The Choice of an Instrument

Picture of some recorders The choice of an instrument of course depends of the music which you are going to play on it. For the music of the high baroque period You need an instrument in the style of Bressan, Stanesby, Rothenburgh etc. The measurements of these instruments don't differ very much. Two original Bressan flutes can show greater differences in measurements, sound and speaking than an instrument of Bressan and one of Rottenburgh. Well, the choice of the model isn't so important.
Baroque flutes are drilled strongly conically. This causes a emerging of the odd top tones , the sound becomes "quintig", necessary for a solo instrument, which we don't wont to melt with the accompanying instruments. In the 16. and early 17. century we prefer instruments, which shouldn't stand out from other, musically equal important voices. For this reason renaissance recorders almost are drilled cylindrically as we find them in the collections in Vienna, Verona and Venedig so that the even top tones, particularly the octave, are stressed. You find the same difference at an organ between conical and cylindrical pipes (Prinzipale and Flutes). Said briefly: renaissance music on baroque flutes doesn't sound very well.

The wood:

For baroque recorders I prefer box-wood to every other material. For me it gives the most beautiful sound and has been used almost exclusively in the 18th century. Only some ivory flutes are still found. In the 2nd halve of the 18th century also ebony or grenadill has been used for transverse flutes. For renaissance instruments I use canadian maple and plum.


We practically don't find double holes at original instruments. If You only play original literature You don't need them. The sound and the speaking of not only the 1. and 2. step becomes weaker by double holes. Please check how often you need a musical important F-sharp or G-sharp that can't be played by a half covered hole. The old flautist was used to half-cover holes. The original barock-fingering needs half-covering for the upper B-flat (4th step) with the ring finger. With some practising it is not difficult.
My suggestion: Have a second middle- and foot-joint made with single holes.
Please allow me a remark about the so called "Ganassi-recorder." Briefly said: In history there has never been such an instrument which is prolonged and opened wide at the end and sounds unharmonical loud in the lower notes. The instruments offered under this name today are always an invention of somebody (some flute builders argue intensely over the inventorship) The instrument from the Viennese collection, which is sometimes mentioned, is a quite normal treble recorder. Like almost every Renaissance flute instrument (also transverse flutes) it is enlarged slightly on the end. Obviously the ancient flute makers tuned the lowest note by opening the bottom-hole as much as required, but this doesn't change the sound character of the low notes.

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