PLAYING THE RECORDERS - online tutorial

How to Play The Descant, Treble, Tenor and Bass Recorders, full online instruction.

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The Treble (z)
The very high notes on the treble, as on the other instru­ments, are given in the complete tablature hi example 43 and should be learned as they are met. To produce the high notes the thumb-opening should be kept small, but when once the note is produced the opening should be slightly enlarged, or the note may tend to go flat. The technique of doing this will have to be acquired gradually.
As has already been stated, the treble recorder was the most popular and the most frequently used of the whole group of recorders in the sixteenth, seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, an enormous amount of music being written for it in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the form of solo sonatas, duets, trio sonatas and even concertos.
When Purcell, Bach and Handel wrote the word flute or one of its variants they meant the recorder. If they meant the transverse flute to be understood, they indicated this by some such word as 'traverso5. Bach scored for both the transverse flute and the recorder, and when he had access to players of both types of instrument, he used both.
Handel used the transverse flute in orchestral ensembles, but he used the recorder in recorder and harpsichord sonatas, in quieter concerted pieces and in accompanying the voice.
Matiheson, a contemporary of Handel, and Telemann both wrote extensively for the recorder, the latter composer keeping in mind particularly the keen amateur who wanted good music to play. Mattheson wrote a number of sonatas for two or three treble recorders in various keys all of which are interesting to play.
The recorder, particularly the treble, was still widely used in 1723 and a recorder tutor was in print as late as 1798. During Handel's later years, both the transverse flute and the oboe,
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