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Recorder Thread!


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#4501 Gran'piano

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:59

If no-one comes up with better ideas, it looks like there is something in Facebook under Li Virghi and Rafi Grece. I'm not on Facebook though so cannot check it out myself.


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#4502 elemimele

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:46

Thank you! That was most helpful. Armed with the idea of looking on facebook for Li Virghi, I found this:

dolciflauti » Li Virghi – Rafi and Grece recorders in Bologna (in italian)

They are indeed recorders of a very strange design. The brass cap at the end hides a conventional(ish) block, and the mouth of the recorder is a normal mouth. But to get the air into it, there is a hole drilled along the length of the recorder, in the wall of the recorder itself, from the end under the brass cap, up to a dove-tail-shaped mortice cut into the wall where the mouth-piece is. There's a link between this hole and a gap cut in the block, so as to create an air-way all the way from the mortice through to the block, to feed air into the wind-channel as normal. On the originals, the mouthpiece is missing, but it's pretty obvious that it would have been some sort of thing sliding into the mortice as made in the reconstructions, with a hole corresponding to the hole in the wall. As the author points out, this wasn't a terribly good piece of design because the diameter of this rather long hole is limited by the thickness of the wall of the recorder, so it introduces a serious restriction on the wind supply. It must also have been ferociously hard to make (imagine drilling down the length of the wall of a recorder, accurately, without breaking out the side), and it would weaken the recorder's wall very badly. If you made the wall thicker, the instrument would become very heavy. The only way I can see it working would be to glue an extra thickness of wood on the side of the recorder at this point (or carve the whole thing, rather than turn it, so it could be thickened only where needed. In fact, in the original, the hole was blocked with wax at the mortice end, which makes me wonder if someone had already given up on this system and modified it at some point. But it's a really interesting instrument, and the reconstructions sound gorgeous.


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#4503 Gran'piano

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 12:20

By the way, if I click on your original link, to the right of the title is a little arrow pointing downwards.
Clicking on it reveals more information about it. In English on mine too.
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#4504 Zixi

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 16:41

I'd really, really like one of those!!!


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#4505 Zixi

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 13:58

I've just had a CD delivered from the Californian Clarinet Institute. They've started making backing music for the various music on CD they sell - it's public domain stuff. Anyway, they finally got round to doing it for the recorder. This is volume 1 and recorder and keyboard, BC, recorder and a bunch of recorders and you can choose which recorder you want to be. As  I'm very unlikely to ever play recorder with anyone in the near to mid future - if ever - it's really good fun.


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#4506 elemimele

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 08:41

Oh, brilliant! I feel the same, it's very hard to find people to play with, and if you haven't got anyone, then it is genuinely enormous fun doing a play-along with a backing-track


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#4507 Zixi

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 09:38

:)

 

I miss my teacher. She had to more or less insist that I played with her to start with but eventually, when she said: Shall we play that together? I'd say: Yes please!!!! Sometimes, we'd finish something and just look at each other because we knew it had been music and it was beautiful even if it was quite simple. I've tried playing with my husband. If he plays piano then as soon as he makes a mistake, he stops. If he plays guitar (he's played guitar since the beginnings of time) then he's constantly retuning the thing. Me, I play on regardless! I treat it like the Albert Hall and a spotlight and nothing stops me*. Not even The Collie in full voice...

 

*Except The Giggles...


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#4508 old_and_grumpy

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Posted Yesterday, 15:30

I've just had a CD delivered from the Californian Clarinet Institute. They've started making backing music for the various music on CD they sell - it's public domain stuff. Anyway, they finally got round to doing it for the recorder. This is volume 1 and recorder and keyboard, BC, recorder and a bunch of recorders and you can choose which recorder you want to be. As  I'm very unlikely to ever play recorder with anyone in the near to mid future - if ever - it's really good fun.

 

That sounds interesting.  I know this is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type of question, but how difficult are the pieces?  I've been having a go at recording myself playing duets but have found it quite tricky. 


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#4509 Zixi

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Posted Today, 07:10

 

I've just had a CD delivered from the Californian Clarinet Institute. They've started making backing music for the various music on CD they sell - it's public domain stuff. Anyway, they finally got round to doing it for the recorder. This is volume 1 and recorder and keyboard, BC, recorder and a bunch of recorders and you can choose which recorder you want to be. As  I'm very unlikely to ever play recorder with anyone in the near to mid future - if ever - it's really good fun.

 

That sounds interesting.  I know this is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type of question, but how difficult are the pieces?  I've been having a go at recording myself playing duets but have found it quite tricky. 

 

 

Hard! There are a couple of issues with the CD. First, Mr Z got the scores for me a few years ago so the music accompaniments are much later and now relate to a later version of the scores. Secondly, it's just volume 1. Thirdly, it's not sorted in any kind of order that I can discern. So, I have to go through the music and find one that fits the recorder I want to play, then look at the score. I've only done a couple and I'd say I need more practice. The stuff for the descant (that I've looked at) is quite tricky. Some of the treble stuff is easier but then my treble playing is at least a couple of grades behind my descant. I'm also rhythm challenged which is one of the reasons I like to work with a CD because it lets me see when I'm way off.  I miss my teacher there! The scores are largely public domain so you can pick many (most? all?) up from IMSLP and some of them are tricky to read. But it's still the only way I know that I can play with other recorders.  I was working at around Grade  3 when I stopped lessons over a year ago and now I'm pretty sure my teacher would be pushing me to Grade 4 and on to 5 but I'm comfortable around 3 or 4. I'm currently working on Grade 4 with occasional incursions in Grade 5 and back to 3 when I feel like a dunce!

 

I'm hoping when they finish doing all the recorder volumes that sorting through it will be easier. Of course, with the extra accompaniments it could just get worse too but I'm a glass half full person... I always travel hopefully. I used some of the other CDs I have to play along with the demo versions but it's not the same as playing with another recorder playing a different part. So, this really is all I've found that does that aside from recording myself doing all parts and frankly I could do that on the descant but I'd be struggling to add tenor parts and it'd have to be around grade 1 or 2 on the treble for me to have any hope of doing it. I haven't tried though. Ubuntu goes to the latest version on 22nd and I'm hoping they'll be having another go at the sound issues. I don't really want to mess around with sound software until I see what they've done. There are sufficient sound issue at present to keep me 'happily' busy just dealing with what Linux does to the games I play! It might  be with extra software installed to slow down the music files that most/many/all suddenly becomes playable... Again, I travel hopefully...

 

Does that help or have I just wittered on inconsequentially? I fear the latter! If I haven't answered your question just say and I'll have another bash!! I hope all is well with you and Mrs G BTW!
 


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#4510 old_and_grumpy

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Posted Today, 09:37

I hope all is well with you and Mrs G BTW!

 

 

Yes, all good thanks.  I haven't contributed much to the forum recently - I have been busy with computer issues (more on that below), plus as of last Monday our very strict lockdown was eased: we were restricted to travel within 5km of home since New Year, but can now travel county wide!!! 

 

The music thing all sounds a bit complicated.  I thought it would be easier to get started playing a part if someone else had already done the other parts, but I think I will just bash on with multi-tracking myself.  It can only get better!

 

Regarding music, my ultimate aim is to play pieces from a John Dowland book that I have.  The ones I have looked at are scored for 4 or 5 recorders: soprano, alto, one or two tenors, and bass.  That's all a bit tricky for me.  I don't own a bass anyway.  If/when I get that far, I am going to cheat a bit by transposing the alto and bass lines so I can play them using C fingering.  It'll all hard enough as it is without struggling to read for F instruments too, esp on bass clef.  In the meantime, a little trawl around IMSLP came up with various things scored for 2, 3 or 4 flutes.  These have the great advantage that all the parts are for C instruments, so that removes one of the difficulties.  I'm starting with fairly simple stuff scored for 2 flutes.  It's good to isolate problems as far as possible.

 

As I mentioned a while ago, I got started with this because of trying to play with my brother via recording and combining parts.  This is something I had never done before and quite honestly knew nothing whatsoever about.  My brother had done a bit before, and his approach was to start by recording a metronome track that everyone can then use as a reference.  Again, it's sort of cheating, but I have found it very helpful and am doing the same thing.  I used Audacity to generate that.  There are probably lots of other ways, but you probably use Audacity anyway.  You can then import the metronome track into the recording session.  You can always mute it if you don't want to use it.  It's handy to keep the first bit as a count-in.

 

Any non techno geeks reading this might want to look away now!

 

My computer died a couple of weeks ago which is partly why I have been awol.  As this coincided with the recording issue, it has caused me to look around at available software a bit more.  The most popular DAW (Digital Audio Workstation - I'd never heard of it before last week) on linux seems to be Ardour.  I have used Debian for years and there is a copy of Ardour in the Debian repos.  Naturally, being Debian, it's quite old, and while it worked ok on its own, it wouldn't work with anything else.  Thus, for the first time in a long time, I girded my loins and took a look at what's available in the wonderful world of linux distros, and it turns out that there are several that are dedicated to AV work, and have all the sound stuff properly set up so that it just works ootb.  Amazing!

 

Another new thing to me (what a week it's been) is a thing called Ventoy.  Do you know it?  It's a little utility that allows you to load up a usb stick with lots of different bootable images; you boot the usb stick and Ventoy gives you a menu of your images and then boots the one you choose.  It's great.  Pendrives are dirt cheap now so I bought a new one and loaded it up with assorted linux versions, including the 3 principal AV distros.  For various reasons, the one I seem to have stuck with is Ubuntu Studio; given that you are using Ubuntu, maybe you should give it a try?  It's a complete desktop system that has all the usual stuff plus the Ubuntu repos for whatever extras you might want, but it has lots of audio tools (video too, though I haven't tried any) and they are all properly configured and, so far, have just worked.  You can either: download and install the LTS version which has xfce as its desktop; download the new version which has migrated to plasma desktop; download a special script that installs the AV components on top of any Ubuntu flavour, so you can have whichever desktop you want.  I chose the middle option.  I haven't used KDE since soon after it came out, and I didn't like it at the time, but I'm really quite impressed and think I will just stick with it.  It saves a huge amount of re-inventing the wheel.

 

The other option I considered was setting up multiboot machine (I have to set it up anyway) and using one or other of the AV distros solely for AV work, while sticking with my usual setup for everything else.  I might still go down the multiboot route to try out the other things more fully.  I don't think I'll do that long term as there isn't anything I want to do that the AV distros can't, so I might as well use one of them.  The other two btw are AVLinux which is based on MX Linux (itself Debian based) or LibraZiK which is based directly on Debian.  I thought either of these would be better for me from the Debian perspective, and I might still go with one or other.  However, Ubuntu Studio is very good, and seems likely to be around long term, whereas the other two are more one-man-band operations.


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#4511 Allegra

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Posted Today, 18:07

Hi old_and_grumpy, Zixi, elemimele (and anyone else who might be looking for recorder play-along and minus one material) you might like to check out the following .........

 

www.helenhooker.co.uk/downloads

Over the past year Helen Hooker has been making videos of recorder consort pieces (mainly SATB, but some pieces scored for larger ensembles). She plays all the parts (so it's not "minus one") and conducts, and all the parts/scores can be downloaded. More recently she has added some "minus one" duets and trios. These resources are free (but you can make a donation if you wish).

 

www.emmamurphyrecorders.org

You can "consort with" Emma Murphy, but need to set up an account first (for which there is a fee). She provides links to the free downloads, and then you can play whichever part you like while she plays the other parts!

 

www.continuolines.com

Described as "an ever-evolving online collection of basso continuo play-along recordings for players of all backgrounds and levels of learning".This is being developed by Tabea Debus and keyboard player Benedict Williams. So far it's a small collection of Baroque sonatas for Alto recorder, but, again a free resource (donation voluntary). You can customise the harpsichord continuo part, to play at a choice of pitches (eg A=440 or 415) and tempi (slow, medium or fast!). I think they give you just the keyboard part, so you really need to "know" the piece first (or have a recording) as you can't hear the recorder part. Again a link is provided to the sheet music (on IMSLP).

 

Hope there's something here that may be of interest/use!


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#4512 elemimele

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Posted Today, 19:51

Ooooh, thanks for that!


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