos, and the audio is pretty bad. It's the cheapest Hohner maple student model. I think it cost me $27 or so in a music shop.

Considering the cost, it's not bad at all. I can play all the way up to high C without much trouble, although the last few notes don't have the best timbre. Compared to my Yamaha "simulated rosewood", the difference is night and day. The Hohner has a much softer, huskier sound. From the standpoint of the classical recorder repertoire, this is not desirable. For that purpose, the Yamaha is by far the better instrument. On the Yamaha, every note is clear as crystal. But I'm not much interested in the classical recorder repertoire, so for me, that little bit of chiff adds a nice character to the sound. A good classical recorder player would toss it in the fire.

The key difference is the hardness of the material, and the effect that has on the inner surface of the bore. The ABS plastic is, of course, just about glassy. As the price of wooden recorders goes up, they are made from harder and harder woods, and so the inner surfaced approaches the hardness of plastic. Of course, there are other differences too. The makers of expensive recorders spend a lot of time constructing the bore, with small "choke" points in the cone, to achieve better high notes, etc. Although the Yamaha is a very well designed recorder, it's not at that level. That said, professionals do use them--especially the Yamaha bass recorders. The Yamaha tone is indeed more like a hardwood tone.

I have a pearwood Pruefer tenor recorder (Pruefer is a long-defunct company), and I used to have their pearwood alto. It must still be around somewhere, but I can't find it. I find the tone to be very soft, almost fuzzy. I can't play them for long, either, because the wood absorbs enough moisture to cause some swelling, which affects the sound. Pear is the softest, and cheapest, wood used in recorder making. Even so, there are some costly recorders made of pearwood, but as the price goes up, typically harder woods are used. Maple is a bit harder, but not much.

The cylindrical bore gives you a much bigger sound on those low notes, and in fact a bigger sound throughout the range. But the trade-off is greater difficult on notes above high A, if they're attainable at all. I only have first-hand experience on low-end wide-bore recorders: the plastic "Adri's Dream", which isn't completely cylindrical, but is wider than the usual Baroque; and the Susato wide-bore. I've only heard recordings of more expensive wooden wide-bore recorders, but what I've heard is just amazing.

If you really want to get a decent wooden recorder, and you like the soprano voice, you should be able to find something for $100 or so, but I'd try to get some advice from an actual player who knows the instruments first-hand.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

Can anyone recommend a good method book for intermediates not aimed at children?

I was looking into these: (but iv never bought a method before so I'm unsure about what to look for, though these I selected were highly praised online by thorough reviewers)


Mario Duschenes' Method for Recorder - Vol 2 (Soprano/Tenor)



The Recorder Guide by Johanna E. Kuhlbach and Arthur Nitka
Edited by Sigurthr, 28 Jun 2010, 04:50 PM.
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ubizmo


I can't recommend anything, because it's been way too long since I looked at a method book. This one looks interesting, but of course I haven't seen it, so I don't really know. It doesn't look like it's intended for kids, though.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

I got two method books and put up a review of them in the review section!

Also, I found a great deal for a Moeck Flauto Rondo (baroque fingered blend of baroque style and modern style recorder) on eBay. I can't wait till it arrives!
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
5 Jul 2010, 04:53 AM
I got two method books and put up a review of them in the review section!

Also, I found a great deal for a Moeck Flauto Rondo (baroque fingered blend of baroque style and modern style recorder) on eBay. I can't wait till it arrives!
This looks like a very fine recorder. I can't wait to hear what it sounds like! Be sure to give us some samples!

Ubizmo
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ironwallaby
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Pendant Ocarinist x 5
Please excuse my n00bery, but would you mind describing what the difference between a Baroque and a Modern recorder are? Wikipedia seemed to indicate that the two were the same or similar and were primarily distinct from the Renaissance style of recorder...
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

It seems to be mostly in the bore and the range and tonality achieved from it.

Renaissance Recorders had a range of an octave and a sixth and had very strong response to the low notes but struggled in the upper register. These had a cylindrical bore.

Baroque Recorders have a very strong upper register but are very weak on the lowest four semitones and have a particular tone color to their sound. They have a range of two octaves and two to four semitones. They have a conical bore.

Modern Recorders seem to have a very extended range of at least two octaves and a fifth, with very different tonal color from either of the two types. I don't know much about their bore shape or response.
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Poltergeist
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Pink Elephant on Parade

During the Renaissance the recorder was mainly used as an ensemble instrument, much as the Italian ocarina, which Donati designed as an ensemble of seven instruments with different size and pitch. This kind of music doesn't require a great range for the single instrument. Because the ensemble as a whole already has a very large range, but also because a large range of the single voice (reaching wide into the range of the other voices) would make it harder for the listener to distinguish the voices. And unlike the music for Italian ocarina ensemble, Renaissance polyphonic music expected the listener to follow the single voices.

In the Baroque this kind of music had become unfashionable, and music was composed mainly for solo vices or instruments, plus bass, plus accompaniment. As a solo instrument the recorder needed more range, and it also needed more volume. The tendency of the Baroque towards a greater expressiveness in music even enlarged this need.

"Modern" recorder usually use the baroque bore. But there are some extremely expensive instruments, mostly of the tenor variety, that are specially designed to play more than the usual two octaves and a second. But these cost several thousand Dollars or Euros.
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ironwallaby
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Pendant Ocarinist x 5
Intense! Thanks for the comprehensive descriptions. :3
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ubizmo


If you haven't subscribed to David Bellugi's channel, you may want to do so. Check out this Klezmer on Recorder. That's one of the new "Eagle" wide-bore alto recorders from Adriana "Adri" Breukink. Amazing stuff!

Ubizmo
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Jannis
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
I just "reactivated" my recorders. They are all from old eastern Germany times:

- a soprano Adler, Baroque, A= 440; there is still a price tag at the box that says: 8,70 Marks

- a soprano from Meister (master) Werner Schneider, baroque fingering sytem and also the old baroque shape

- an alto recorder

- a tenor recorder

I cleaned and oiled them. Although I didn't take care of them for many years, and despite the very moderate prices back in those times I think they don't sound bad. The one with the nicest outward appearance (the baroque shaped Schneider) reaches unfortunately only the last place.

Does someone of you know (or have experience with) these East German recorders?

Jannis
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Poltergeist
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Pink Elephant on Parade

I've heard the name Adler before, but don't know much about it. But have a look at this website for lots of infos and lots of pictures:
http://www.blockfloeten-museum.de/
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

I decided to write up a small review with lots of pics explaining and detailing my findings and journey with these recorders off eBay.

Enjoy:


1) Moeck Flauto Rondo Sycamore Soprano, first generation.
This one is the best of all I have found on eBay so far: a 10year old "used but in brand new condition" Flauto Dolce Rondo Chorus model recorder. It is definitely best suited for ensemble play as it has a very full reedy tone all the way throughout the range. It's second octave has a more coarse chiffy tone than the first but it still sounds great. Easily hits the high A, which seems to be the hardest note to hit on all of my collection. High C is a struggle but I think this is more a reflection of my lack of skill than of the recorder itself. I have been told the new Flauto Rondos are FAR superior to these old ones, which bodes well! Intonation and response are excellent despite the age, and there are absolutely NO physical flaws or damage present. This is my go-to wooden recorder and I will definitely be keeping it.

Pictures:

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2) Moeck Rottenburgh 3 piece Soprano - model 229 Maple
This one is in the worst condition but has the absolute best tone, despite a tremendous amount of damage to it. It is playable but not full range. It plays perfectly up until high A, which is barely reachable. Bb and B sound perfectly, but high C is unplayable. This one had a fermentable oil used in it and it was not wiped out properly after use, so the internal bore rotted and blackened. There is rot damage on the top and bottom of the headjoint from having that section facing down and residue collecting on the outside. The block was not flush but I repaired it. The thumb hole is extensively damaged and weakened structurally as well as physically. The labium is perfect aside from a slight discoloration which is normal for it's age. I estimate this recorder to be about 12 years old. It really is amazing that it's tone is so good despite all the damage. Granted, I cleaned up 90% of the bore damage and was able to bring it very close to it's original shape. It was originally in A=442, due to damage it is now in A=440, quite acceptable. I had heard many times over that the 3 piece Moeck Rottenburghs were the cream of the crop, and this one certainly proves that. If any other recorder went through what this one had I doubt it would outplay a $2 plastic. I use this one as my take-around "oh well no biggie if it gets damaged" recorder, and such it is in my rucksack which I bring to work. I practice on this one at work when I can. I would like to find a home for it but I fear none would have it. I do have a plastic Yamaha 300 not being used that could easily take this one's place. Wood just has a special place in my heart for better or worse.

Pictures:


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3) Moeck Rottenburgh 2 piece Soprano model 129 Maple
This on is in far better condition than the #229 above, and although the only difference in the two is that one is two pieces and the other is three, there is a significant different in sound and feel of the instrument. Even more strangely this one doesn't sound nearly as good tone wise despite the excellent condition. I estimate this one to be about 8 years old. It has a curved windway and absolutely no physical damage or flaws except for a badly damaged thumb hole and a stained labium. Let me tell you I am REALLY starting to hate players who marr and defile beautiful instruments with their bloody thumbnails. Anyway I use this one as my alternate for the Flauto Rondo. I prefer it's tone and response to the Rondo's very much so. The second octave is sweeter and more pure and full sounding in comparison to the Rondo's which gets a bit chiffy and shrill as you go up. It has a much weaker low end than the Rondo's but that is part of it's design. The Rottenburghs are indeed "all around" recorders but they excell at soloist play or when amplified. The Rondos are after all an ensemble instrument so they need to be balanced in high and low end, neither can outshine the other. The high and middle definitely outshines the low on this recorder. Due to the damaged thumb hole it plays beautifully up through high B, but High C requires some effort to reach. One could have a thumb bushing installed for about $50 and it would play as new, at considerable discount from a new one. I am going to sell this one because I feel it is the best candidate to sell, I would sell the other Moeck but I would feel bad charging a decent price for it.


Picutres!

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4) Thomas Mollenhauer Antique Single Key Tenor circa 1940
This one was an impulse buy when I saw it pop up; because of the range and good condition I could not resist it. Once I received it I noticed it is definitely too much of a reach for me without additional keys, but aside from that it is in excellent condition. It has no major flaws or issues but it seems it was overheated and for a wax impregnated ocarina this means a big mess. The internal bore is untouched and in perfect condition though and that is rare! It plays well but could benefit from a block cleaning and definitely needs external restoration to clean up all that excess wax! This is a project I have planned for when I have time. I plan on restoring this myself and selling it for a profit. I'm sure someone would love a pre-WW2 Mollenhauer in excellent condition. I just had the key's pad changed and it works wonderfully. It definitely needs some tender care though, and I plan to provide it!

Pictures!

Hopefully this post will be merged, for some reason it didn't show it that I posted in this topic, so I'm making a bump, mods/admin: Sorry!
Edited by Sigurthr, 27 Jul 2010, 02:41 AM.
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ubizmo


How is the sound of that tenor? Some of them can be very feeble at the bell note. I'm lucky to have big hands, but I've played tenors that cause my fingers to hurt from stretching after a while.

Playing the recorder is such a different experience from playing the ocarina. For one thing, the precision tuning is almost a shock after playing ocarinas for a while.

And yes, high A is a pain, although I've generally found it (or its equivalent, high D) easier to get on the alto than on the soprano.

Ubizmo
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

The Mollenhauer tenor has a very rich tone with a lot of overtones and character. It is a bit weak though, it's not that it's thin but it is more soft and round. Low C is definitely super sensitive to breath and jumps octave very easily, I guess feeble would be the right word but there is a sweet spot with the breath pressure where it is actually very resonant and bold. This recorder plays like an ensemble instrument.

I have a Yamaha Tenor which I enjoy so much more, it almost plays like a soloist instrument. It is very vibrant and resonant, all notes are super easy to hit, I can even hit the high C! The stretch is also considerably less than on the Mollenhauer which does make my right hand hurt after a very short time.


High A seems to give me the most trouble when not going to it from G or B/Bb. I guess it is just a matter of hitting that sweet spot with the thumb and breath. I have found that the thumb position for A is very different than that of below it or above it, where as B Bb G G# F F# E can all have the same thumb position. A and C seem to be weird like like.

Do you have any tips for the high A/C on sopranos? If I had to estimate I would say that 95% of the time I cannot get the high C note to sound on my sopranos, plastic seem to be the worst. I don't just mean first hit sounding either, I mean I will try a few times to get the note but it never sounds lol. High A I can usually get 60% at best, and if I try multiple times I can always get it eventually.
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Poltergeist
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Pink Elephant on Parade

Actually it gets easier to play the high notes if you use your fingernail. This allows for a greater precision. Unfortunately this will leave the marks on the thumb hole you see on your instruments.

Another trick is to articulate very sharply. No "D" like on the low notes, but a very hard "T" that sounds as if you want to spit it out.

As for plastic recorders: I bought my first, a plastic tenor, after I saw the recorder player of our local orchestra play a plastic tenor in an opera.
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torisuke
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Chronic Lurker
Woot, got a YRA-302B on the way (and a menaglio, but that's not relevant here :P ).

Anyways, is Susato the only maker of plastic alto wide-bores? A quick google run only seemed to turn up plastic widebore sopranos (e.g. plastic Adri's Dream)
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Sigurthr
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Flutist and Ham Radio Operator. Talar­u ═slenska?

O'Poltergeist
27 Jul 2010, 05:34 AM
Actually it gets easier to play the high notes if you use your fingernail. This allows for a greater precision. Unfortunately this will leave the marks on the thumb hole you see on your instruments.

Another trick is to articulate very sharply. No "D" like on the low notes, but a very hard "T" that sounds as if you want to spit it out.
I still find it to be a defilement if playing technique destroys an aspect of an instrument.


That being said I tried what you suggested about articulation, and was still having trouble... BUT it lead me in the right direction. I found that changing embouchure and focusing the air a certain way combined with proper amount of breath worked! I am now able to play high A and C on demand every time, with no issues.

This only works for my sopranos though, if I try this on the tenors it doesn't work at all.
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