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The Recorder: The World's Most Prolific Woodwind Musical Instrument

The recorder is a woodwind flute instrument with European origins from the Middle Ages, and variations of this straight flute have been used in music around the world. This instrument is noted for its bright, crisp sound and its wide variety of tonal capability thanks in part to it's whistle mouthpiece and open fingering holes. Find recorders in a variety of dimensions, construction, and styles on eBay.

Brands that manufacturer and produce recorders

Brands that produce recorders make them in many shapes and sizes. They also come in different levels from beginner to professional. Professional models are tuned for expert level musicians and feature precision craftsmanship. These are typically designed with a 3-piece construction, allowing for the replacement or interchanging of any of the primary elements. Here are some of the recorder manufacturers you'll find on eBay:

  • Moeck
  • Aulos
  • Suzuki
  • Yamaha
What are the most common types of recorders?

Most people are familiar with the most standard and common type produced, which is the alto. The alto recorder is a very forgiving instrument, producing a tone in an octave range that is most comfortable for beginner musicians. There are many ranges available for the more experienced musician, and while they all carry the same basic layout, many of them come in unique designs and styles.

  • Sopranino: The highest pitched recorder is also the smallest. It maintains the straight barrel format but with smaller, more tightly spaced fingering holes.
  • Soprano: This recorder is similar in shape and proportion to the alto, but is also slightly smaller. It produces a higher tonal range than the alto recorder and requires more embouchure control.
  • Alto: This recorder is commonly used in youth music programs thanks to the minimal embouchure control required and the balanced tone it produces.
  • Tenor: This instrument is larger than the common alto with a wider, longer barrel diameter and mouthpiece. Many models feature a finger extension pad so those with average to small hands are able to reach the last hole.
  • Bass: A bass recorder is the largest and carries with it the deepest tone. Its large bore diameter and length give it dimensions more in line with the instrument's woodwind cousin, the clarinet. While the bass recorder still features the traditional seven fingering holes, their spacing is so extreme that bass recorders feature multiple fingering pads to enable players to reach. Many bass instruments also feature a curved neck to allow the instrument to be played at a more comfortable downward angle.
The common materials used to make recorders

Quality instruments are most commonly produced from wood. Wood instruments are generally preferred as they tend to produce a warmer sound. Because of the slight differences in density and stiffness, different types of wood can produce slightly different tones. There are also composite instruments, which are produced from multiple composite materials. These materials can be precisely formulated and placed in different pieces to produce a specific tonal quality. The least expensive beginner models are typically produced from plastic. These recorders are usually one piece and are a great introduction into the instrument.