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31 NOTE MUSIC BY BILL COATES

Fingerings for alto recorder

The 'following fingerings are derived from a 31-note alto recorder chart
of fingerings compiled by Rick Lilienthal in January 1984~ Ian Shanahan
has provided some further fingerings, which in some cases are techni~ally
and musically more successful. In both cases, fingerings were obtained on
a Moeck Rottenburgh altn recorder (a popular, high quality instrument with
modern bore characteristics, the exterior of the ins~rument only bejng a
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replica of one by Rottenburgh). Naturally, for other sizes , and/or makes i


of recorder', one may need to modi fy the fi ngeri ngs in order to' gi ve the
same results. The tuning of the notes is quite sensitive, requiring much
careful listening and complete familiarity with the behaviour of each
instrument for perfect results.
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Fingering Tablature
(a) 0 = open fingerhole
(b) ~ = slight shading of the fingerhole (almost completely open)
(C)~1~ = fingerhole approximately half open
(d) ~ = pi ,nched" thumbhol e (thumbhol e vented in order to faci 1 i tate the
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p~~formance of 2nd- and higher-register notes).


(e)" = slight venting of the fingerhole (almost completely closed)
(f) = closed fingerhole
(g) [J , = an optional procedure which may be necessary on some instruments
lh) N = standard or common alternate fingering employed in 12-note music
for recorder
RL,IS = fingerings provided by Rick Lilienthal and Ian Shanahan,
respectively
Note that the precise amount of fingerhole closure in lb) to (e) above
will vary from fingering to fingering and instrument to instrument, even
though the same tablature symbol is used. That is, fingering tablatures
with these symbols are always approximate: given fingerings are relative I

and not absolute. In each chart below, the first fingering to appear for
a given pitch is the one most favoured in the performance of the~1~ce
the chart refers to. Each fingering for a given pi ,tch yields different
.dynamic and/or timbral results. This is a crucial -consideration in the
choice of fingerings, as, for example, the timbre of a particular finger-
ing may be used to mask or enhance the perception of a small pitch-change
as in the many single diesis steps which occur in the following pieces:
for example, compare the effect of going from 0 natural to 0 half-sharp
by using ,the first and then the second 0 natural fingering in conjunction
with the first 0 half-sharp fingering (here the related timbres generated
by r e 1 ate d fin g e r i n g s ten d too b s cur e the pit c h- c han g'e, ' a nd vic e -' v e r sa) .
, Sim /i 1 arly, a sudden dynami c change resul ti ng from the choi ce of a parti c-
ular fingering may be inappropriate musically. Finally, it is interesting
to realize that separate fingerings are given for notes regarded as being
equivalent in 12-note equal temperament (e.g. C sharp and 0 flat) here,
a practice which was prevalent in the fingering charts of Renaissance and
Baroque recorder treatises!

Ian Sha na ha n) 2 / 86 .
(1) 31st Night (or what you will)

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