Sydney Recording Studio: Recorder

The Sydney Recording Studio Recorder is one the first instrument a lot of us learn to play. Long before we enter a Sydney Recording Studio it is our first experience of playing music.
The profile of the modern sydney recording studio recorder, in three sections so familiar to primary-school children, emerged in the second half of the seventeenth century, but the recorder’s history begins at least two or three centuries earlier. The two earliest extant recorders, both small, plain wooden instruments, date from the fourteenth century, and archival and pictorial evidence survives from the same period. A member of the flute family, the recorder was used for art music in western Europe throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth century. As a musical instrument, the recorder is identified by its whistle mouthpiece (also known as a fipple or duct), by the seven finger holes on the front of the instrument, and by the thumbhole on the back side. Until our time, it was usually made of wood, although occasionally of ivory.

Sydney Recording Studio: Renaissance Recorders

Most Renaissance recorders were constructed from a single piece of undecorated wood with a predominantly cylindrical bore. The instrument had a relatively narrow range of an octave and a sixth, with a rich timbre, perfect for blending in an ensemble. Makers would construct matched consorts of various sizes of recorders, from the smallest—only a few inches long—to the largest, which might measure more than six feet. A full family of recorders was needed for playing the notated polyphonic repertory of the period—motets, secular songs, fantasias, canzonas, and arrangements of dances—music made commonly available in the sixteenth century by the invention of music printing in 1501.
King Henry VIII (r. 1509–47), an avid amateur musician, by the end of his life owned seventy-six recorders, undoubtedly organized in several matched choirs. They were likely played by the five members of the Bassano family, the royal professional recorder consort, as well as by Henry himself. The Museum’s tenor recorder in C’ (89.4.3133), while possibly constructed in the seventeenth century, is a typical Renaissance-style recorder, made from a single piece of maple, simple in appearance, with twin finger holes on the bottom, allowing the player the option of playing left- or right-handed after plugging the unused hole.