recorder was popular in the renaissance and baroque periods, when it was
known in England as "the common flute". In Germany it is a "BlockFlotte",
in France "Flute a bec' and in Italy "Flauto dolce".
has two parts, the mouthpiece or "beak' (as in French "bec"), and
the body or "Block". There are seven finger-holes and a thumb
It has a low volume and is not capable of a great range of
expression, so in the classical period it went out of favour, to be replace by
the transverse flute, used in orchestras up to the present time.
recent times there has been a resurgence of interest in the recorder, which has
a very soft, pure and sweet tone. There is a family of four sizes of
recorder now in use. The descant is the highest pitched recorder, pictured above
beside a tenor recorder. Its lowest note is the C above middle C, and it has a range of 2 octaves.
Then there are treble, tenor and bass recorders. The treble is a fifth lower
than the descant, so its lowest note is the F above middle C. The tenor recorder
is pitched exactly one octave below the decant, so its lowest note is middle C. The bass recorder is featured
in the video clip on the left. Its lowest note is the F below middle C.