PLAYING THE RECORDERS - online tutorial

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

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Consort Playing
the players blow with different wind pressures. These differ­ences in wind pressure may be only slight, but nevertheless, the intonation in that group may be spoiled. Correct intonation should be aimed at by all groups, otherwise beauty of tone will never be achieved. Individual players may achieve a high standard when playing solo, but one of the besetting sins of recorder players is the failure to achieve good intonation during ensemble playing.
Another common mistake is for a player to concentrate en­tirely on his own part, so much so that he does not hear or attend to what is going on around him. This may be because he does not know his part well or it may be because he has developed the bad habit of doing this sort of thing. In either case, bad intonation and a tendency to race or drag is the result, and a whole ensemble can be spoiled by one such player.
In ensemble playing, great attention should be paid to neat­ness of attack and ending, and to breathing which affects the phrasing. When care is paid to all these details, a group which practises together regularly can achieve a high degree of skill. If the players use their ears, they will develop the habit of beginning and ending perfectly together and adjusting their breath pressures to achieve good intonation.
There is a vast repertoire of recorder duets of varying de­grees of difficulty, mainly for two trebles. Not much seems to have been written for treble and tenor together, though there are several works for treble and bass. Example 41 is a slow air for two trebles by Godfrey Finger. It is not technically difficult so that it will be possible for the players to concentrate on intonation. The groups of slurred notes should be practised separately in the first instance; after this, there should be no technical difficulties in playing the duet.
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