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Recorder Thread!


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#2851 Maizie

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:16

Agree with elemimele - standard fingerings are so named because they are so standard.  They are going to work on 95+% recorders for 95+% of notes 95+% of the time.  The more highly-skilled you are, the more likely you are to make use of alternative fingerings because they do what you want, but unless you are playing something deliberately weird (e.g. microtonal), even the professionals will be using standard fingerings (on a standard baroque fingered instrument) the vaaaaaaaaast majority of the time.


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#2852 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:52

I'm thinking too much because I can't actually play due to illness (sore hands, not enough puff). So, many thanks for your replies. Just asked in Theory forum whether descant is considered a transposing instrument. I thought it was but read in a theory book that it isn't. I have so much to learn...
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#2853 elemimele

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:34

My personal vote: I wouldn't, because although there's the issue of what octave it plays in, octaves don't really matter very much (when a lady and gentleman sing a tune in unison, we don't tend to think of either as a transposing instrument, even though they will probably sing in different octaves...).

Sorry to hear that you're not well; hope you're getting some puff back and more nimble fingers soon.

 

I note, however, that Maizie disagrees with me, and she's a lot more knowledgeable, so I'm leaving my post above merely as an indicator that amongst the general public (me!) there may be some dissent and confusion!


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#2854 Maizie

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:17

Eeeeeep, don't take me as an authority on anything!!

 

I did just peek at Wikipedia: it states that while something that transposes at the octave is technically a transposing instrument, this isn't regarded as 'transposition'.  Because who needs straightforward terminology?! wacko.png

 

http://en.wikipedia....n_at_the_octave


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#2855 elemimele

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 15:40

... oh, my head explodes when faced with Alan Davis' cunning wheeze:

(1) take music written on a normal treble clef

(2) pretend it's been written on a French violin clef (treble G clef written on the bottom line instead of the second line)

(2.5) If you're not used to a French violin clef (you aren't, really??), pretend it's a bass clef, because the note letters correspond to the same lines and spaces...

... OK, so far a note that would have been E has become G, so we're transposing up a minor third, but...

(3) remember to modify the key signature as it will now have things in the wrong places

(4) and play it on a voice flute (lowest note D) using the fingerings of a treble (lowest note F)

... so now we're transposing a minor third back down again.

 

Net result is that we're playing at the correct pitch even though we think we're transposing (and the instrument is transposing back again). This means we can play lots of Baroque music for one-key/German flute/traverso (and also for Oboe and quite a lot of violin music) without dropping off the bottom (D being the lowest note typical of the early sideways-flute).

 

This messes up my head so badly I actually start to think it might be worth just learning another set of fingerings, in the highly unlikely event that I have a voice flute and get to play nice Baroque music with friends who care what pitch we're at.

 

I did try steps (1) to (3) briefly and realised after 20 minutes that I could no longer sight-read anything in any clef using any fingering, so I panicked; big strategic rethink needed on this.


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#2856 andante_in_c

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 18:03

Yes, that's exactly how I play the voice flute. Until I forget which key I'm in, look at the key signature and...blink.png


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#2857 elemimele

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 21:25

Andante_in_c, I'm impressed. I'm in great doubts about how to tackle this. I really struggle with the transposition approach, it gets me very confused. I don't know whether to give up, or whether it's one of those things, so common in music, where a lot of practice will pay off eventunally. Alternatively I wonder whether to grit my teeth and learn a new set of fingerings for D instruments like we do for F and C. The third approach, which I've tried a bit for simpler tunes, is to forget reading absolute pitches altogether, make myself familiar with the scale in which I wish to play, and do the whole thing on intervals/note-patterns and some key home notes that I can keep in mind to deal with awkward jumps, a sort of mixture of sol-fa-and-scales approach that makes me feel all warm towards both sol-fa and scales (a novel experience for me). My worry is that it might be something that stops working as the music gets more complex?

At the moment, if I come across a good tune that descends to D, and want to play it alone for my own satisfaction (so absolute pitch is not an issue) then I play it with C-fingerings. This is far from ideal as it often puts the whole piece uncomfortably high in the recorder's range, and if it's in sharps, runs a risk of needing the impossible top C# (at which point I give up).


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#2858 elemimele

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 19:01

Oooh, just came across Giacomo Ferronati. He seems to have written two recorder sonatas and vanished in a puff of anonymity, but they are both beautiful gems, full of gorgeous chromatic bits, perfectly formed. I can find YouTube performances, but only on orchestral flute and played in what feels, to me, like a very romantic style (also, though this might be pure jealousy on my part, with such speed and ornamentation that some of the music gets a bit lost - but I'm absolutely not wanting to claim this isn't the right way to do it; the YouTube performances are by someone who's obviously top-notch as a flutist). These are pieces crying out for a really nice recorder performance. They have all the hallmarks of recorder, and suit it to a t.

 

Anyone know anything about Giacomo Ferronati??


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#2859 anacrusis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 21:30

'fraid I don't know about Giacomo Ferronati.... :sad.png

 

but I do know what it's like changing instruments a lot! We just had our annual residential weekend away with the Scottish Recorder Orchestra - great fun, and our first with our new director and conductor: sadly we lost our wonderful founding director, Eileen Silcocks, over the summer, but Ian Wilson has stepped up to conduct us, and together with Dietrich Schabel, director of the Dortmund Recorder orchestra, and also a good composer for recorders, took us through a range of very interesting music. Dietrich has written a tribute piece to Eileen and also, with only about 24 hours' notice, wrote a piece called "Wilson's Welcome" for us to play to Ian biggrin.png  . My head is buzzing with it all - having played bass in treble clef, bass in bass clef, treble, tenor, sub-great bass and the enormous sub-contrabass all in one weekend, I've had a very musical workout. Very much looking forward also to our monthly rehearsals in Stirling woot.gif

 

If there are any good players in relatively easy reach of Stirling, who might fancy joining us - have a look at the orchestra's website http://www.sro.org.uk/newmembers.html

or FB page https://www.facebook...orderorchestra/

we have members from as far afield as Aberdeen and the Borders - and one who's been known to fly in from the Hebrides. I like it that we get to swap around instruments as much - and it's also a chance to try out the huge ones, as they're owned by the orchestra. I'm babysitting the sub-contrabass, which is nearly 2.5 metres tall and has notes so low that it's easier to feel them than it is to hear them biggrin.png


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#2860 elemimele

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Posted Yesterday, 21:11

Lovely to hear about the thriving scene north of the Border, Anacrusis

 

Like a lot of amateurs without proper teacher-contact, I spend a lot of time panicking about what I do to early music: how should this bit be played, how would "they" have played that bit (whoever "they" might have been)? Sometimes, though, something happens that makes me wonder if it's really so important. This time it was listening to Buxtehude's "Herr, wenn ich nur Dich habe...", which is amongst my favourite chorales, gentle, simple, meaningful, beautiful. Others clearly agree: it's one of those pieces that many really good groups have recorded. With pieces like that, I love to trawl around YouTube seeing what they've done (try it, for example, with Uccelini's bergamasca).

I really love Alice Borciani's simple, beautiful version (there is a recorder, so I'm OK posting here, honest!)

Then I found Elizabeth Holmertz' version, which is also beautiful, and perhaps charged with a bit more desperation (and no recorder)

Now, though, I've found a group I've never heard of; they start very conventionally, except at a sloooow pace. Then the soprano starts, also quite conventionally, though singing lightly, little short notes for "Herr" - and the pace almost doubles. Before we know where we are, the bass player is playing Pizzicato like a Jazz trio and the whole thing is swinging lightly - Herr, this lot, wenn Sie Dich haben, are certainly jolly happy and content about the situation - it really works, though it's a bit untraditional. I often think Buxtehude must have been quite a happy and contented man, from his music. Perhaps he'd have enjoyed this version (which does have a recorder...).

(Wikipedia tells me that Buxtehude in old age offered his position to Handel and Mattheson, provided they marry his oldest daughter. Both refused, and left the next morning)


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