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How Does the Recorder Work?

How Does the Recorder Work?

Instrument Shape and Gamily

The recorder is a woodwind instrument and is part of the internal duct flute family. Other instruments in this family include the flute and clarinet. The instrument is long and narrows towards one end. The mouth piece at the opposite end is blown into and is blocked by a wooden plug the filters wind. Unlike other members of its family, it has holes for seven fingers on top and one hole underneath for the thumb. It is known for its sharp whistle-like sound.


There are many types of recorders, but the most popular are those tuned in C and F. The recorders in C are Garklein, Soprano, Tenor, Great Bass, and Subcontra Bass. The recorders in F are Sopranino, Treble, Bass, Contra Bass, and Octocontrabass. The Treble and Soprano recorders are the most popular and are used by solo artists and in the classroom setting.

Creating Sound

Recorders come in both plastic and wood. Plastic recorders are great for classrooms and beginners, but wood recorders have a sweeter sound. To create sound the user must blow into the mouthpiece or windway. The wind blows into the instrument and against an edge referred to as the labium and this creates the note. The note created depends on the placement of the fingers along the holes.

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