Jump to content


Photo

Recorder Thread!


  • Please log in to reply
4261 replies to this topic

#4246 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1739 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:39

yes, the simplicity appeals to me too. The point about hemp rope makes sense too; I believe the steel E-string on a violin was partly a response to the fact that gut E-strings tended to break, and weren't weather-proof.

On the quest for volume, it is absolutely true. It started when the public concert began (Bannister's concerts in London, I believe). Obviously the more noise you can make, the bigger the paying audience you can have. The modern concert grand piano is a highly developed machine for getting the very biggest sound possible from hitting a string. It really only pays lip-service to its origins in its shape. Tensions increased in stringed instruments, to get more oomph, so their geometries changed.

Of course there have been other quests too, for example the quest for uniformity between all notes and all keys (which was so important to Boehm in the flute). Unfortunately I think that one went off the rails too. It began as a desirable aim to make all keys usable, because each had their own flavour. The ultimate solution was to make all keys identical, so they can all be used, but since they all sound the same, there's no point any more. But again our beautiful imperfect recorder saves the day, because its notes aren't all identical. Each note has its own flavour, its own strength, so music containing a lot of forked C-sharps will sound different to music containing only un-forked Cs.

Both the quest for uniformity and the quest for volume, I think, sacrificed interest in timbre. I find it sort of weird that people get so excited about the nuances of difference between old Italian violins, and more modern German ones, and master violins of today, etc., when all these instruments are being strung in a way that changes their sound dramatically from what the maker intended.

But there is so much fun to be had. Here is a very special recording that goes to the heart of the quest for novelty, the quest for sound, the questions musicians must ask about an authentic performance. It's a piece by Schubert written for the Arpegione, a sort of bowed guitar, which was a novetly in Schubert's time, and has since disappeared. Nowadays it would be played by a Cello and a modern piano, but here we hear it played on a genuine Arpegione and a period piano. It's interesting to hear what it sounds like. Is the difference worth the prodigious effort necessary to find such a weird instrument? Given that the cello is one of the most beautiful and satisfactory of modern instruments, and fits the piece delightfully, why bother with an arpegione? Not sure I know the answers, but I'm glad these two people took the trouble to play it on the original instruments.

Hey, and on compromises, my recorder is plastic. That's not exactly authentic, but like modern rope, it's strong and low-maintenance! I remember swings with natural tarred rope when I was little...


  • 0

#4247 old_and_grumpy

old_and_grumpy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 335 posts
  • Member: 889252
    Joined: 27-October 14

Posted 27 September 2020 - 16:38

Thanks for the link!  The first time I heard the piece was many years ago, played on a clarinet, and I've heard it played on various instruments since, but never before on an actual Arpegione. 

Incidentally, the piano sounds fantastic.  I find the ubiquitous modern Steinway quite jarring sometimes; this has a lovely mellow tone.


  • 0

#4248 Zixi

Zixi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 485 posts
  • Member: 895683
    Joined: 08-August 16

Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:45

elemimele - Thanks - that's interesting. I'd never heard of an Arpegione! You've given me lots to think about, both of you. I still think (from experience with drama) that authentic performance is difficult to achieve. I wonder if it's possible to achieve...


  • 0

#4249 old_and_grumpy

old_and_grumpy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 335 posts
  • Member: 889252
    Joined: 27-October 14

Posted 28 September 2020 - 08:16

... authentic performance is difficult to achieve. I wonder if it's possible to achieve...

 

I think one can say "no" with almost total certainty!


  • 0

#4250 Maizie

Maizie

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6918 posts
  • Member: 9360
    Joined: 05-February 07
  • Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire

Posted 28 September 2020 - 09:26

Even if it were possible...how would you know you'd done it?!


  • 0

#4251 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1739 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:37

... very true! And in any case, no matter how authentic the location, the clothing, the instruments, the interpretation, the refreshments, you're not going to have an authentic audience, because they've all heard the Beatles, Enya, and the cocoa-pops adverts. And an audience with modern stuff in their head will respond to old music differently. But hey, it's educational having a good think about it...


  • 0

#4252 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1739 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:42

... come to think of it, Maizie, in some very special circumstances it may be possible. One could monitor the response from wherever Lully is buried. A confused grumbling would indicate we've got it wrong; a sigh of contentment would indicate that we've finally interpreted all his squiggles and instructions correctly; a great deal of swearing in 17th C French would indicate that we're playing authentically, and doing all the same things wrong as his contemporaries did!


  • 2

#4253 Zixi

Zixi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 485 posts
  • Member: 895683
    Joined: 08-August 16

Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:51

That's *much* better than my suggestion of a time-machine... :lol:


  • 0

#4254 Zixi

Zixi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 485 posts
  • Member: 895683
    Joined: 08-August 16

Posted 08 October 2020 - 07:18

How does one store music? I've had mine in those cloth 'basket' type things but they're quite annoying... and heavy...


  • 0

#4255 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1739 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 08 October 2020 - 08:13

I've got a fair bit of stuff printed from IMSLP, so it's in a couple of lever-arch files. The main weakness is that the first page of the first bit in a file tends to end up with mangled holes. I don't know if you can still buy hole-reinforcers...

I tend to decant a couple of things that I'm playing a lot into a little plastic pocket-file thing, but the weakness here is that if they don't get moved back into the right place, I end up with bits missing.

(by the way, so nice to see a music-related thing on this musical discussion-board)


  • 0

#4256 Maizie

Maizie

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6918 posts
  • Member: 9360
    Joined: 05-February 07
  • Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire

Posted 08 October 2020 - 09:53

"Magazine" box file things.  There's the four in the photo below, and three elsewhere in the room.  The other three are all treble, A-Z by composer.  These are descant, tenor, bass, great bass, multi-part and other random bits.  Ordered by instrument size, then A-Z by composer within that.  Except the one on the right, which is usually the "bits I am not using from the things I am playing" (e.g. the piano part, where the recorder part is on my music stand)

IMSLP or other print outs usually go in a plastic pocket thing as eloquently put by elemimele :)

 

 

2020-10-08%2010.08.46.jpg?raw=1


  • 1

#4257 Zixi

Zixi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 485 posts
  • Member: 895683
    Joined: 08-August 16

Posted 09 October 2020 - 05:33

Maizie - Thanks for that idea!! It's an excellent solution and can expand with the collection. And its an excuse for some nice bright colours! I must admit, I'd never thought to do anything sensible with any printouts... they just hang around and get lost...


  • 0

#4258 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1739 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 09 October 2020 - 05:52

Oh, printouts are fun! I've had enormous pleasure with IMSLP, grubbing around looking for things that are playable on a recorder. I used to take the movements that were more appropriate for solo recorder use and re-set them in Musescore, add some biographical notes if possible, and file those, but I haven't had any time for that lately. Maybe a retirement project if I get that far! But that's yet more paperwork to think of ways to store...

I hadn't thought about what to do with all those inserts; I hate it when they get separated from their book and then lost, even though the chances of me ever having an accompanist are slim.


  • 0

#4259 Zixi

Zixi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 485 posts
  • Member: 895683
    Joined: 08-August 16

Posted 09 October 2020 - 09:22

That's the kind of thing that would be useful to other recorder players as well. Before I started playing the recorder, I knew very little about its music as it isn't something I listened to. I'm sure other beginners would love little bios attached! I agree over the inserts. I mentioned sometime ago that I really loathe the recorder music where the posh book goes to the accompanist who - like you - I'll almost certainly never have! 

 

I've sort of been reunited with my books in that they're now in the same building as I am but all over the place. However, I came across Helen Hooker's little book on Recorder Technique. She mentions warm up exercises. My idea of 'warm up' is to play scales and arpeggios. However, she means physical rather than musical warm up and cites this https://www.bapam.or...Style-2020.pdf

It includes 'cooling down' as well... Do the rest of you just start, or do something first or what?


  • 0

#4260 old_and_grumpy

old_and_grumpy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 335 posts
  • Member: 889252
    Joined: 27-October 14

Posted 09 October 2020 - 11:27

I have a copy of the physical warm-up exercises - it's not quite the same as the one you linked to but it's the same exercises.  I found them after a search because my arm was aching.  I think doing them is probably a good idea, but to be honest I very rarely do.

 

As for storing music, I just use the time-honoured standard technique.  Thus, the things I don't play are stored neatly on a bookshelf; the things I play reasonably often are stuffed into a draw in the room where I play; the things I'm playing now are in a heap on my desk/on the music stand.  I find it a system that works surprisingly well.  However, as I mentioned several posts ago, I recently invested in a comb binding machine and various bits and bobs are now in books - it keeps them organised and they remain upright on the music stand.  Only works for stuff that's more-or-less A4 sized, but everything downloaded and printed is.


  • 0