Tremolo

A rather more obvious tremolo involving definite reiteration of the note can be produced on many wind instruments either by “flutter-tonguing” (vibrato linguale) or enunciating an uvular [R]. This has been used to special effect in romantic and modern music. From the recorder’s repertoire Benjamin Britten’s Noyes Fludde (where it imitates the cooing of doves) and Manuel Jacob’s Eclogue come to mind. It is used extensively by avant-garde composers.

A very delicate, “tongued tremolo” can be be produced by articulating the syllables “yer-yer-yer…” (Rowland-Jones 2003; Vetter 1969). This, too, has been employed by protagonists of the avant-garde. Thus for the recorder player there are four kinds of tremolo, each with its own distinctive character:

  • aspirated tremolo/vibrato
  • uvular tremolo
  • flutter-tongued tremolo
  • tongued tremolo

Note that the term “tremolo”as such occurs but once in the published historic recorder repertoire, namely in the Canzona con il tremolo “La Grimaneta” for “flautin & fagotto” from Giovanni Battista Riccio’s Il terzo libro delle divine lodi musicali of 1620 (Griscom & Lasocki, 2013).

References cited on this page

  • Griscom, Richard W., and David R.G. Lasocki. 2013. The Recorder: A Research and Information Guide. 3rd ed. Routledge Music Bibliographies. New York, London: Routledge.
  • Rowland-Jones, Anthony. 2003. Recorder Technique, Intermediate to Advanced. 3rd ed. Hebden Bridge: Ruxbury Publications.
  • Vetter, Michael. 1969. Il flauto dolce ed acerbo [The Sweet and Bitter Flute]. Celle: Edition Moeck 4009.

Cite this article as: Lander, Nicholas S. 1996–2022. Recorder Home Page: Tremolo & Vibrato: Tremolo. Last accessed 3 October 2022. https://www.recorderhomepage.net/technique/tremolo-and-vibrato/tremolo/