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Ian Shanahan


I shall divide this seminar into two parts and leave time at the end for questions. In the first part,
I will play recordings of two Australian pieces for instruments and tape [i.e., fixed media], and in
the second part we shall examine several recorder pieces particularly the special playing-
techniques they use. I shall end the seminar by playing a recording of one of my own
compositions. Also, you will find a lot of printed information handed out as part of this seminar.
This is all concerned with special recorder-playing techniques, and can be kept for perusal at
your leisure; basic information is also included. There are also sheets that relate directly to
recorder pieces presented during the seminar.


Let me begin by playing to you a recording of my own recent piece called Arcturus Timespace
(composed between December 1986 and May 1987). This piece is a response to my interest in
astronomy and astrophysics. It attempts through its static nature to evoke the vastness and
timelessness of infinite space. Even the structure of the piece relates to this idea, being cyclic,
like a huge cosmic clockwork! The scoring is quite unusual: though the soloist is a mandolinist,
he plays a number of other instruments. Here is the instrumental set-up:

(To the blackboard)

There is also a stereo tape [fixed media] part. This was generated by two Yamaha CX5M music
computers, which use Frequency Modulation (FM) sound-synthesis techniques. The sounds are
quite percussive, and are intended to mix with and extend the live sound.

This piece has a visual element, as I also use slide-projection and background lighting. The
slides consist of various astronomical objects. In many ways, the piece is very Asian. The
instrumental sounds themselves often invoke the Japanese biwa, kt, rin and dbachi (these
last two being Japanese temple bells). Also, the tam-tam is used in a structural manner
deliberately like the largest gong in Indonesian gamelan music [as a colotomic device]. Some of
these influences were conscious, others subconscious: I noticed how biwa- and kt-like the
mandolin part was only when the piece was nearly finished! The instrumental array and action
of the soloist is also very suggestive of Buddhist ritual. Before I play a recording of the piece, I
would briefly like to show you some notations the piece employs. These may be useful to you:

(To the blackboard)

Here is the piece: I do hope you enjoy it!

(Play the tape recording ca.11 minutes)

The next piece I wish to play for you is entitled For Marimba and Tape (composed in 1982). Its
composer is Martin Wesley-Smith (b.1945). He teaches electronic music and composition at the
New South Wales [now Sydney] Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, and his main interest is in
(often highly political) audio-visual pieces using electronic music and computer-controlled slide
projections. This piece exists in several versions, for different solo instruments plus tape. I am
presently working on a version of this piece for amplified bass recorder and tape. The tape part
was generated by a Fairlight CMI (Computer Music Instrument), a device which was designed,
developed, and built in Sydney, Australia. Some of the sounds on the tape are synthesized,
while others come from digital samples of a real marimba.

(Play the tape recording ca.11 minutes)



We have now arrived at the second part of the seminar, wherein we shall examine the modern
playing-techniques used by several recorder compositions. Please have ready the sheets
containing the technical data for these pieces that I have given you. I might point out at this
stage that you will find basic technical information relating to the recorder, and often more
detailed discussion of advanced techniques in the other printed materials [these being: Marilyn
Carlson & Richard Jacoby: Intonation, American Recorder, Vol.13 No.2, May 1972, pp.43
45; Bob Margolis (with hand-written annotations by Ian Shanahan): A Composers Guide to the
Recorder, American Recorder, Vol.16 No.4, February 1976, pp.113122]. Here, though, we
are discussing only so-called advanced, Avant-Garde techniques in a rather cursory fashion.
Depending upon time considerations, the techniques may only be demonstrated without further
explanation, as you have explanatory information already written down. But at least you will be
able to hear the sounds! I would also like to add that if you intend to compose a recorder piece
using these techniques, you MUST collaborate with a player. No amount of technical information
takes the place of a live performer: remember, you are writing for a recorder-player (and not, in
a sense, the recorder), so you should exploit the players strengths and be aware of their
weaknesses and character or temperament. Furthermore, all players are different: what proves
possible for one may be impossible for another. After the introduction and examination of each
piece, I shall then perform it, so that you can hear the techniques with a musical context.

The first piece is by May Howlett, a Sydney-based composer and committee member of the
Fellowship of Australian Composers. Her little composition is called Shan-Ti, and it is scored for
solo alto recorder. It was written just last month for me to present at the Asian Composers
Forum, so that todays performance is actually a world premire! The composer has tried to
evoke a deliberately primitive atmosphere. Lets have a look at it:

(See the accompanying sheets; perform the piece ca.23 minutes)

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My next piece for you is called Meditation (composed in 1976) by Ros Bandt, another lady
composer, from Melbourne, Australia. She is also a recorder-player. Ros is very interested in
music, sound-sculptures, and meditation so it is only natural that she is fascinated by the
Japanese shakuhachi. In fact, this piece is scored for shakuhachi, flute, or alto recorder.
However, I play the piece on the tenor recorder, because it seems to evoke the shakuhachi
sound better than the alto-sized recorder. The score, as provided by the composer, is actually
very simple and sparse (probably in order to encourage improvisation). I have elaborated it and
made it more intricate by imposing many contemporary recorder-playing techniques (which I
think may also be common to the shakuhachi). Now to the techniques themselves:

(See the accompanying sheets; perform the piece ca.45 minutes)

111 a t~~, ~::: 1<>1
t~*. I~",""""""
~........ " <.\CI.~to"t. ""'e.
~ \\,,~;b\)'
b) rt~c("ofone..f".
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""'e C"'t.c.c:on>\llr I!>

Ltc.. .,
,,~; b\)' ri"

torn' f"
; f'\ Mivo-
..... ;" Ml'tro-
.. ~ipp;1;l ;+iOl.t . v;
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My third offering (also for solo tenor recorder composed in 1986) is called The Sign of the
Four, a rather curious title, originating with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It refers to a Sherlock
Holmes story which the piece follows in a kind of musical code. It uses many of the modern
techniques: too many, in fact. Unfortunately, I find the piece to be a little boring. I am presenting
to you a cassette recording of the piece that I made earlier this year under the direction of its
composer. I hope you find it interesting, at least for didactic reasons. The composer of The Sign
of the Four is Jana Skarecky, a Canadian composer who was undertaking postgraduate
studies at the University of Sydney but is now living back in Canada. Now we shall look at her

(See the accompanying sheets; play the cassette recording ca.11 minutes)

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~ 11 ~
We now have another world premire, a piece for bass recorder and live electronics. I wont go
into details now about the electronic set-up, as that will be clear enough when you hear the
piece. The sound is sometimes modified by a Digital-Delay Unit (DDL). The name of the piece is
Pipistrelli gialli, Italian for yellow bats another weird title. The sounds the piece makes
evoke the fluttering and chirping of bats, as well as their eeriness very well, in my opinion. It was
composed by Benjamin Thorn, a Sydney-based composer and recorder-player. You will hear
the extensive use the piece makes of multiphonics, sputato articulation and overblowing a
characteristic of this composers style. I shall examine this piece only briefly before performing

(See the accompanying sheets; perform the piece ca.8 minutes?)

I will diverge a little from the pattern now and play a cassette tape recording of a brilliant
recorder piece for you, without looking at it in detail. It is called Research 12/84 Dream
~ 12 ~
(composed in 1985) for solo tenor recorder by the Canadian composer and recorder-player
Peter Hannan, who plays the piece here. Briefly, it is an amazing study in sputato articulation
and polyphony generated by multiphonics. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

(See the accompanying sheets; play the cassette recording ca.10 minutes)

My last recorder piece for you is titled Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (composed in
1985), again for solo tenor recorder. The pieces name is taken from a poem of the same name
by the American poet Robert Frost. Its composer is Neil Currie, also from Sydney. He is an
expatriate Canadian studying at the University of Sydney where he wrote the piece for me. This
composition uses a multitude of recent playing techniques which we shall now examine:

(See the accompanying sheets; perform the piece ca.10 minutes)

~ 13 ~
b) 6\"";,"'J
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~ 16 ~
Without further ado, I would like to conclude this seminar by playing a tape recording of my own
composition Echoes/Fantasies, for bass clarinet, vibraphone and tubular bells. It was written in
1984. I wont say any more about it now, except to observe that it is very Australian yet also
very Asian and therefore eminently suits the purpose of this forum. [END]

(Programme notes for Echoes/Fantasies are obtainable from Mr Miyagi, and I can supply an
analysis of the piece upon request.)

(Play the tape recording ca.8 minutes)

I now invite questions and comments.


~ 17 ~
AMl'\c.\:i1"l R~~~~r: Vo\~ 1'2> rqc+ '1. ,MC\y 1'172.'l~ftt'-'t-S-.


R ecorders can be pla yed in tune! As with all Y wind Ex ... plr No. m. (",Til.. I "",Ioel)' pl'yad.)
in strument, it is the task of the performer to produce
good intonation , \Vhile all recorders have intonation
$f~ J J J IJ j Id J j J. 1
problem s, such problems are fewer and less significant You might select F as the startillg Ilote alld pl()'(:d
with it good quality instrument. It is our feeling that with the melody as in Example IV.
most recorder pla yers can grcatl y imj)rove their into
nation with regular, directed practice. The basic neces Eumple No. Ill. (n yOIl .... )1 h"e vIIU4liucl.)

sities for playing in tune include (I) a good instru

ment, (2) ear training, (3) awareness of the intonation
~)P ~ ~ J Ij J IJ J IJ. il
problems of your instrument and (4) application of If you visualized the melody as shown ill Exalllple IV,
technics to solve these problems. you have heard the correct melodic line based Oil F
Prime consideration must be given to training your as the starting note. Do realize that you could have
ear. While everyone hears, few really listen. Listening selected any pi tch as the st arti ng note.
demands concentration, which brings about increased
Applied Technics
pitch discrimination. You as a performer must learn
to "hear with your eyes" and "see with your ears." \"'arl11 your instrument before playing b y holding
To "hear with your eyes" you must be able to look the headjoint with both hands for a few minutes.
at a melodic line and mentally sing it. You may select Although this is it necessity to prevent damage to the
an y pitch as the starting note. For example: Can you, windway, our point is that to maintain a consistent
without playing your recorder, "hear" the following pitch level the recorder must be thoroughly warm.
melodies? (Also try singing these aloud.) Since sound travels faster through warm air, slower
through cold air, a cold wind instrument pla ys llat.
E.irnple No. r. Pulling the headjoint lowers the basic pitch, and
4- p the larger the instrument the more you must pu II. Do
If$ 8 1 Ir r J I
r J IJ II be aware that pulling the headjoint too far creates
rumple No. ll. other intonation problems. On many instruments the
1f1J p
1 J J I~ r ,j I J ~J J I J II lowest notes tend to be sharp - these notes can be lo\\'
ered by pulling the foot joint.
When tuning to a keyboard instrument, it is essen
The value of this concept is realized when applied to
tial that you (I) check more than one note, (2) avoid
your playing. You should "mentally sing" all melodic
tuning on known problem notes and (3) play your tun
lines as you play.
ing note first, otherwise you may unconsciously accom
''''hen listening to a melody, you can "see with your modate and not make an accurate judgment of the
ears" by arbitrarily selecting a starting note and at
pitch of your recorder. If you find that in general you
tempting to visualize the notation. While it is unim
are sharp, pull the headjoint. The main object here is
portant as to whether you choose the actual starting
to adjust the basic pitch level. Occasionally you will
note played, it is essential that successive melodic in
find that a harpsichord is above A440. Although you
tervals be correct. For instance, if someone plays the
may be able to reach this pitch level with increased
following melody (Example III) -
breath pressure, your tone quality will probabl y be
Richard Jacoby attendl:d. the University of South Dakota, come strident. Under these circumstances, the harpsi.
received his Master of Music Education degree at the University chord should be retuned .
of Illinois and has.done additional graduate study at . Wash
ington University, St. Louis, Missouri. He is currently Director When a consort tunes, it is nesessary to tune to the
of Bands and . Conductor of the Symphony Band and Wind lowest pitched instrument. A good practice to follow
Ensemble at Kent State University. . .. ,
Marilyn Carlson attended Stephens College and the University . when tuning is to play slow scales. (C instrumcnts play.
, of Missouri and is presently completing a degree at Kent State '. iog a descending C scale; F instruments, a descending
University .... She is a , Certified . American Recorder . Society : .
. Teacher and tcaches recorder at Cleveland State University., with . , F scale.) The examples in the ear training section of
:.' the Collegium . MusiCum:, " ?' .~.,' :',; \ , ' : , , .',. . ' . ' ,:." . ~ ~' .. '> .. ' q;is
articlei)rovide additional material suitable for de-
Mrs. Carlson and Mr. ' Jacoby have been ;on the faculty of ". .' .
many early. rnusic.~workshops and perform. extensively.' ' .~., . , t~rn1~,ninga basic pitch level. After establishing a com
. ~~- .. ,,~,: :.':.-:""!;<'"o-::'"_ _"':.." .-." - . ..~~.:!;.-~.~. '
: .~;
mon pitch level with this initial phase of tuning, spe- The octave in which you sing is of no significance.
cific intonation problems should be taken care of on \"lhen singing, adjust your line to be in tune with the
an individual basis with technics described below_ recorder; when playing, men tali), sing your part. This
The pitfall of this phase of tuning is that, once com- concentrated listening must be carried over into all of
pleted, some players believe their intonation problems your playing.
are over. In reality all you can accomplish with this is
to arrive at a common pitch level.
Basic and Alternate Fingerings

Ear Training Good intonation requires a selective set of basic fin-

gerings. Do not rel y entirely on one fingering chart.
Exercises of the following type should become a YOll must select the best fingerings for each of your
part of your wannup at each rehearsal or performance_ instruments. Notes that require considerable change
Examples V, VI, and VII, which are intended only [rom the usual basic fingering will become obvious
to serve as guides, will allow you to concentrate on with concentrated listening toslow scales. For a note
intonation. that requires a better fingering, consult several charts
for other possibilities. Should this not suffice, experi-
ment with various fingerings based on the following:
To 100ver the pitch, cover one or more of the tone
holes below the last covered hole. To lower F on a
treble reconler:

1. . Complete this scale, ascending and descending, in

-. a similar manner.
2_ . Repeat in the following, keys: C, F, G, D, B flat.

,}!:!:2; I: r 1
.0 .0 .0
~ 0 0 <s- O
:;\~;~~pi~t~~this~cale in a similar manner, ascending
' d{sc~nding_
. . : for in-tune thirds.
00 00
0 0


r , More fine;ers added = lower pitch.
'":;'~~erci~e in' all keys common to the re-

EUMple lX..
let .0 .0 .0 .0
0 0 0 0

00 00 00
00 00 00
Added fin~ers closest to
sic . fin~erin, =
lowest pitch '.
/ .
. ..-"
Should you have a Ilote that you feel needs to be These prolJlellls can usuall y be (orrected wilh ;lIlclcd
ra ised h y r efi ngering, we suggest you consult a per- breath pressure, shading, or thumbing. If :l recorder
for mer/ teacher. The infrequency and the individual has notes that are too lIat or sharp to he pi:I y('(1 ill
nature of this problem make it impractical for us to tune, then, within reasonable limits, appropri;lll' tOile
pursue in this article. holes can be altered.
Do not consider your se lections to be "alternate fin- By adding glue (to decrc:lse the sizc of Ihc If ) lI e
gerings." lie pruden t in selecting these fingerings or you hole), the pitch is lowered; by increasing the sill' "I
Illa y create technical problems. the LOne hole (through sanding), the pitch is );Iis("d.
For reasons of facility and ornamentation, it is often \ ,Ve suggest you try this on ly Oil ;1Il illstnllliCll1 y llil
n ecessa ry to lise alternates in place of your basic fin would discard. DO NOT ATTEM PT TO ,\l.TlIZ .\
gerings. Alternate fingerings often ;ne included in GOOD QUALITY INSTRUi\IENT WJTIIOl l I'
Illethod books as well as in trill charts. These finger- EXPERT GUIDANCE.
ings are not as well in tune and have an inferior tone The first step is to determine if the pitch ill 'llIcs,
quality. However, it is necessary at times to sacrifice tion is too fiat or too sharp ancl . whether it CIIl lie
good intonation and tone quality in order to ade- altered through use of pLtying technics. The extf'111 of
quatel y perform a passage. Do not rel y on alternates the problem is best established with the usc of :1 stro
,,hen more practi ce time would enable you to lise your botuner. The principle is to alter ;Ill open tOile hole
basic fingerings . - usually immedi ately below the last covered hoic.

;< 0_
Modification of Breath Pressure
Varying the breath pressure alters pitch. Increasing
raises the pitch ; decreasing will lower the pitch. 'When


--t> 0
-0 0


either of these technics is used to excess, a strident

....... ~lu.c or s6nd to adjust.
tone or lifeless sound results. In moderation this
means of altering pitch is the most practical and can To Jo-wer the pitch, use glue to alter the tone hole
produce the best results. For subtle pitch changes we just below the last covered hole . Dip the end of :l
suggest this technic in nearly all cases since it does not toothpick in glue (EImers perhaps) ,m(l spread evenly
hinder technic and has no effect on any note other around the inside of the LOne hole - allow to dr y -
than the one you wish to alter. try the instrument to see if the note is now ill tllne.
1 not, repeat the process.
X Thoughts on Shading amI Thumbing To raise a pitch, again alter the tone hole immedi
ately below the last coverecl hole - this time by sand
Shading, when mastered, can be valuable for lower-
ing. Use very fine sandpaper and a cylindrical ohject
ing pitch. \"'hen we speak of shading, we refer to par-
slightly smaller than the tone hole. Wrap the s;lI1d-
tially covering a hole or damping the air streai11 from
paper tightly around the cylinder, insert in lhe lone
an uncovered hole. This can be applied to any lIncov-
hole, and sand with a rotary motioll, (Tr y the re-
ered tone hole. By its very nature, shading limits tech-
corder often during this process.) COlltinue to s:lI1d
nical facility and most pla yers find it difficult to par-
until the pitch is satisfactory. Should you salld too
tially cover a tone hole with consistency. You will find
much, this can be corrected b y gllling. R('l1lelllher,
other methods of altering pitch more satisfactory than
altering one LOne hole c10es a fleet other pitches , ;llId
shading. This term is also applied to technics that we
we again caution you - TRY THIS ONLY O~ .\~
have described under Basic and Alternate Fingerings.
In the high register it is possible to vary pitch by
altering the aperture of the thumb hole and / or the
In conclusion , we hope that yo u have become IllOll'
angle at which the thumb nail contacts the opening.
aware of the scope of rhe intonation probl em, Ou r
A larger aperture generally raises the pitch; however,
aim has been to acquaint yo u with vari o lls tecilnics
only through experimentation will you find the cor-
used in improving intonation and to generate illierest
rect thumbing for specific notes.
to the point where you will pursue this. The t:lsk is
yoursl o
Adjusting Tone Holes on the Recorder ... ... ... ... ...

Instruments cannot be built perfectly in tune. ''''hile Note: This article is based 011 V llt: of a .Ieri('s of lcr-
all recorders have intonation problems, a good qual- tures covering various technics of playing, i11cluded
ity instrument has fewer and less significant problems. by the authors in their workshops.

AMer~Gql) (2.UtH,Jer:
VO\' \ E> f~r-'" tt ) f\UJ .\C)7 b
. ff \\'? -l~'L

.A Composer's Guide to the Recorder

Composer and virtuoso recorderist.
Th~ standard orchestration texts do A Brief History The R cord r alnily
not describe or even the mention the
recorder: it is not a member of the By the middle of the eighteenth The present-day r
orchestra. In my experience, very few century the recorder was becoming an
composers are well acquainted with obsolete instrument, a casualty of the
the recorder's characteristics-no evolution of musical taste towards a
place exists to easily obtain the preference for increasing brilliance of bass and sopranin o ar
information they need to write effec- both tone and technique. In particular seen, but are not rar .)
tively for the instrument. it had been the flute with its greater There is a thumb h 1
, This article contains such informa- resources of dynamic shading which of the instrum en t plu
tion as to benefit composer and replaced the recorder. running down the ro n t,
player alike. Some introductory des- But the flute of the eighteenth two usually bein " d u 1 hI, p lus a
criptive material is elementary to century resembles the modern, cylin- hole at the bott m, th bell ho le. The
recorderists, but much additional drically bored metal flute only in the instrument is u u lly in three sec-
material is unavailable elsewhere. So, method of tone production and tions, tuning wi thin the range of
if you are a recorderist interested in certain aspects of appearance-the approxima tely q uarter tone being
composing or transcribing music or earlier flute, wooden, one keyed, and accompli shed by pulling out the top
perhaps better understanding any conically bored, is sweeter toned, section.
contemporary music you may already softer, and in certain ways less agile Uncommon sizes currently avail-
own, there is much here you may find than the modern flute with its Boehm , able are th e Baroque-pitch soprano in
useful. mechanism. * c", sounding a major seventh above
Charts 3, 6, an~ 7 detailing The modern recorder, however, written notes; Baroque-pitch alto in
underblown harmonicw' multiphon- quite closely resembles the Baroque f', sounding a minor second below
ics, and closed-bell notes are used by recorder in tone, and is identical as to written notes; Baroque-pitch tenor in
permission of Pete Rose, who first mechanism. The chief distinction is d' (voice flute), sounding a minor
made them available at his November one of pitch, Baroque recorders being second below written notes; Baroque-
1975 New York Recorder Guild often tuned to a ' = 415 Hz, a semi tone pitch tenor in c', sounding a minor
workshop "Possibilities for the Recor- below modern pitch . These low-pitch second below written notes. Of these,
der in Contemporary Music." recorders have a darker tone.
*A flute which combines many of the
tonal characteristics of the Baroque
Instrument III Length in inches Actual Sound , flute, and all the mechanical advan-
Ct Olrlc.le.;1') ;('\ C Q. C1c,~"Q.S o..boV'e.. wrl't-tef"l f"IO~
. Sopranino in f" 9 octave above written notes tages of the modern flute is the
Soprano in c" 12 octave above written notes conical Boehm flute (usually wooden,
Alto in f' 18 as written occasionally metal, and, in its most
Tenor in c' 24 as written recent form, with metal head joint),
While not as sweet-toned as the
Bass in f 36 octave above written notes
Baroque flute, it is sweeter and softer
Great bass in c 48 octave above written notes than the modern metal flute . Conical
COI\+r<\ ~~S ~ '" r- 72. ots w i itre" Boehm flutes may be obtained from
Brannen Bros., Stow, Massachusetts.
the Baroque-pitch alto is most often quency, bass. Professional players fore, for these instru~ents notes are
seen. add sopranino to these, and less written an octave lower than they
Renaissance-design recorders cur- frequently, great bass. sound.)
rently available, usually at modern
and sometimes at other pitch levels, Transposition and Notation Range
are restricted to a compass of one
octave plus a major sixth, and found The recorders are classed as non- Refer to Chart 1.
in c" soprano, f' alto, c'tenor, and f tr9nsposin~ instruments, parts always
bass sizes. Uncommon is the sopra- being written at concert pitch ; Players Registers
nino in f". Rare are: sopraninos in c'" learn two sets of fingerings, one for F
(garkleinflotlein), a", and g", so- instruments and one for C instru- Refer to Chart 2. There are four
pranos in d", and altos in g'. Exceed- ments, and make the necessary registers, one fundamental and three
ingly rare is the~-bass in F (over transposition automatically so that all overblown. The overblown ,'registers
six feet high). Renaissance-design recorders sound at concert pitch, i.e., are produced by partially uncovering
recorders are less reedy in tone (fewer "ih C." the thumb hole, ' tonguing slightly
partials), louder overall, and perhaps Parts for sopranino and . soprano harder and increasing breath pressu're '
better suited to closed-consort music recorders are written in treble clef somewhat.
(consorts of only recorders) than with a small "8" above the clef to On all recorders the fundamental
Baroque recorders. indicate that notes sound an octave register extends upwards one octave
At one time a soprano in a' and alto higher than written. (Therefore, for plu~ a major second" as reckoned '
in d' (both lying a minor third lower these instruments notes are written an from the lowest note of the instru':"
than today's standard soprano in c" octave lower than they sound.) ment.
and alto in f) were available. Alto and tenor are notated in treble The first overblown regis~er , (reck.:. .
Fully ninety-nine percent of all clef, sounding as written. oned from the lowest note of the
modern recorders are of Baroque Bass and great bass are written in instrument) extends from one octave
design at modern pitch. Amateur bass clef with a small "8" above the plus a minor third to one octave plus ,
players usually own soprano, alto, clef to indicate that notes sound an a major sixth.
and tenor, and with increasing fre- octave higher than written. (There- The second overblown register '
from one octave plus a minor seventh
to two octaves.
The third overblown register from '
two octaves plus a minor second to
two octaves plus a minor third. "
The third overblown register from
Standard Range two octaves plus a minor second to
two octaves plus a minor third. '"
Given in standard recorder notation. See text: "transposition and Notation."
The total compass of normal tones
(tones not requiring closed bell) , is
thereby two octaves plus amino!
third. .
.... eK~'I) The boundaries between registers
8 , r I"~ ( r a\ are called breaks. Notes slurred
ctC\(" k \..A 1\ \ C\ '-"
I "-

across registers invariably produce a
"click" sound. It is easier to slur from
er a..n.ol a higher to a lower register than vice
versa. While crossing the . various '
. register breaks presents difficulties of
coordination for ' beginners, ' good
players can make these .transitions

, Agility

Wide skips between registers (for

tongued notes) are idiomatic ' for the
instrument. In the easiest ' keys (C
Major for F instruments and G Major

Cc~qP,S$ ~"f
for C instruments) the recorder is as
114 THE AMERICAN RECORDER [~v.Q/\'f rqrQ,)
agile as the flute in scales, arpeggios, of more than four accidentals. Rough- finger combinations or movements of
and passage work. ly speaking, the greater the number of several fingers.
Chromatic scale passages are not accidentals in the key signature, the Within the fundamental register
idiomatic, but are possible. It is a more difficult the technique, minor tremolos of up to a major sixth are
matter of the skill of the player. keys always being more difficult possible; in the first overblown
Beginners will have considerable diffi- than their relative major keys. Re- ~egister a major third is the safe limit.
~lty with fast chromatic passages as mote keys are not recommend for fast Tremolos between two registers
chromatic scales are not part of the musIC . ought not to exceed a major third: the
. usual technical training for the recor- effect is qui te chirpy as there are as
.( .. Effect of Tonality on Timbre many "clicks" as notes.
,\ Double and triple tonguing pro-
'duce a light sound, and are more The greater the number of accident-
easily accomplished on the recorder als, the greater the number of forked Idiosyncrasies of the
than any other woodwind. Maximum fingerings required (and the more Various Recorders
velocity varies with the individual difficult the technique). But with
player and is not much limited by the increased use of forked fingerings Sopranino: The tones of the funda-
instrument itself~ The pattern for there is a change of tone color: mental register are weak, the over-
double tonguing is usually given as fork-fingered notes are less focused or blown registers being the more char-
d-g . d-g. The pattern for triple darker sounding than notes which do acteristic and useful in a traditional
tonguing is usually given as d-g-d not require forked fingerings. context. The tone of these high
d-g-d although this presents two registers is sweeter and more delicate
consecutive . single tongues (the two Trills and Tremolo than the corresponding tones of the
d's) and impairs maximum speed. The piccolo.
pattern for triple tonguing d-g-d-g-d-g All trills are possible except: C Soprano: The compass is similar to
yields maximum speed (no single instruments-low c to c sharp, low d the piccolo, but the tone of the
tonguings present). Note that the d's to d sha1p; F instruments-low f to f fundamental register is surprisingly
will be accented in preference to the sharp, low g to g snarp. The full and strong. Do not take inexper-
g's: therefore the articulation pattern effectiveness of trills depends upon ienced players above the second g as
chosen will be in part dictated by the the skill of the player: some trills they tend to play much too loudly. It
musical sense of the passage. reqUIre the movement of but one is difficult to play the highest notes
finger, others are quite awkward softly.
The normal articulation is the
consonant d. Recorder legato is a
. very mild d: the effect is ' of tones
. barely touching one another with a
continuity approaching legato Key to Fingering System
' (slurred). Notate by legato dashes
over each note and the specification Top OF RECORDER
"recorder legato." Sometimes incor-
o 0 is thumb
. rectly called portato, which it is not,
recorder legato is analogous to string
2 1, 2, and 3, are first three fingers of left hand.
loure bowing. The recorder's staccato
is light and 'easily produced (notate
with a dot over each note as is usual).
5 4, 5, 6, and 7 are first four fingers of right hand.
Commonly Seen Tonalities .
The most often-seen keys for F Bell Bell is closed by bell key, player's knee, or thigh. See text.
recorder are: Major-C, G, F, B Flat; BOTTOM OF RECORDER
Minor-A, E, 0, G, C, F. For C
recorders: Major-G, 0, C, F; Minor A diagonal slash through a number thus: 0 means "half" -hole.
-E, A, D. Flat keys appear more Cover only holes listed for a given fingering. E.g. : "012"-cover only 012
often than sharp keys. Beginners may holes.
find difficult keys containing more
than one accidental; even experienced
players may be unaccustomed to keys


Alto: The most popular recorder, instruments) requires a fingering not I have observed many 0 them ma
the tone being well balanced through generally known (see Chart 7). If you be co bined simultaneo sl ):
its range, but do not take inexper- require either note, provide the score Portamento or Glissando, the slid-
ienced players above the second with fingering indications. ing between pitches, is easier on the
e-flat. recorder than on any other wood-
Tenor: The richest-sounding recor- Special Effects wind, provided the portamento does
der, its best tone - lying in its (Coloristic Devices) not cross a register break. The
fundamental register. Notes ap- (N. B, Notation for Charts 3 through technique involves slowly rolling the
proaching the top of the first over- 7 is for altQ recorder, i. e., F recorder, fingers away from or towards ' the
blown register become progressively The same fingerings are use for C holes (depending ,upon' whether as-
more breathy-so do not treat the recorders. The pitches produced, cending or descending" respectively) ,
tenor recorder as though it were a however, will be a perfect fifth higher with a careful control " of breath
flute which becomes progressively for soprano recorder, and a perfect pressure. Notate by ' connecting': the
brilliant as it ascends through its fourth lower for tenor recorder. E.g.; first and last pitches with a solid line ~ ,
compass. The opposite is true. For The fingering for the first note listed Underblown Harmonics [see ' Chart'
on Chart 5 as d' will produce an a" on
agility and brilliance of tone in upper 3] are accomplished ' . by': ; irte~l~s ';\ ~f :'
soprano recorder, an a' on tenor
registers choose the alto in preference recorder, and an a on great bass special ' fingerings ". t,?'~" pfod!lce,~::, tr,ti~'
to the tenor. Do not take inexper- recorder; the same fingering will pianissimo sounds~ ', and 'are reallY,' an"
ienced players above the second g. produce a d" on, sopranino recorder extension of portament~ ;techriiqtie':in '
Note that the lowest c-sharp is and a d on bass recorder.) that breath contror'. ~nd .'shading;;,C;f.
sometimes missing from the instru- holes (particularly the thumb h~~eI))s)
ment. Charts 3 through 7 present extr~ used to control pitch. 'The ,'sound 'of
' . ' . -"{:i '.. ,:..,. .-,,~ ,).' '''.

Bass: A very quiet instrument, its normal techniques, some of which the lowest tonesis 'that ()f.a Whimper I"
fullest tone is in its fundamental have come to be associated with (Notate as shown.r ',." .,'~ ", ,.;, Y",
register, high notes are breathy-an avante-garde music. For each of the , Quarter Tones [see;': Chart; 4r ar.e
" , . .', ~ . ,.' ". '.' :. ~. ,.. ,'I-. ' .~

asset or ' liability, depending upon following techniques it is essential to easier to produce ' than '. on" any :;bther
context. Direct-blow basses are pref- provide the score both with fingering woodwind ' owing to,'" the", 'rec<>rderi s
erable to basses equipped with a and descriptive indications. Most of lack of keys. ' Quarte~ ~, tones " are
crook [bocal], and Renaissance-de- the fingerings contained in the charts exceedingly difficultwithi Il the lower
sign basses are considerably richer- are unknown to the majority of minor third of the :compass"and' :a re
sounding than Baroque-design basses. recorderists; indeed, some are pre- for this reason not ' inCluded , ,
' iri ,:' th~
- -
Do not take inexperienced players sen ted here for the first time. Foll~w- fingering chart:' " Within"" ~his;; region,:.3
; above the second c. Note that the ing are all the extranormal techniques half-holing of ' half holes::'~ nd shaaed :i:
' " ..... ~ .o '

lowest f-sharp is frequently missing.

'\ ~re a,~ o+'rers \
Great bass: Quieter than the bass, CHART 2
more usually used for its 10~est notes
Location of Registers
as the highest notes become breathy
quickly. Do not take inexperienced
players above the second e. Always
with a crook. Lowest f-sharp may
sound impure; lowest c-sharp and
lowest d-sharp are missing as often as
Two notes deserving special con-
sideration are the highest f-sharp and
g-sharp for F instruments and the
highest c-sharp and d-sharp for C
instruments. The F instruments' f-
sharp (c-sharp for C instruments)
requires a closed-bell fingering for
accurate intonation. Few recorders
are equipeed with a bell key and
fewer players have mastered the art of
stopping the bell on their knee. The F
instruments' g-sharp (d-sharp for C


bell technique is the only m eans f than n ny ther w dwin d , wing 6]: ho rds a re the production of
q~arter , tone production-an awk- to the recorder's virtually indifferent several sounds simulatneously by'
ward process. Elsewhere, quarter embouchure technique. Flutter controlled overblowing, using special
t~nes are produced by relatively tongue is accomplished either by a fingerings. The sound is a distorted,
simple, ' though unorthodox finger- rolled "r" sound or a: voiceless growling buzz, and is very easily
,ings.Quarter tones may also be used back-of-throat gargle, the resultant produced. However, each make of
,in , the,: ' fashion of jazz-style "blue" sound being nearly iden tical.~cT T(l.vj;.! recorder responds differently to a
'notes; micro tones are also possible. Alternate Fingerings [see Chart 5], given fingering (the chords in Chart 6
All 'i fingerings ' should be indicated quite aside from their usefulness as work on most recorders), and specify-
below ', the 'notes. Tui St. George trill fingerings, produce variations'in ing the make of recorder used would
Tu~ke~' was the first person to publish timbre from corresponding standard be helpful information. From the
qu'a rter tone fingering chart for the fingerings. Alternate and standard player's point of view, chords should
recorder,', in Anfor RCE no. 14,
-, , iJ
fingerings are sometimes alternated . be approached in this fashion: first,
Sonata and Romanza for solo recor- quickly to produce effects of timbre play separately the pitches of the
:der~ 'As , any two fingering charts, juxtaposition, much in the same way chord to fix them in the mind. These
\ . .,two differ. Quarter tones above as standard and underblown harmon- are the pitches to aim' for, but they
the x:ange in Chart 4 are difficult to ic fingerings are sometimes alternated may not be exact. Then, fingering the
,, " ,with , accuracy of pitch. to produce echo effects. (Notate as chord as indicated, gradually increase
, (~ofate, as shown.) ' shown.) breath pressure until the sound
'< Flutter Tonguing is again easIer Chords or Multiphonics [see Chart "cracks," producing several pitches
simultaneously-this is the breath
pressure required to produce this
CHART 3 particular chord. If this does not
work, start the chord with a strong
attack, immediately pulling back on
breath pressure-certain chords re-
AL TO RECORDER NOTATION quire this "reverse" technique. If still
~'~;' Pitch is controlled by thumb apEtrt~re and bre~th pressure. Blow, e\tremely unsuccessful, it may be necessary to
~ -t\'IQ.,se (,.'\\'\ (.\\,50 hqv(;! f' i~Y) C\J r~''-I VU,r1ecl ((Vlvre 'rMn vs.ucd) "" \ +h
: ": softly l.A
'>,~,,: :1 . CJ ",,-,
,."0 , _ . ' r- .
I 0 ~ f
d ) I k . ft' h 1
p~th freS,rVl v . ea aIr rom ~er am o.es, some
"~'!i" o ,r- " ::i ::l
gjJ!j~2e+,1 Ij

:i'~';f!~t.- ~:n "/ t~,, ~t) ';)i~

Ci )
$1 Z34 5 wp Iii ~IZ,?4~~ I
(\~o ~\-.Qo t\
to be determmed by trIal and error.
Almost any fingering whatsoever will
produce a chord If properly coaxed
by the methods just described.
Chords are one type of multi-
(Notes in brackets, while not true underblown harmonics, will yield pianissimo


Quarter Tones

AL TO RECORDER NOT ATION range of the recorder by means of

An octave consists of twenty-four quarter tones or twelve semitones. A quarter stopping the bell hole. Few recorders
tone is an interval equal to one quarter of a whole tone (one half of a semitone) . are equipped with a bell key so the
T~e inter~al be.tween adjacent notes on t~is cha~t is o~e quarter tone . The. notes bell hole is , usually stopped' by the
without fingerings are the "standard" pitches In their proper locations In the I 'k h' h (h If ' .d ( ". ej
quarter tone scale. 1'L ' payer s nee ~r t Ig t e, e, t SI e ~s :
(Two quarter tones, .
= one semltone.) A bQ.."*e, $',(s\'e . ~'1 ~ t~ q' J..Lt--+ofle. JShOVf.+r-O"1 ~t-be more ' convenIent
for most).
The '
. ,''

h I t
(F our quar t er tones = one woe )
one. ~ ~ t +l"+ porOSIty of .clothIng may '. . allow
leak. For thIS reason ~t IS a good Idea

3)12 symbol tv]indicai'c ('cone OJAar1'!:t toilE flcrt "

to put some plastic warp on t)o p of th,e
clothi.ng-' this ass,u res a good airtight e

v V ' seal necessary for closed beltJ notes'~' ,

, J i
OIBi531ll-tt 0I23HlJSbaJroBRJII.J I (However, the 'bell trill 'at the end\ )(
Tui St. George Tucker's' Sonat,l"(edi~{f
tion previously: cited) is pl~ye9." with;

' ,~~ c'' " } ;. .

I r I#r
, , < .,

012356; 3
1r IQI235 f Q I2frSlii1l 14" I
the palm of the right hand, as only the '
, . . '

left hand is occupied With firiger!~gs :>, '

A much o'v efIooked function'i

'bf Jtn~\

," ,
. ~ . . . _~. , J. ~

bell is i~susefulness ' fn ,' permitting "
0123 8 \ r \'i
0 1345 \ tr ,l
0 13\ , ~ rapid movement between ;~~ extreme
pitches-movement ': whi~h . '\v~uf~f :
otherwise bequite 'awakwa!"d~ It is'for ;
this reason that Closed bell~firgermgs "
._' " " '1 , ,.r<' 'j'.~ I' jo

are given 'for ' notes ! \;Vhic}:l ' I q~uld '

otherwise' , be ' pr~du~'ed. ~ nor;} ~a~Iy, '.
with openb~ll. So" f~r rap,id ;' m~e::'
' ment' between ': notes"' lying" '. \.vithin J
' v V v far-spaced registers (e ~ g. ; , ~ovement:

QjYI23&i\f rf~123Bd,il \!tp',7f 6iil1 lt I

between the fundamen'tal register '1~lria l
notes higher 'than the first ;overbI6Wn :
register) :;examine ' Cha'f t .~ ? ::'fo" deter!~
mine whether :closed'" bell ~ fihgeriligs '
would simplify"tech~iqu~. OCc()1lrse;J
certain extraordinary:' ~oJ" ,~ k.'il(f~~ high~'

&~L'35(ji8i11 it \fipl3lOBelI If g
V ' "
pitches 'can be' ' prod~c~'d ,o)1ly,\:\.\tItHt
'II ," , ,',':.. ";';'
C1osed b e. ' " ' ' ' ' ., ",,;,. ~"~~;.~r"~"'(":~;""~
", '{i,;! ,,:il~:"t::,,:',:l,j
0: >( . .,.~.\-, l";t '. " .,( .','! ~"., .~';~

. There is' no ' standard ~'notatidn;i'foi:f.

. , : , ' "t.;""',!''''/' ~.:; ''~:"qli. '~~I
, closed: bell ' notes: 'One pos5iBili fY~.is ~~
~ ~ ~ writing the ' word 'I'Bell"J,~~ciYet~.::f~~~~~~

i 'f \
~f ~(j<ls
\J \
~(1\1 '!:> 1sYqJl(\~ +q 'o~~1"v'~
such note. If exteridedl?a;~i,gJ'i ~;,t ~';
be played entirely with, close'dJJ:?ell; \1
CHART 5 o~ ~ 4 ;y ~<t~c\ ' J. write ' Bell followed bY\l~:" tJash'Jd':'lirie't':j

Alternate Fingerings
gu r'3~4' ht; l\~ ,
J . . '
, over the closed ~elr~otes/terIII.iri~tirl~ ~!!
with a downward'j og at the end-of the':t(;
closed bell passage, mucll' in 'the sa'rrle,1;.
, AL TO RECORDER NOTATION rJ w- bfl \\ t5 " way as 8vafollowedby' a3 daslled line':
These fingerings yield the indicated pitches at normal or near-normal volume is used ~to indicate 'a;~p" ~s~'g'i1 tb ' beP~
levels. They are useful for producing variations of timbre; also normally used as '
trill fingerings. It is possible to slur back and forth between ' any alternate . played 'an ,', ocatve ': higher:;~f;:~':J\:ri'6 thiF '
fingering and its corresponding standard fingering. possible ' notat'ion, ,1 calligdlphiCalI}/':',
more difficult but : visuaIlyy,:'more
compelling,is to . enclose . ' '
'.~"all (lclosed ~
'. '.- ", . . f, "
bell notes 'within ,a"rectangular ooX:,e:"'1
This will serve to ' alert the 'p layer )to '.:
1t 1t",lt. , lower the recorder to close the' bell. , '
~(Q ~ ~12~~ r
54)31 I 23lF5&i'I "ij123lf1I I Finger Vibrato :is the"'(}sCillatiori 'of \
pitch between normal and s()mewh~a't'H


'flCit , (by about a quarter tone) levels, top .of its range, quite capable of to vowel ' sounds, the interrupted
"~~~~~plisheq by partially covering
'"'f?~''' .~.(':: - ~',,/t~ - '.
cutting through a symphony orches- rushing air will be given vowel shapes

:~l'!d,.,ul'!~overing a conveniently locat- tra. The tenor recorder seems loudest in an extraordinary manner. Surely
e~:flowerhole in the manner of a trill. here. Curiously enough, fingering has otper effects are possible.
S J;prlsingly, this .is a Baroque tech- no effect on pitch(l) and the standard ' Playing More Than One Recorder
i~g'u..~ <:/,Whi~h ..had . been used to fingering of convenience is 0123. Only Simultaneously: Using only one hand
:."::sw~eten'!long , tones, . and . not a
'~~:' '.w~,,'l~ '. "

c'm odern'innovation.The

effect can be
force of breath pressure, position of a player can play on F instruments.the
, '

covering hand, and oddly enough bell notes c, d, e, f, f-sharp, ' g, octave c,
1"'-' -";:,; .. ' /--r .' :"'f. L.

eer.i~n? N,?t~t.e,: bY . the word finger- closure have effect on pitch. . and octave d, plus certain intermedi-
~~!.'p ". j';:''.'l" ;'~1':-_ ..,f"~V:' ~>:
. .' '"'_~i1-1.~,::; Ii,' ,;,~;lj"

Transition From ' Singing Outside ate tones. (For tones for r:: ~ instru
V ;':''''ato ''''',i:'C;'' i ,~'.
"':" i "'"":,'" " ,'" .
~~/t ~:f!J~ ~ .'Y~:'~;: , (:~ :-j;\,~:~,:; ":\.. ::.~: /:"C"", :. :,'
l~0:~~t<)1y.thrnic Brea'th- Pressure
:~-;':t~l~r~'Jtr :.~!> J~~~_\,ch>:r ','....,' ~,.
' Vibrato: The Instrument To Playing may 'be ments transpose up a perfect fifth.)
'All' in'crease '; in breath pressure raises made directly, without break; fur- With one player playing one instru-
1:~~,""'l,j;;~~";'-':""'" ~;;;:\~'\'. :" :>.,>~':~':', ':'"

tllepitc~';ofaIlY! note by slightly more ther, the singing may cease the instant ment in each hand, any combinations
g:'" . ',; ":", . .
'~~"(;:'S~.~" ):i.~-'Y'\;"'< .:., ~'~

t!t~n. ,aquart~rJone, and ,a decrease in the mouth is closed over the mouth- of these notes can ' be " sout:ld~d
~.i-:r ',~::!f; ""(-:. .. ~/ "',I',t' ~"':,"'~'''''' "", .,' . ,'.', .

'piess4~e ,,Iowers' the :pitch, but by a piece or continue together with the together, but if one instrument oc-
~nia.I1er4egfee ~ The speed and rhyth- playing. Whatever vowel sounds are taves, the other u~ually , must. Since
.~ic'pattern: ~f these pitch fluctuations being sung before the instrument is .the ' player is tonguing two recorders
~~aY,.~e' i{otated (possibly by 'means of brought to the lips will diphthongize at once there will be a . perfect
~~'aII~'r1:tythmic ~ values superscribed) to the sound "00" as soon as the lip. .~/ synchronizatioJ1 of rhythms, . flutter
;~.Q~{'the'; depJh, indicated , (either by are closed around the mouthpiec~ tongue, vibrato, and, depending up-
~,din~mi,c Ill~rkings or by wavy-lined The diphthong will be formed starting on skill, trills. It is possible, . if
,vil;~~to" gr~phs) . .. '3 with "00" and sliding to the new physical limitations are kept in mind,
"'t;~Wi~4way .Vib;ato . is produced by vowel sound when the transition is to add a third recorder as a drone. ':
'ji~yiilg":{";,the , right " hand over the the reverse, from playing to singing. Prepared Recorder: We see much of
:W.i~q?i~*:- "" J~e sound 'is ' that of an . (Of course, if the vowel sung is "00" prepared pianos, harpsichords,and
extremely exaggera,t ed vibrato. As the there will be no new vowel sound or the like, but nothing, in my experi-
;~ighf h~nd is, thus occupied, only the . diphthong formed in tra~sition.)
.' "". "~', , .... "";""".~cF ",:' I . ,~
ence, of prepared recorders. The
left:~ h~nd is available to finger notes In general, whenever pitches are to easiest preparation is taping certain
(unless :. another performer is called be sung, they are so indicated on a holes shut; used in coni unction with
:" upon'toproduce thewiridway vibrato separate staff below, and joind to the playing more than one recorder
~l,~tt~~~'ihe :/m:ain"" performer plays the instrument's staff by a bracket. simultaneously there is a possible
"'~~tesr: '" ~'-: Parts of the Recorder may be expansion of pitches available. (The
',</" Cqvered Windway: , ,In the wind- played separately. The head joint most obvious holes to tape are 0123:
' ,\yay;vibr~to, : the han~ approaches the alone will produce slide-whistlelike the , fingers of the right hand then
. wi~dow or labium only so close as to sounds if a finger is inserted therein cover holes 4567 and the left hand
lower .the pitch. If the right hand is (closed windway and stopped bottom takes a second recorder played IInor-
I g~~tly 'cupped .over .the ,- window 'and are also possible). The bottom two mally." The recorder's close relative,
~'b~9ught?'steadily closer thereto, the sections m~y be played in the manner the pennywhistle, is particularly well
,' pit~h:,will gradually get progressively of a trumpet (or cornett) with results suited for this, having only six holes
, lower ~ until a point is reached where which may be comical. Or, using the and octaving by breath pressure
)"the: pit~h shiftssharply upwards to a bottom two sections with the bell . alone. I like the British-made Genera-
.s~ril1 "squeal. This is the ' piercing tightly closed, the mouth is' placed tion pennywhistle, which I believe
. sPllnd of the covered windway (gent- firmly around the top opening and all they call a flageolet, particularly the
ly, co.ver~d, .'for .if it is con:tpletely the holes are tightly covered-the net one in b-flat'. The American-made
. covered, ** the sound will become a result being an airtight seal. If, in this Flutophone , of charming tone al-
stifled, breathy squeal). However, manner, air is sucked inwards while though restricted to a compass 'of one
"properly controlled, covered wind- trilling with ' any ,one finger,an octave plus a major second, is also an
way can be an ear-splitting shriek, interrupted rushing-air sound is pro- interesting subject for this treatment.
equal to the power of a piccolo at the duced. If additionally the shape of the Both are quite inexpensive.)
mouth cavity is changed to conform A somewhat risky preparation for
* This part of the recorder is variously the recorder would involve drilling
referred to as window, lip, labium, or * *WARNING: Do not touch the extra holes to alter the temperament
knife edge-in any event it is the slot knife edge itself as it is subject to of the scale. A plastic recorder would
in the head joint from which air warping and splitting on wooden se'rve well as a guinea pig for those
emerges. recorders. who may wish to attempt this.
A sort of preparation is the Brit- Th~
key covers a small hole bored at for concert performance. (We tape
ish-made Dolmetsch Tone Projector, the base of the beak on the back of the the top of hole 3 shut to permit the
which may still be available. The recorder. When the hole is open, the production of 012, d for F instru-:-
projector is a plastic apparatus in a instrument goes sharp, reqUIrIng ments, a for C instruments.) A piece
wheelbarrowlike shape which fits o- lower breath pressure to bring pitch of paper put up the windway.will,also
ver the window of the recorder. I back to normal. Lower breath pres- mute the instrument and degrade the
have sizes to fit soprano and alto re- sure causes lower volume. ;tone. The paper is likely to become
corder. The tone projector lowers To mute the recorder, tape halfway ' both wet and stuck, however,' and the
pitch slightly allowing for greater shut holes 1234567. Tape the bottom probability of damaging both , the
breath pressures and higher volume half of holes 124567 shut, and the top , windway and the knife edge is too
levels. half of hole 3. This preparation may ' .,great to risk comfortably, so":" this
If it is volume you want, the be of use to those who wish to 'perilous preparation is recorrtm~~ded
{ - c
practice late hours without disturbing only for. a plastic instrUrrten~
recorder ,c an be electrified by adding a
: l::.",:, ' "
".,' .. ,'

contact microphone. This will require neighbors. Since not only tone and ' Tapped-hole. Tones: ';" By ! fing~ring
drilling a hole in the head joint. intonation are degraded but also it any : note within:,'the'>'ftindarrlental
If it is softness, an echo key can be
becomes difficult to find the holes register of the ;recorder' andsharply
installed. This is a closed-standing with the tape in the way, this tapping one hole, a hollow percu.ssive
key operated by the player's chin. preparation might not be a good idea sound will be produced. , (Tap the
finger on a hole ',that would :,norm.ally ,
CHART 6 be closed for the note' selected.) In a
'sense; this is the recorder's ' equi'val~nt ,:
Chords [Multi phonics] . of the violiri'sJ eft handpizzi;ca fp;; The
sound,' al though "picitlissiiho ; 7~p;djects
ALTO RECORDER NOTATION well, ' btit " production of the ,sound .
requires considerable 'Jorce ....~".?pe~d
" Illay ~.b,~ .''' s..9m,:~~1:t~~~.::}.,ip~p,~'ii~q!~,~.::art~ .
since ' articulatior{.~' of.t~:thtt~sounds is ;
being accomplished bY,thlfinger',: not'
the : tongue, :~'. a , , :m.odifie~,,;:.fihger;'~Jch;-:'
",S" '<:~ 'l~\'. k~' " ' y f ! . "/"'"
nique," Il1~, ~ fqj~,,~~~a~~~a}~~g(a~~ '~W ith '
. x's in place.QL,note, heads.i .;~~;:.-;-,~~~:r;,,:;:,l',!j/'-
: . , " .. . : . t . ' ( , , \ t \, '\0:' ~ !,;'(~.:;,,' " i , .1;:'

, Special . A rticulations:~,.:The
~,. ~, ~, \l~ '''--1~t.t, Y,._
~, t:,eco'r~ ;'
....;j:., ... ~'. ...... .:( ..... ::\ ...", :'\ . 01'.' ;':.' ",' )'

der ' ,is :v~ry,,; fresponsive ":,to;L;

' '.,
<,. J.,:.;,.".;.:.;.... .. .. ,: :
_; . . . . . . I .-' ~'A,.l ::,..,.' -". t_, ~ ~;:\ '~i:

changes in artkula tion'... ~ re~ f al tera- : ,. i' ' ',~ '.. ~

tions of articulation .:consonants will

,produce ma'~k~d:~h~~ge~:i;Fth~ihaPe"
" .0' ~ . (' ;'""\""~::"fI' .'~ ., ." ......... ::1""...'~ .~I . .... ~~~.,".\: ' ..

of the .tones produced.'y>::,'!~~~;:f:;:t'''l~~ "\', ,:,~

The Baroque double,tongue ~/did'Ir('
~ill , s~~p'! . ~o., t,~.~'.; ~,~ft~~t~~~lY~~l"B~!~.~~.<,
modern . duh-guh :', douqle (~:. to~gue : '
~/23fUil10123&ill O/34~ I 0 13 4 &;1\ The attack is smoother',. aitd it s~.unds
. b
"as ' ~ iL ~,:the ,: .recot:derq~~;weI'e.:~~~,,:s~Yi~g-,
, lid J'ddl e ", , . ,.... ,:" ~ i~1'. '"':, ;".,,;~.' ,,~. '~~ .... '.'.. 'I '.

) ~
, , , ,I
't'.1. ". , :'-" :~ ' </.;"':''\1 ;:",Ir_. l:' ,4,..,': ... ,>1_, .... <..... 0-, ,1-~.. ' ..' ~' ,','


." , The ~~ns~nant~" t~ ~' i~'~' ~~d ' ~ '!/~~~~ .

A r~

, rJ\:.I./1 -. ,

~A r.
."J"I ",.,. I

"" ~ , I

\. ~ I..n. .. I I
~h-\t "' ~. nounced (voiceless) explosiv~ly'.~akes
. , ," , .... ;". .~'.... " I:~'" M.('. -.... '.~ :! r .~, :.

. a , quazi-piz~icato :,:' sound,:,t'The>! tech.. '

nique 'involves ' keep~qg :;'~he':~:rnouth:
partially op'e n i the in~trument>re~ting
<.-.;' . , .," " " ".:1', ;~

on , the .dow,e r.:. lip;:'.: J.t, .~:~s~.,P9s,s~P~~ . ,to ,

briefly sustain tones ' in this :'fashio'n,
although much '~ir is ~asted 'w ith the' ..., ...... '. ..,. ;#' . :-t" . . ' '; ~

mouth partially . open ."and (. th'ef. '.,:, sus-
j' I ' .... " ,', '.' . " ~ r r ,~ . .... ' -';r..:f \~r .,J. 'I <~_.\

tained' tones a~<e : <>f , ~~e~!hy: qtialitY ~ < :.

*' Many other chords are possible. Almost any fingering will produce a chord .
T ,, ~c.;T- 0LL- .(:~I\~((.r ~ ~ s w;l\ , th{)~h S.OM~ ot~
The sounds "S'; and "sh" may be
used as articulations In two ways:
""0'\"2.. f,vI \ +hq l) o t~ :5
,Either as initial attacks, or sustained locating some of thes . therwis, try will lower certain pitches, and raise
no~se ~, In the latter, the player hisses to find appropriate shade-fingerings- others. The lowering effect is gradual,
,orshushes(" s'{ and fish", respectively) ' that is, covering and partially cover- varying directly with the degree of
:f~r', the."duratl()n of the note. A variant ing holes that would normally be bell closure; the raising of pitch is
'~ orthisl ;,-
' ......}.:> .
'req~ire's th~ player to hold the open. Once the note has been
~-J ~, ~ ~'-:j '~'~'~,{.' f ' ".' . ;, '. . '
stepped, the note clicking instantly to ,
.}jnstz:u.m~nf:r,~~t,,;. an angle (deflected flattened by shade-fingering or quar-
.' .... ~>. /.~, . ).~""_'..: . " , ' ,' ";.! ",_ l...
a higher pitch. For example;' finger
i hot:izo~tally:;,~usually rightwards) and ' ter tone fingerings, it is raised to ' 01346 and slowly close tHe ;bell- ' ' "the' )
~f~~Wf,ibJ-~, :}~~~ ~~q ,~ ~,9.ns~Ilar:tt midway proper , pitch by " increased breath pitch will slide slowly ' 'down. 'T heri 1

~ p~t~e,e.~:L~f,14,, :~?: (th~ ,~o-called Spanish pressure, which also means increased finger 02356 and slowlyclos~ the '
i :, :V):~~~l;rhe.il~.!,\~ol:1}ld tds ~,,~,one of equal volume. Tone quality is bound to bell-the pitch will in~tantiy cr~~k
;p,roporti,ons;of tone and rushing air. shift drastically. The bell may also be upwards. This is very strange indeed .
. ~N9,tate vaIlJhese clearly as regards shaded to lower certain notes, furi- But then, the charm of the ~ec~ider
"~~,~.~~'iii~kle ,;ariations. , ously though, the bell when ~~~ed<> \!~esE~a:!~yb!no ~\=~~~i~o~' 1"'"1 (0 \1.' 'r)&7)
')y~~mics ~ : ';', ,', " , ' " CHART 7 by ~\.f -<Ab:>\~ +h~ b~\\ ' '
;,'.}~r~"'t;//. I";,, :"' -,' ;,,' Closed-Bell Notes and Extraordinary Pitches
j:,~ j1'UnlesS' th~ special techniques of the
,underblow,n harmonics are used, the ALTO RECORDER NOTATION
;,re~o~d~r~.j~~" :'nqrmally ;,; :limited to, a Closed bell is useful in permitting rapid movement between extreme pitches .
:narrow dyn~mic range. AS'mentioned (see text) . Closed bell also provides notes outside the standard range. For higher
:, u~der.:th~' heading /'Rhythmic Breath notes than those listed here see text: "Covered Windway."
:' Pr~ss~r~ r:':'Vibrat6"':' an' increase ' in
br.~~fh~'i;~ess4~e',: wilI: "' besides increas-
'. .... !t l!t.1. --- -'" "." :,,~, ..
irig <volume ' somewhat, cause the
;r~~o~d~r to'go sharp~ Thus, the use of
r:p,;yano : r r as';': dynamic levels is of ~ 1:
ps,Y,~IiI~gi~~I ,~alue only: the recor- 012345 Bill ~ I Z3 j b 7 BiJ~
" q~\ " ~a~I.1ot ; produce these volume cc,t")fo r <;(I\~<!.. ~~~ Q.r\~5 (soft:) u.sef",1 fOr oll,lt>trill
WJ e
Je.v~!~;without going flat or sharp. \'r\-:! :l
{:~lf!~~;;~~rnt1::~a:::t:;i~::~~ Wr0I235pfBe11 \ t' DJ238rJI '~1245 8dl I
tet is ",mp" to mf. The first two
'. .,overblow.nregisters
offer ~ range of
from mp to (The dynamIC range of
:" the'fluteis greater.) Tones of the third
&t'f rnx q'!iZ :;:"tj:er
-- - - -
- - --
i rr
" //.fl,,r\-'1~It\'1'-1\1 v~1b\e -JI{t\'W\*~#)~"J.:e. i)
~ 113
~ -1~ ~ \~
5 Bill 1

,~:iri~:~::;:::s:;it::e:t~~~:t~: _
"same' dynarIlicrange. Notes above ~C 3~10e.\\)
&:iff;:;! 1;/234BiJl ,f;12358dll
0l')..31.\-~{;1 He,\\ (f;\--';\ff)Cf)]
. ,must be struck If to sound.
" ".If . true levels of pp * and ff . are
, wanted, special fingerings must be
'provided~ Chart 3 gives excellent pp
, fingerings. There is not yet a system
of ff fingerings: basically, flatter- than '
, than-normal fingerings are used (fre-
. quently coarsening tone). The quarter
tone chart 4 may be helpful In

, *Baroque technique requires p echo

passages to be played staccato, giving
the subjective impression of softness.
It further seems that the ear may be
relatively insensitive to flat notes of
very brief duration.


For Further Reference ~
Ou Bois, Rob. Spiel und Zwischen- of Quantz's classic of Baroque music
(Prices are approximate) spiel for Alto Recorder and Piano. instruction, written in 1752. Much
Amsterdam: Oonemus. Edition 0398. more thana flute method, Quantz's
~ Alemann, Eduardo Armando. Spec- (For U.S.A. and Canada: C.F. Peters book gives "inside information" of
tra for Four Recorders. New York: Corporation, 373 Park Avenue value to all musicians-com1Josers
Galaxy Music Corporation, Ameri- NYC) approx. $8.00 and performers alike. Quantz's ap-
can Recorder Society Editions, No. wHO d . h P I T ' f ..

PI proach to performance esthetic seems

P f S $ ''''' In emit, au. no rom oner l'd! h d . ) , .,
79, 1975. er ormance core, 2.50; Musiktag. Originally written for So- va 1 or muc .m o, ~rn , ~USl~ . ';,". . , '

Record, $3.00; Set of Score and prano in A and two Altos in ' O. ~ Tiet: Ton-That. Ai Van 2 (Epitaphe 2)
Record, $5.50. Mainz: B. Schott's Sohne, 1932. for Bass Recorder and : Harpsich,o rd:
:it Andriessen, Louis. Sweet for Alto Edition 3355405. Transposed version Pa~is: Societe des 'Editions Jobert, 44
Recorder. London: Schott & Co., for Soprano, Alto, and Tenor: Lon- Rue du Colisee. 75008 Paris . .1973.,
Ltd., 1972. The Modern Recorder don: Schott & Co., Ltd., 1952 . . approx. $5.75 .
Series No.2. RMS 1370. $2.50. Edition 10094a miniature score. (Re- Tucker, Tui St. George. Sonata. for ,'
Berio, Luciano. Gesti for Alto Recor- corded on E.M.I. SLS 5022) Solo Recorder and Romanza for Solo
der. London: Universal Edition, 1970. ~Linde, Hans-Martin. Music for a Bird Recorder. .Bro.o,klyn;'. NY: ," Anfor '
(Joseph Boonin, Inc., Music Publica- for Treble Recorder Solo. Mainz: B. Music Publishing, 1970. RCE No. ,14. ;"
tions, P.O. Box 2124, South Hacken- Schott's Sohne. Edition Schott 6278. $2.00 (Terminal , ~usic, ;166 ;W,. ,;,48 ;:~,;i
sack, NJ) approximately $2.30 (U .E. RMS 2050. (Recorded by the com- : St., NYC) "'. :':;';'~, ',.>~:"~:l:i;'r:,, ,:,~,~~~~';~\!.~~,;tI
15627) poser _on . E.M.I. Electrola/Odeon ~ Ve~ter '! t\1i~hael:,;'JC/fjq~'t o ;,: 1~~~~~i~~.:4
Britten, Benjamin. Scherzo for SATB lC065 28841) approx. $1.75 . acerbo: .Inst~uctl()~~ ' ~~d, ~~~~sl~~~,f5?rt~;
Recorder Consort. London: H(.'wkes~Miller, Edward. Song for R~co.rder or Players ' of " New ' ~~5o.t.de~'~~.,~~~!f~{~
& Sons, 1955. Edition RP 1, 65 c"nts. Flute. New York: McGinnis and Celle: Moeck !Verlag, . 1969 .. , ~dlhon ;
(Recorder on E.M.I. SLS 5022) Also Marx, 1964. (Recorded by Bernard MoeckNr.. 4000~ ~ ~,.'A~pr9xl~a~el~j
available in . Boosey & Hawkes: Krainis on Odyssey 32160144) $20.00. Te~pqranly ': out ,:.,0 .~nnt:~<
"Recorder Pieces from the 12 to the approx $2.00. (Also . contalns ,s 9 me 4,OOOa~dlhona~ ;,,~
20th Century." Murrill, Herbert. Sonata for Treble fingerings. D.0.; .no~" , h9'l!J~1!er; ::assume,~
C.R.A. [initials only] Tres Movi- Recorder or Flute. London: Oxford that these ;. WIll" g(t1per~ , :. pn :.~,a.~!~;,.',
recorders-they must be tested . Indl- i:'
mientos para Flauta Dulce (Soprano). University Press, 1951. approx. $2.00 . vidually. Alsocontain''s, '~x~~tpt~1r.o,mi~
Buenos Aires: Barry, 1962.(Boosey & the modern literature~'j not~tion}:h'arf~~~
Hawkes) $1.00. technical advice, and ; exercises fwhith .1;~
are", very \ c#fficult ..<Gerrriilri iind';\Eng~,r?,
Quantz, Johann Joachim. On Playing
The Flute. New York: Schirmer
Dorough, Robert. Eons Ago Blue for Books, 1966. In paperback, $7.'95 . . "are,_, ,v ery !c#ffi,c ult. <Ge~an ' i:ind ;.Eng~~'
A TTB Recorder Consort and optional (This is Edward R. Reilly's translation lish in one volume.) :. '.- -. . . '. '.. ~ ."
\ I. ,. , , ~ "

percussion and gamba or cello.

Hullabaloo Music, 1962. (Recorded
on Odyssey 32160144) ,


AMV'\u>,f) R.(,o,~r :
VoL \ 7 f'r~ I J ~i 191(0
Re: A Composer's Guide to the
Recorder by Bob Margolis
(February 1976)

Corrections and additions

registers-these overlap, as follows:
-t.. :;
t. ~,,~ ~h..'\rp _I L
'2.1\lA.-;'I1.. . v
+ __ ~-
'.j~4;y.-~= ~~~ -
;; '0 -Q. "'& ti "'&. ~ -e 'Q

'" ,~;::; "'l"-'" '" '"

'i- ,\'t'- \..J.,. '$- ) \
'c9- ,;t 'c9- 'c.9- '-" . clC):) b0 \ .

a-. -
-...J GC -...J ....., ....., ~ 'J..
CQ"'~t o~~~o~ .we~ 0\1. ~~, 7 ~ ~"tN=\ te~.)
trills ana tremolo-the trill of low g to g
sharp (on the alto) is possible: the
fingering is 01234567 (trill 7).
special effects-in the notation of a por-
tamento or glissando, the composer
should be careful to notate exactly the
desired effect in the following manner:
the glissando will start (moving) at the
beginning of the last note (head) before
the line and will arrive at the note at the
end of the line, on time. If the composer
wants the note to be held a certain
amount of time before the glissando
starts, a note of that value should be tied
to the note before the line.

If the amount of time taken during the

glissando cannot be expressed by a single
note, notate as follows:

special effects-when using windway

vibrato, especially on notes in the fun-
damental ( register, half-steps usually
requiring the right hand can be played
using the fingerings:
lS-T ?-l"Ic\ ~ ~t<u .
c# (either register): 0122 (~122)
d#: 012 ~\ ~ c,.\) \). te.~-t~~.( r~~i>-\<u)
g#: (all open) \Jovc\J

The slight intonation problems usually

encountered with such fingerings is not a
problem here, since the nature of wind-
way vibrato is to broaden the pitch
enough to cover slight intonation errors.
I consider these minor errata and
omissions in an otherwise useful and in-
fonnative article. my thanks to Mr.

Stephen A . Malinowski
Santa Barbara, California

6 The American Recorder

Mr. Margolis replies:
Mr. Malinowski's comments are well
taken, indeed, all he describes is ac-
curate. Our charts differ because I have
put the register breaks where they
naturally occur with the use of normal
fingerings. The main reason for
providing composers with this infor-
mation is to put them on alert that notes
slurred across register breaks produce
click noises. Sometimes, looking at
recorder music obviously written by
nonrecorderists I find a large number of
such slurs in passages of a cantabile
nature. It is my feeling that if these com-
posers were aware of the bad effect of
such sl\;lrs upon the continuity of the
line, they might not write them. This
becomes a matter of the composer's in-
dividual preference-some may not find
the clicks intrusive, and some may con-
sider them part of the recorder's charac-
teristic sound, and so cultivate them for
creative purpose. Composers ought also
be mindful of two other factors in
this matter: First, the more skillful a
player is, the better he will be able to
smoothly negotiate such across-the-break
slurs, and second, some across-the-break
slurs are easier of technique and less
click-prone than others. For reasons best
appreciated by recorderists, measure one
of the following example is less easy than
measure two:

On the face of it measure one looks
easier to a nonrecorderist because the
jumps are smaller. As it happens, these
particular jumps are quite difficult to slur
smoothly. Both measures are much easier
The following passage when slurred
using normal fingerings makes clicks:

Mr. Malinowski's chart shows that' it is

possible to extend the normal compass of .
. the registers by the fingerings given
therein. The 01234567 fingering for flf'#
brings this note into the 1st overblown
register along with a thus making it

possible ' to play the above , example

without clicks. As this is . not ' the

fingering players would normally use for

f" # the composer must indicate it , if he
wishes it. (g" may likewise Pe put .tip. in-
to the 1st overblown register .~th .) he'
fingering 1234567.) . .,. :: .... . .
My adv:ice to composer~ is ,to . follow '
the location of the registers ,as: gi~e~ ,in '
Chart 2 of my article for normal uskge ~
Mr. Malinowski's chart is equally " ac~
curate, for special.usage, 'and ' thisirie~~f
the composer, must be prepared, to provide-
the special fingerings and ' should be
aware of the change in timbre (which '
mayor may not be desirable according
to context and taste) resulting from these .
fingerings. - . .
Where the composer wishes to write .'
the longest possible unbroken glissando, '
by - all means he should ' follow Mr~',
Malinowski's chart as a gUid~ .t6 , ~e'
outwardmost extents of range withm . a '
given register, being- sure ' to provide' Mr . .
Malinowski's fingerings for ' the', 'quarler-'
tone notes and the f # ~
If' ,, ,
As to the matter of the alto' slow g/ g#
trill-this can be ' played ', with'>: the
fingering given, but there are two ,r:~r~
vations: The g' thus obtained tendsto' be
sharp, and the fingering is .a\\1,k~ard; '
especially so if it must be .gotten .to
quickly. Writing such a trill is ~e ' writing
a passage of parallel tenths in ,one hand .
for piano:the virtuosi will play . it;', or-
dinary persons wil~nBt. Recorderists ,
with short pinkies~~Yr finarthis trill-i~~
possible; virtuosi with long and limber
fingers will play it. *
The half-steps Mr. ,Malinowski
provides for the left hand only in win~
dway vibrato work well. Another note
for the left hand only is g'" #, fingered
013 and played forte or louder.

*Recorder Technique by A . Rowland-Iones

(Oxford University Press) is a bountiful source
of information for trill and alternate fingerings
and much else.