Compiled by Nicholas S. Lander

About the Webmaster

Nicholas S. Lander

My interest in music of the distant past has centred largely on the recorder, though I have played a number of renaissance wind instruments as well as the trombone. In the past I have taught recorder at several tertiary institutions. Occasionally I teach private students who have exhausted other local resources.

The Word on the Street

  • Not Just the Alto: Sizes and Types of Recorder in the Baroque and Classical Periods, by David Lasocki (2020)

    According to the standard history of the recorder, the consort went out of fashion in the early seventeenth century, the alto (British: treble) became the almost exclusive size of the Baroque period, with the solo sonata as its main vehicle (apart from a handful of concertos for smaller sizes), and the instrument virtually disappeared around 1740. In the last 20 years, however, copious evidence has been uncovered, by David Lasocki and other researchers, that creates a new view of recorder history, which recognizes that between 1600 and 1800 many sizes of recorder were employed in a rich and broad repertoire of instrumental and vocal music. This is the territory that David explores in his latest book, drawing on written evidence (inventories, advertisements, sales, purchases, and employment records) and the surviving repertoire. The book aims to raise consciousness about what Hans Oskar Koch called ‘special forms’ of the recorder by demonstrating that they were not as special as both he and we have supposed. A must-read for all lovers of the recorder as well as anyone interested in early woodwind instruments and their music. Over 400 pages, including an introductory summary chapter, and index of terms and 15 musical examples.

    Available as a PDF at US$14.99 from David here or in print at $24.99 there
  • Exploring an Instrument’s Diversity: The Creative Implications of the Recorder Performer’s Choice of Instrument

    This PhD thesis by Chilean recorder player Carmen Troncoso-Cáceres is now available online.

    Carmen’s research examines the variables that arise in selecting particular instrumental models within the context of music making and the creative possibilities afforded by those choices. Her study combines research into recorder models and their origins, use and associated contexts with research through performance. Her doctoral portfolio comprised six performance projects, encompassing new, collaboratively developed works for a variety of recorders, presented through performance and recorded media. The artistic outputs are accompanied by critical commentary, examining how the creative work addresses core questions that arose. In addition to performance, most of her projects resulted in original compositions that invite other performers to explore the instrumental diversity of the recorder, encouraging a renewed, creative perspective.

    Carmen’s thesis can be read here
  • Thoughts on the Recorder — essential reading for all players

    This inspiring book by Geert Van Gele, founder of the Flanders Recorder Quartet, deserves a place by every recorder player’s side. It distills a life-time of experience performing and teaching and explores many aspects of recorder choice, care, maintenance, technique, interpretation and musicianship which will prove invaluable to the serious amateur or pre-professional student. Available in printed form or downloadable in iBook (EPUB) and PDF formats, this 400-page book is linked to a series of 36 freely accessible YouTube videos which summarise and illustrate each chapter.

    Purchase and find more information here

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