The recorder, called the “block-flute”in other languages, owes its name to the wooden block found in the mouthpiece. You can see this block in every wooden recorder; it is made of a different type of wood than the rest of the instrument. The combination of the shape of the block and of the recorder itself determine the timbre of the instrument. Recorder has been played since the middle ages. The oldest recorder still in existence was found in a canal in Dordrecht and was made in the 14th century.
From the 16th to the 18th century, playing recorder was very popular and the instrument underwent further development. Recorders were made in many sizes, which could be played together. The biggest recorder is more than 2.5 metres long!
A good recorder ensemble has a beautiful, warm sound, comparable to the sound of a wooden positive organ.
Even today, the recorder family is made up of many different family members. The most common recorders are the Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass, but the Sopranino, Great-bass and Contrabass are also widely used.
A recorder-player never plays just one type of recorder, but as many as possible of the entire family.
Music for recorder is generally old music – music from the middle ages, renaissance and baroque periods. There are also many contemporary compositions for recorder.
Because of its size, the soprano recorder is well suited as a first instrument. Children who would like to play another wind instrument, such as the saxophone or clarinet, but do not yet have their adult front teeth, can begin with a year or two of recorder lessons, after which they can easily, if they wish, continue on another instrument.