Articulation

On the recorder, the full spectrum of articulation is possible ranging from the briefest staccatissimo to the broadest legato. To articulate in a particular style something must be done between successive notes. The necessary attack and release at the beginning and end of each note are controlled by the tongue and fingers.

Historically, a wide array of articulation syllables has been applied to the recorder since this provides its most convincing means of expression. Consonants used for the attack or commencement of each note range from the soft ‘y’ or ‘l’, through the harder ‘d’, to the potentially plosive ‘t’. In double and triple tonguing (used for very rapid passages) a secondary attack alternates with one of the normal single consonants. This can be provided by the guttural ‘g’ or ‘k’ but ‘l’ or ‘r’ have also been advocated. The sequences ‘t-k-t-k-’ and ‘d-g-d-g-’ are effective for staccato (detached) playing but the double tonguing needed for portato (smooth, non-slurred) style demands much practice in order to coordinate the necessary tongue and finger movements. For a definitive account of 17th & 18th-century French articulation syllables see the references below by Patricia Ranum.

On the recorder, as on any instrument, the various kinds of articulation can be combined and contrasted to create the rhythmic and structural definition needed for effective phrasing.

Bibliography

This bibliography concerns the control of articulation on the recorder. A more convenient and flexible way of exploring it is via the Zotero citation database underlying this web-site. The Zotero interface is straightforward to use and allows you to export selected entries in a variety of formats and to create your own citation lists in a range of journal styles. All you need is your web-browser. This will be of particular assistance to students and researchers.

  • Algra, Nynke. 2010. “De flatterzunge [Flutter tonguing].” blokfluitist 2 (2).
  • Arthur, Bradford. 1973. “The Articulation of Hotteterre’s Tu-Ru.” American Recorder 14 (5): 79–82.
  • Babitz, Sol. 1974. “Rhythmic Freedom: A Historical Table in the Light of Wind Instrument Tonguing.” Early Music Laboratory Bulletin 11: entire issue.
  • Bania, Maria. 2008. “Sweetenings” and “Babylonish Gabble” Flute Vibrato and Articulation of Fast Passages in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Art Monitor, Dissertations 5. Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg.
  • Bornstein, Andrea. 1987. Gli strumenti musicali del Rinascimento [Musical instruments of the Renaissance]. Padova: Franco Muzzio.
  • Bowman, Peter. 2017. “The Language of Music and The Role of the Tongue.” Recorder  Magazine 37 (3): 89–91.
  • Bradford, A. 1973. “The Articulation of Hotteterre’s Tu-Ru.” American Recorder 14 (3): 79–82.
  • Castellani, Marcello, and Elio Durante. 1987. Del portar della lingua negli instrumenti di fiato. Per una corretta interpretazione delle sillabe articolatorie nella trattastica dei secc. XVI-XVIII, nuova edizione riveduta e ampliata [On the tonguing of wind instruments: for a correct interpretation of articulation syllables in the treatises of the sixteenth to eighteenth centures, new edition revised and enlarged]. 2nd ed. Archivum musicum., Collana di studi. Florence: Studio per edizioni scelte (SPES).
  • Clark, Paul. 1960. “Recorder Player’s ABC.” Recorder and Music Magazine 3 (2): 61–62.
  • Donington, Robert. 1989. The Interpretation of Early Music: New Version. London: Faber & Faber.
  • Erig, Richard, and Veronika Gutmann, eds. 1979. Italienische Diminutionen: Die zwischen 1553 und 1638 mehrmals bearbeiteten Sätze = Italian Diminutions: The Pieces with More Than One Diminution from 1553 to 1638. (Prattica musicale 1. Zürich: Amadeus Verlag.
  • Ganassi, Silvestro. 2000. “Tècnica d’articulació segons La Fontegara de Silvestro Ganassi  (Venècia 1535).” Translated by Joan Vives. .
  • Ganassi, Silvestro. 1959. Opera Intitulata Fontegara, Venice 1535. A Treatise on the Art of Playing the Recorder and of Free Ornamentation. Edited by Hildemarie Peter. Translated by Dorothy Swainson. Berlin-Lichterfelde: Robert Lienau.
  • Ganassi, Silvestro. 1535. Opera intitulata Fontegara. La quale i[n]segna a sonare de flauto cho[n] tutta l’arte opportuna a esso i[n]strumento massime il diminuire il quale sarà utile ad ogni i[n]strumento di fiato et chorde: et a[n]chora a chi si dileta di canto [Work entitled “Fontegara”, which Instructs in Playing the Recorder with all the Proper Art of this Instrument, Especially the Creation of Diminutions that will be Useful for all Wind and String Instruments as well as those who Practice Singing]. Venice: Silvestro Ganassi.
  • Ganassi, Silvestro. (1535) 1956. La Fontegara: Schule des kunstvollen Flötenspiels und Lehrbuch des Diminuierens, Venedig, 1535. Edited by Hildemarie Peter. Translated by Emilia Dahnk-Baroffio. Berlin-Lichterfelde: Robert Lienau.
  • ———. (1535) 1959. Opera Intitulata Fontegara, Venice 1535. A Treatise on the Art of Playing the Recorder and of Free Ornamentation. Edited by Hildemarie Peter. Translated by Dorothy Swainson. Berlin-Lichterfelde: Robert Lienau.
  • ———. (1535) 2000. “Tècnica d’articulació segons La Fontegara de Silvestro Ganassi  (Venècia 1535).” Translated by Joan Vives. http://perso.wanadoo.es/arcelimerino04/fontegar.htm.
  • ———. (1535) 2002. Sylvestro Ganassi: Oeuvres complètes, volume 1, La Fontegara (1535). Edited by Christine Vossart. Translated by Jean-Philippe Navarre. Sprimont: Pierre Mardarga.
  • Goetz, Freddy. 1982. “Les articulations sur la flûte [Articulation on the recorder].” Flûte à bec 5: 22–24.
  • Greenberg, Michael D. 1983. “Articulation in Recorder Playing: A Phonetic Study.” American Recorder 24 (3): 99–101.
  • Hauwe, Walter van. 1984–1992. The Modern Recorder Player. 3 vols. London: Schott Edition 12150, 12270, 12361.
  • Haynes, Bruce. 1997. “Tu Ru or Not Tu Ru: Paired Syllables and Unequal Tonguing Patterns on Woodwinds in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries–.” Performance Practice Review 10 (1): 41–60
  • Heyens, Gudrun. 2005. Advanced Recorder Technique – the Art of Playing the Recorder. Translated by Peter Bowman. Vol. 1: Finger and tongue technique. 2: Breathing and sound. London: Schott Music.
  • Hotteterre, Jacques. 1968. Principles of the Flute, Recorder & Oboe, Paris 1707. Edited and translated by David Lasocki. London: Barrie & Rockcliff / Cresset Press.
  • Hotteterre, Jacques. 1707. Principes de la flûte traversière, ou flûte d’Allemagne, de la flûte à bec, ou flûte douce, et du haut-bois diviséz par traitéz [Principles of the Flute, Recorder, and Oboe, Divided into Treatises]. Paris: Christophe Ballard.
  • Houle, Gannon. 1965. “Tongueing and Rhythmic Patterns in Early Music.” American Recorder 6 (2): 4–13.
  • Hübner-Hinderling, Renate. 1991. “Artikulation oder der Versuch, die Musik mit eder Sprache zu versöhnen – nicht nur fü Blockflötisten” [Articulation, or the attempt to reconcile music and speech – not only for recorders players]. Tibia 16 (2): 421–24. .
  • Hund-Davies, Malcolm. 1978–1979. “A Review of Historical Styles of Recorder Playing.” Recorder & Music, 6 (3): 66–68 (1978); (4): 98–100 (1978), (5): 133–35 (1979).
  • Keller, Hermann. 1973. Phrasing and Articulation: A Contribution to a Rhetoric of Music. New York: Norton.
  • Kubitschek, Ernst. 1994. “Zur Entwicklung der Spieltechnik der Blockflöte im 16./17. Jahrhundert in der Wechselwirkung zum Instrumentarium [On the Development of the Recorder’s Playing Technique in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in its Interaction with the Instrumentarium].” In Flöten, Oboen und Fagotte des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts: Bericht über den 1. Teil des 12, 39–42. Michaelstein: Institut für Aufführungspraxis,.
  • Kubitschek, Ernst. 2009. “Zur Zungentechnik im Frühbarok [On Tonguing Technique in the Early Baroque].” Tibia 34 (4): 562–70.
  • Lasocki, David R.G. 1967. “The Tongueing Syllables of the French Baroque.” American Recorder 8 (3): 81–82.
  • Leonards, Petra G. 1980. “Artikulation auf Blasinstrumenten im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert: Ein Beitrag zur Spieltechnik der Basinstrumente vor dem geistesgeschichtlichen Hintergrund dieser Zeit” [Articulation on Wind Instruments in the 16th and 17th Centuries: A Contribution to the Playing Technique of Wind Instruments Against the Background of the History of Ideas of this Period]. Tibia 5 (1): 1–9. .
  • Linde, Hans-Martin. 1992. “Vom ‘cantablen’ Spiel auf der Blockflöte [On ‘cantabile’ playing on the recorder].” SAJM Zeitschrift f 20 (2): 17–21.
  • Linde, Hans-Martin. 1984. Handbuch des Blockflötenspiels [The recorder player’s handbook]. 2nd ed. Mainz, New York: Schott.
  • Linde, Hans-Martin. 1991. The Recorder Player’s Handbook. 2nd ed. London: Schott ED12322.
  • Marvin, Bob. 1968. “Playing French Late Baroque Music on on the Recorder.” American Recorder 9 (2): 39–41.
  • Mather, Betty B. 1978. Interpretation of French Music from 1675 to 1775 for Woodwind and Other Performers; Additional Comments on German and Italian Music. New York: McGinnis & Marx.
  • Mayer-Spohn, Ulrike, and Keitaro Takahashi. 2014. “The Recorder Map.” http://recordermap.com/
  • Orme, Anita. 2002. “Combining Southern Indian Technique with Western Music.” Cinnamon Sticks 3 (1): 14–18.
  • Quantz, Johann J. 1752a. Essai d’une mé pour apprendre à jouer de la flûte traversiere [Essay on How to Play the Flute]. Berlin: Chrétien Frédéric Voss. https://archive.org/details/essaidunemthode00quangoog
  • ———. 1752b. Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte tranversiere zu spielen [Essay on How to Play the Flute]. Berlin: Chrétien Frédéric Voss. http://imslp.org/wiki/Versuch_einer_Anweisung_die_Flöte_traversiere_zu_spielen_(Quantz,_Johann_Joachim)
  • ———. (1789) 1953. Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte tranversiere zu spielen [Essay on How to Play the Flute]. Edited by Hans-Peter Schmitz. Domumenta musicologica 1. Reihe: Druckshcriften-Faksimiles, 2. Kassel: Bärenreiter.
  • ———. (1752) 1975. Essai d’une mé pour apprendre à jouer de la flûte traversiere [Essay on How to Play the Flute]. 2nded. Paris: Editions Aug. Zurfluh.
  • ———. (1752a) 1988. Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte tranversiere zu spielen [Essay on How to Play the Flute]. Edited by Barthold Kuijken. Weisbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel.
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  • ———. (1757) 1992. On Playing the Flute. Edited and translated by Edward R. Reilly. 2nd ed. London; New York: Faber & Faber; Schirmer Books.
  • Ranum, Patricia M. 2001. “French Articulation: The Lessons of Thésée.” American Recorder 42 (1): 6–13.
  • Ranum, Patricia M. 1982. “A Fresh Look at French Wind Articulations.” American Recorder 33 (4): 9–16, 39.
  • Ranum, Patricia M. 1995. “Tu-Ru-Tu and Tu-Ru-Tu-Tu: Toward an Understanding of Hotteterre’s Tonguing Syllables.” In The Recorder in the Seventeenth Century, edited by David Lasocki, 217–54. Utrecht: STIMU Stichting Muziekhistorische Uitvoeringspraktijk (Foundation for Historical Performance Practice).
  • Reiss, Scott. 2006. “Articulation: The inside Story.” American Recorder 46 (1): 12–22.
  • Reiss, Scott. 1986. “Articulation: The Key to Expressive Playing.” American Recorder 27 (4): 144–49.
  • Rowland-Jones, Anthony. 1988. “A Slur on Slurring? A Problem in Recorder Playing.” NEMA Journal 9: 1–6.
  • Rowland-Jones, Anthony. 1993. “Recorder Slurring.” American Recorder, 34 (2): 9–15; 34 (4): 6–11; 35 (1): 7–12.
  • Rowland-Jones, Anthony. 2000. “Quantz Dediddled.” Recorder Magazine 20 (2): 54–55.
  • Rowland-Jones, Anthony. 1992. “First Steps in Applying French Polish.” American Recorder 33 (3): 9–13.
  • Tarasov, Nik. 1999. “Der gläserne Blockflötenspieler” [The Glass Recorder Player]. Windkanal, no. 1: 6–9.
  • Tarasov, Nik. 2002. “Klangrede & Klang” [Sounding Discourse and Sound]. Windkanal, no. 2: 6–9.
  • Tarr, Edward, and Bruce Dickey. 1996. Bläserartikulation in der Alten Musik. Eine kommentierte Quellensammlung. Articulation in Early Wind Music. Practica Muscale 8. Winterthur: Amadeus Verlag.
  • Thalheimer, Peter. 2014. “„Hauchen“ und „mit der Brust gestoßen“. Bläserartikulationen des 17., 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. [„Hauchen“ und „mit der Brust gestoßen“. Woodwind Articulation in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.].” Tibia 39 (2): 82–92.
  • Van Gele, Geert. 2019. Thoughts on the Recorder. Borgerhout: InterCulturate. http://www.kattenbergrecordings.be/geertvangele/Thoughts.html.
  • Veilhan, Jean-Claude. 1979. The Rules of Musical Interpretation in the Baroque Era. Translated by John Lambert. Paris: Leduc.
  • Winters, Ross. 1992. “Historical Source Material.” Recorder Magazine 12 (3): 77–81.
  • Wollitz, Ken. 1982. The Recorder Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Cite this article as: Lander, Nicholas S. 1996–2022. Recorder Home Page: Technique: Articulation. Last accessed 20 May 2022. https://www.recorderhomepage.net/technique/articulation/