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The recorder - an instrument for beginners as well as professionals

The recorder is particularly suitable as an instrument for beginners. For anyone who would like to learn how to read music and make their first acquaintance with music making, it is a good idea to start with the recorder. The advantage of the recorder is, that without too much difficulty, one can produce a tone that will sound reasonably good. With instruments such as the clarinet, the oboe, the violin or the trumpet, the first steps cost far more time and effort. The recorder also has the advantage that the sound is produced by breathing and thus is related to singing. The instrument is made out of a solid material and is easy to take care of. Unlike a violin, a guitar, a piano, a harp or a percussion, it does not take up much room in one‘s luggage when visiting friends, going to school or on holiday. The soprano is small and easily manageable for small hands. The instrument is suitable for children aged 5 or 6 years, although some fingering especially of the lower notes could still be difficult.

 

Compared to other instruments, the recorder has further advantages: one can purchase a good, simple instrument without too much expense, the instrument does not require electricity and is generally made from wood – a natural material. Its technique is also easy to grasp as the movement of the fingers corresponds to high and low notes (lifting for higer notes, placing for lower notes).

 

All these advantages mislead people into thinking that the recorder is no more than a beginners‘ instrument which can easily be mastered in two years and that it merely serves as a preparation for a ”proper“ instrument. This attitude is not entirely wrong, since one can indeed learn elementary music making with the recorder, but it neglects the fact that the recorder has many other possibilities. Playing the recorder professionally demands a great deal of practice. It takes time and as a rule demands studying at a music academy or college to master the techniques required.

 

The recorder is an instrument with a long history. Playing its repertoire appropriately requires a thorough study of the different eras and the various musical styles as well as mastering the numerous different kinds of instruments and their individual playing techniques. Having passed the primary stage, one can also choose to continue on the recorder and discover the rich and colourful world it has to offer.

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