|Soprano Recorder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The recorder is a type of flute that belongs to the woodwind musical instrument family, and is more specifically a fipple flute. The recorder is a long tube with a wide mouth piece that the musician blows directly into. It has seven holes for fingers, one hole on the back of the instrument for a thumb and the tube tapers a little near the end of the recorder. This particular instrument has not changed much since it was popular in medieval times, which is when it was fairly popular until people appeared to lose interest in it during the 1700s.
During the 1700s, when interest in the recorder started to decline, people were beginning to favor other woodwind instruments like the flute, clarinet and the oboe. The reason for this change of interest could be that the recorder was a fairly simple instrument that was not overly complex and did not have a wide range of sounds. The other instruments offered a wider range of sounds that were quite possibly more appealing to people at the time. It could also be that people did not have much use for recorders anymore. The sound of the recorder was often associated with the sounds of birds, funerals, marriages and even shepherds when played. In fact, Vivaldi and Bach, too noted musicians, often used the recorder in their music.
Even though the recorder may have lost popularity at one time, it was still being used. The use of the recorder would also become a little more popular during the 1900s. The biggest reason for this could be that this woodwind instrument is fairly easy to learn how to play. It is also inexpensive and easy to supply to students in schools. For this reason, many elementary schools will introduce the children in a certain grade to the recorder. For most, this will be the first instrument they will have learned how to play. It will also be the first time that many of them will see and learn how to read simple sheet music.
The instrument may not have a large range or variety of different sounds, but it is simple to play and its sound can be fairly calming and soothing. Some people don't like the sound of it, but when played right the sound can actually be quite nice. Many will not choose to play the recorder for the rest of their lives. Many would prefer to choose more complicated instruments that offer more variety in the different sounds they can make.
The recorder, however, can be the perfect first instrument for anyone who has never played an instrument before or ever seen sheet music; it is a great instrument to play when trying to learn simple sheet music. When people get comfortable with the basics, changing to a more complex instrument will be a lot easier. In the end, it may not be the instrument to choose when looking for something to play throughout your musical career, but it could be a good backup instrument that could add to the song. It may be simple, and it might not be very dynamic, but it does have a sound that is unique to its own.