Getting started on RENAISSANCE recorders! | Team Recorder

Getting started on RENAISSANCE recorders! | Team Recorder


hello everybody I’m Sarah and I’m a remote of that first of all why yes this is a team record a t-shirt check it out it has the logo here and down the side we have the holes of the recorder more information on this t-shirt the other team recorder products that have been made and how you can get your hands on them it’s all gonna follow in next week’s video unless I’m going to see you at the Order open recorded a festival in Amsterdam this weekend we’re team recorder we’ll be selling these wares so I really hope to see some of you there I’m so excited okay I’ll make the video today we are going to get into getting started on Renaissance recorders now the recorder as an instrument has been around for centuries and unsurprisingly the instrument itself has changed evolved developed a lot along that course of time and if you look at Renaissance style recorders as opposed to barakatuh they look different they sound different and they are played differently so I’m here to help you with that and I also want to say this say you do want to play Renaissance music that’s music from around the 15th and 16th centuries but you don’t actually have a renaissance recorder that’s also fine the ghost of Palestrina isn’t gonna rise up out of his grave and clobber you over the head with your plastic alto this is just to kind of give an introduction into what is out there so let us first take a look what is the difference between a Renaissance and Baroque or what we think of as a normal recorder obviously all of these are going to be generalizations because in the Renaissance things weren’t standardized everyone didn’t do everything in the exact same way and there will be exceptions all over the place that’s fine one obvious difference is that my Renaissance Alto is in one piece whereas my barak Alto is actually in three pieces so Renaissance instruments tend to be in fewer pieces than Barak ones I would say the most important difference is the four that is the whole lung the inside of the recorder check this out the Renaissance recorder is much much wider and that is going to give a bigger sound abrupt instrument is very conical so it starts very wide and gets pretty narrow at the end a renaissance instrument is also a conical but to a much lesser degree and that have even been drawings of instruments by a man called vir dung of recorders that appeared to be completely cylindrical another detail the rock recorders tend to have double hulls for the last two fingers whereas Renaissance Renaissance instruments tend to have single hulls if you want to play semitones there you have to half hole it and the decoration the Renaissance instrument looks a lot simpler more pure whereas the Baroque instrument has a lot of little carvings nah believe it’s wobbly bits things to make it look elaborate I mean that is just aesthetic but you could say that is also reflected in the music by Renaissance soprano alto and tanner all looked pretty similar they’re all in one piece but my cassette is in two pieces and you can see often with the bass Renaissance instruments they’ll have something called a Fontan now and this is a decorated kind of piece of wood that hides the key work to make it look more beautiful but still allows the sound to come out with these holes and the fun fact a lot of Renaissance bass instruments have a double key because back then you can actually choose if you played your hands this way around all that way around so your little fingers on both sides compress the key so what is the difference sound I’ve just remembered that I never wear lipstick when I’m playing instruments that I share with other people one second a baroque recorder and a renaissance instrument oh yeah you could also hear that my Renaissance instruments are pitched a semitone higher than modern pitch that a is four hundred and sixty-six Hertz so how are the instruments arranged in modern concerts we have them FC FC f like vases tenors Altos Sopranos sopra Minos now in the Renaissance it wasn’t always like this and there are lots of differing systems but in general it was good if the instruments match the human voice so we see a lot of concerts with the basis in F the middle instruments in C and then the high instruments are v higher in G and the Dutch English recorder maker Adrian Brown has even taken his research further into this making whole consorts tuned in fifths so we have the basis in F then basis in C the sets in G 10 is in D Altos in a and then Sopranos will be in E by the way if you’re interested in interested in this historical side of it there’s so much more than I can communicate in this video go to Adrian Browns website and he’s written a lot of interesting stuff linked in the description ok great we’ve got a little bit background say you want to start playing on a renaissance recorder what should you be buying okay the first thing I’m going to talk about is a professional handmade record a concert my trio Axl have a beautiful consort by Pedro from the pool that consists of seven instruments the pros is that it sounds amazing and you can choose exactly what you want you can discuss with this with the maker the cons is that it’s very very expensive obviously because you’re paying for a professional product so I’m guessing that’s not what we’re going for in this video but it’s worth checking out the instruments made by these people people like Vader from the pool Adrian Brown adrionna bro King Bob Marvin and there are many more and these are just amazing instruments for the beginning Renaissance player I found a really nice starting point to be the dream recorders by Adrianna broke Inc and Malin how’re these are kind of a modern invention but it’s a really nice compromise between the Renaissance look a nice wide bore and a big sound [Music] but it still has Barack fingerings and a Barak range so you don’t have to learn new places to put your fingers and it is a modern pitch so you can still play with a piano or other instruments other recorders they are also very reasonably priced so if you want to start playing Renaissance medieval maybe folk maybe pop music that’s what I use mine for I don’t have any here with me now but Merck also make two different Renaissance concerts their kin SiC arranged and their consort range these are also fine instruments I have played on them a lot they’re a lot more affordable than I have made set other advantages are that the fingerings are a bit more Baroque standardized so they’re easy to get to grips with they are in modern pitch which I found to be a bit of a shame because I do like the high Renaissance pitch but again it means you can buck you can combine them easily with other instruments so say you actually have a Renaissance concert instrument in your hands how do you play it now some of the thing rings are going to be different I’m on an alto here so I’m going to be talking in alto fingerings the biggest difference is that the G what we would normally do just with finger 2 is completely open so no fingers for me that was the biggest thing to get used to and a lot of the forked fingerings like your B flat or you’ll be might need one finger more or one finger less to be in Chu for example my b-flat does not meet the little finger but might be does it won’t be exactly the same for every record a/c and I have to use your ears to tune it a bit Renaissance instruments tend to have a smaller range often either an octave in a stick and octave in a seventh this one I can actually get two octaves for the high D or high a on a soprano you will play the normal half thumb one two and then you actually add three fingers at the bottom and then going up and this is a crazy one for the top top F so two octaves above you close everything then half hold the thumb second and fifth finger so those are the biggest differences and a couple of tips for playing them in general because of the wider board they need a lot more air if you plant like a Barak recorder it’s just gonna sound a bit unhealthy Renaissance instruments are most often used in concert so that is so important to listen to each other and listen to the tuning these gives such a wide open sound and when you get those chords in tune it’s like ah and I’m gonna give you a tip from my colleague Esther cooler who you may have also seen in the video the biggest recorder in the world in Renaissance music often you have repeated notes especially if it’s vocal music and to really bring this out in the recorder think of each note going in a different direction that helps to keep the music alive and stop it going thanks for the tip I use it a lot and regardless of if you’re going to be playing on authentic instruments or not I can imagine that you want to get into some Renaissance music because it’s so beautiful I will start by saying in the Renaissance music was rarely – never written specifically for a group of recorders what we actually do is adapt a lot of vocal music vocal music fits extremely well on recorders sometimes keyboard music and organ piece or an instrumental piece for other instruments a couple of resources for you that is a great book called my first Tudor consort book this has a lot of ensemble pieces in it in easy and in hard versions so it’s also good if you have an ensemble with mixed abilities I don’t have the book here but I’ll put the link in the description it’s really nice and a composer who is good to begin with is Anthony Holborn he made a lot of really nice dancers and they’re quite effective but not crazy difficult ensemble pieces you can find all of it on SLP my personal favorite is the fairy round if you’re playing in a duo the pieces by Thomas moly his nine Fantasia’s are really nice I actually did a play along on one of these a month or two ago but there are eight other fantasies to get your teeth into and if you by yourself and you’re thinking I don’t have a group of people to play with that’s okay I say this in every video but you can always play fun egg deflating list off which is one of the biggest resources for music from this period if you want to get into something a bit more advanced we have all of the Richard Ganner by miss of a Giuliano and also Bassano and if you want to get into something a little bit less advanced I would look up the songs and ballads from the Tudor period there are so many and you can just play the tune and it sounds absolutely beautiful oh my god this is one of these videos again where I feel like I’ve said so much but there’s also a lot that I’ve missed out ha so it goes without saying if you have resources tips pieces you like instruments that work for you whatever please share it in the comments below if you are going to be an Amsterdam this weekend I really hope to see you at the open recorded A’s festival Amsterdam I will be there the whole time so please come and say hi I will probably try and make you take a selfie with me and otherwise stay tuned for next week because I am going to be launching the team recorder shop as always you can subscribe to my channel by clicking on my face down here in the corner up here is a link to my patreon where you can choose the support team recorder over here I’m going to leave the link to my thomas morley play along so you can immediately start playing some Renaissance music thank you for watching everybody and have a lovely day [Music]

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58 Comments

  1. Any idea why these are never made in the harder woods? Is it simply the massive price the larger consort instruments would cost, do you think?

  2. Wow, I was just looking for Renaissance music and flutes! Thank you so much for this video, I loved it! (and all the other ones too 😉 )

  3. I wish with my whole heart I could have been in Amsterdam this weekend.. but considering that I live in South Africa that’s a bit difficult

  4. a=466 hz is only one of the renaissance pitches. For instance, it appears that church choirs sang at a lower pitch, something like a=408 hz, and traverse flutes and some muted cornetts where also pitched at 408, some a little higher at a=425 hz. In addition, a=440 hz seems to have been known at the period. I believe it was called tutto punto, through granted, perhaps it was less commonly used. As a practical matter, having renaissance consort recorders pitched at 440 may not be a bad choice, especially if you will also be playing with other instruments or singers. I know many string players and singers who would vehemently object to having to play or sing at a=466 hz.

  5. I love Renaissance music, it is so… carefree and lively.
    That said, I'm still a beginner and I think I'll leave the authentic Renaissance recorders to the professionals… and or to my future self, when I am a good recorder player. After all, you said that Palestrina is not going to hurt me, is he? 😉

  6. I would really want to visit the festival and get a shirt, but I get visited by my relatives for my birthday 🙁 But I hope you all will have fun being there 🙂

  7. Really useful as I am thinking of buying an Adri's Dream. Tried a second hand one but it just didn't have any volume. I will wait for a better one to come along. Best wishes.

  8. Thank you, Sarah! I enjoy your videos very much, and have begun sharing them with some of my students (9 and 10 year-old beginners). They LOVED the Top 10 Recorder Mistakes – and one of the boys said that you are beautiful even when you are sick. 😊
    Thank you for sharing all of these resources!

  9. Another great resource is the Cancionero de Palacio, I'm having so much fun working through that enormous tome with my Mollenhauer Dream & cheapo Yamaha Alto. 😀

  10. Thanks! I'll add Italian subtitles next weekend. You put so much effort into your videos, so I think it's a good thing they may reach as much people as possible! 🙂

  11. Not crazy difficult ? Just have a look at the tenor part of "Ecce quam bonum" !
    The harmony of Renaissance music is rather simple when compared to later periods of time.
    For that reason, I guess, its rhythms are often rather tricky (syncopes, changing binary to ternary and back, hemioles).

  12. Could you talk to us about what you may know about the modernization of recorders? If you happen to have access to modern recorders? I always found a fascination with recorders just because to me, if the recorder wasn’t taken over by the transverso, I just wonder how it would develop, and what role it could play in our world today. Like would the recorder be a member of the standard orchestra today? And if so what kind of timbre’s and colors would be used? I would love to see a video on this!!!
    Thanks a bunch!

  13. Hey Sarah – As you stated 00:48 "The recorder, as an instrument, has been around for centuries…"  Other similar instruments, such as the full chromatic flutophone has been around only since 1943.  Along with all my other musical instruments (to include the venerable recorder), the nascent flutophone also works for me 13:31.  Happy recorder playing. 😉 ♫

  14. Thanks for another brilliant video, Sarah! I especially liked your comment about consorts. If people want to play Ren recorder with others, they should find out which make is most prevalent in their area.
    Here in the US, on the East Coast at least, recorders made by Thomas Prescott seem most popular. There are Prescott classes at many workshops. By the way, these are 440hz 1/4 comma meantone and will NOT play in tune with baroque instruments. I hope people realize this before they make a large investment.
    And yes, they are pricey. My keyed tenor cost $3200 and I was on a waiting list for a year. So folks, find out which make is most popular in your country.
    I am very lucky to study with a teacher, Wendy Powers, who specializes in Ren recorder. And despite my initial grumbling, I now LOVE studying mensural notation. Ligatures, ficta, modes…oh my! C1, and C4 clef seem like second nature to me now. At first, like anything, it seemed so very, very difficult. But I think any recorder player can learn it. I know many players see no need to learn early notation, but I find it extraordinarily satisfying.

  15. Great video!! Could you please make another video like this but in the EWI and/or other electronic wind instruments? Once again, Awesome video

  16. Quick question, Sarah, that scrunchy that you unhook at 3:24, is that to prevent the key from sticking to the 'down' position?

  17. Hi. Thx a lot for your videos, u cannot imagine how proud I am of you. I play by hobby. I started with galician bagpipes, and went to the irish flutes and the fantastic world of the recorders. Despite being an engineer, I keep trying to professionalize myself by my own in the music (dont know why, it comes from my heart). One day when I have time to write I'll share my complete story, the tears and smiles etc…
    I'd like to ask you to talk about the famous 'circular breathing'. Can u do this? I know you can ahah(arent u a super human?). Needind help.
    Thx a lot

  18. Hello Sarah, I thank you a lot for all your videos, because in France in my town the is almost nothing for the recorder players, above all like me : begginer. I have a main question for you : how can we wake up a recorder ( a wooden soprano) that had not been played for many years? My problem is, all the notes are great except the D and above the C and C sharp at the bottom of the recorder (the two last holes). It's sounds like a kitty very hungry… Thank you very much ; I play this recorder every day, maybe one day it will have a great tone and no problem anymore…

  19. I bought my Mollenhauer Dream recorders for the same reasons! Baroque range, pitch, and fingering, plus the Renaissance look, partly for historical reenactment purposes. And great for pop and folk too.

    I'd have preferred the plumwood ones (dark wood with light decorative rings) but they were too expensive, and I ended up with the pearwood (light with dark rings). The wood is going darker with handling and oiling.

  20. I want a t-shit!!!!!!!!! 😀 But I don't live in the NL anymore, please let me know how I can order it! 🙂 #TeamRecorder

  21. Great video as always! 🙂 What's your opinion on vibrato in Renaissance music? Some people say it was not common since it is impossible/difficult for a consort to stay in tune.

  22. Silly question: With recorders pitched in different keys (i.e. beyond the C and F that we all know) are you learning new fingerings for each instrument or are any played as transposing instruments?

  23. 1. One of the things I really like about Baroque and early music is that it actually is period appropriate and just fine to play left-handed, as I do on 19th century "Irish" flute (which is also fine as long as you start in ITM). Rightie-uber-alles hadn't gotten off the ground yet in the 1400s, and people don't understand just how unbelievably horrible it feels for some lefties to play the wrong way around. I figure all technology is assistive technology, so I might as well spend my money on something that works for me. 🙂

    2. Okay okay okay, FINE. I just bought an alto recorder. Happy? 🙂 Seriously, your channel is a lot of fun. Few things are more enjoyable and contagious than seeing someone talented and enthusiastic about something they love to do.

  24. Lovely Renaissance recorders! LOVE EM!!! Wish i had scads of money to get my own set.
    Found myself thrown in the deep end playing all sizes in Monteverdi and Gabrielli in a cold damp church and trying to reach the low tenor C and keep it warm hahaha! Stuggle for an professional oboist trying to pose as a professional recorder-player… Abso-bloody-lutely petrified, lucky to have helpful souls around and not doing all the solo stuff!

  25. I recommend also Tielman Susato, Pierre Phalese and Claude Gervaise's set of dances in consort: they are easy enough to play but there's a lot of fun and satisfaction!

  26. Dear Sarah, sorry for my poor English. I can’t get what you said in the video that for the less advance tunes and ballads, we can look for ?????What is the name you mentioned? Thanks you.

  27. Fantastic video! I've been looking for a proper side by side of baroque vs renaissance recorders, and this is by far the best one. Would suggest indicating the comparison in the title (eg "baroque vs renaissance recorders comparison") to make it easier for those who are searching for it. Thanks Sarah for your work!

  28. You mentioned the Dream recorder has the full Baroque range… does that mean at least two and a half octaves?

  29. For some reason, the recorder is the only baroque instrument I don't like, but I do like the renaissance version!

  30. Very useful videos. Congratulations. I've got a question. When I play my wooden flutes they get blocked with the condensation very easily,specially the soprano. I remember when I used to study that my teacher put some kind of liquid in the recorders before the concerts to avoid it. Years after I left the classes I still can not find that stuff. What do you do?

  31. Hi Sarah! I just received my SSAT renaissance set by Michael Praetorius and a basset by Stoeker. They are wonderful, everything I expect renaissance recorders to be. They are reasonable in price, too!

    I would like to get a sopranino and another tenor to match in the future.

  32. Ahhh, excuse me Sara – – may I ask if you can tell me how to get those recorder music books in English? I'm talking about the ones you suggested in your video. None of them were in English. Hmmmm – maybe they may come in English translation if I check to see.

  33. Hi, Sarah 🙂 I tried to translate to Brazilian Portuguese a year ago, but the video is too long… I just sent the part I made.

  34. O my goodness – I am so glad I have found you at last! I have been trying to approach the world of Renaissance recorder for the longest time and never knew how to get started. Thank you a thousand times for taking the time. Now the fun begins!

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