History of the Recorder and 6 easy songs you must learn

Find 6 easy songs that will help you learn to play the Recorder. Also, everything you need to know about the recorder: History, famous players, famous plays, and fun interactive games to learn how to play it.

The origins of the Recorder

The earliest flutes date from the Neolithic. At that time it was no more than tubes from plants or fruit trees with a few holes. We find them in almost any musical tradition around the globe.

The earliest medieval recorder discovered was found in the Netherlands, near the town of Dordrecht. It is dated between 1335 and 1418. There have been other parts of recorders in different areas, and it is believed that a pretty similar version of the instrument we know today could have existed earlier.

Researching a bit we can find its definition:

A Recorder can be distinguished from other duct flutes by the presence of a thumb-hole for the upper hand and seven finger-holes: three for the upper hand and four for the lower. It is the most prominent duct flute in the western classical tradition.

 Montagu, Jeremy. “Duct flute”Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
Flute - Recorder
Flute

Easy songs on a Recorder

An easy song on this instrument has to have a small number of different pitches, not be too long, be familiar to the culture of the student, easy Rhythms (as we assume the student is a beginner in all kinds of music, not just on a Flute) and finally be repetitive.

On our games page, you will find these same songs but in an interactive platform.

  • Jingle Bells:

This is one of the best-known songs in America. It is usually played during Christmas and it’s a must in any musical curriculum.

  • Twinkle Twinkle:

Is a popular song from English lullaby. The lyrics come from a 19th Century poem by Jane Taylor, “The Star”. Nevertheless, the melody comes from a French song “Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman”. There is even a Mozart version of this song!

  • Hua Hua Naca:

Famous traditional song from Bolivia. Its lyrics are in Aymara (spoken by over a million and a half of people), an indigenous language from South America. Surprisingly the lyrics talk about Christmas and the kids receiving toys.

huahuanaca song
Huahuanaca Song
  • Gently Sleep

Traditional song from Wales, first appearing in the early 1800s but probably was a traditional song earlier.

Gently sleep recorder
Gently Sleep Music Sheet
  • Oh When the Saints

One of the most joyful songs to play and to learn, with simple notes you can get the feeling of what can be to play this song on a big marching band.

Oh when the saints – Music Sheet
  • Ode to Joy

Today would be considered a cultural phenomenon. Beethoven finished his 9th symphony with this Ode to Joy (lyrics from another famous German artist, Schiller). People had been waiting for this pice with more excitement than the latest Beyonce album. Nevertheless, an easy song to learn and remember, not just on the Recorder but on any instrument.

Ode to Joy from Beethoven.

Interactive games to learn for the Recorder:

Finger positioning

In this game, you will learn which are the positions for your fingers on the instrument.

Finger Recorder Positions
Fingering Positions

Gently sleep Game

Gently sleep is one of the most famous songs for kids to learn on the Recorder. With just 3 notes (B, A, and G) you are able to learn this song. In this game, you have to practice by parts of the song.

Gently Sleep for the Recorder
Gently Sleep for the Recorder

Jingle Bells Rock for the Recorder

The famous Jingle Bells but on a modern version. A bit harder than the previous songs definitively not for the starting level.

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