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date: 14 October 2019


  • David Lasocki


A woodwind instrument with a thumb-hole and (generally) seven finger-holes. It is the chief Western member of the class of duct flutes, i.e. flutes with a whistle mouthpiece, being distinguished from most other members particularly by its thumb-hole. Invented (or imported to Europe) during the Middle Ages, it was one of the most common wind instruments of the Renaissance and continued to play an important role in the Baroque. After being little used during the Classical and Romantic periods, it was resuscitated in the early 20th century and featured prominently in the early-music revival. Today it is a widely popular educational and amateur instrument and has attracted a skilled body of professionals.

Recorders are made in different sizes, with compasses corresponding to different vocal ranges. There are four main instruments in use today: the descant (known in the USA as the ‘soprano’; lowest note c″); treble (in the USA ‘alto’; lowest note ...

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Galpin Society Journal
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