A Man and a Boy with Recorders - Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754)

A Man and a Boy with Recorders - Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754)

Level Two Introduction

Level 1 teaches an octave of notes, and how to read them. If we consider the recorder repertoire an ocean, then Level 1 brought you to the shore.

Level 2 takes you in.

The recorder allows quick advances in the early stages, compared to instruments like violin and piano. In particular, gaining sufficient recorder skills to soon join with other players is viable for mature age beginners. The Level 2 lessons develop these skills. However advanced recorder abilities are hard won. The great recorder virtuosi have worked just as hard at their craft as their peers on other instruments.

Level 2 expands your note range to cover most of the recorder repertoire. We begin with the higher notes and the "cracked thumbhole" technique used to reach them. These notes present challenges, we outline ways to overcome them.

Most recorder players read their music, we show how to do this. A particular focus is the various rhythms and "time signatures" in the music you will be playing. These are more easily understood if heard, so audio examples explain each new notation concept.

Recorder is best taught face to face, by expert players. You need to hear what you're supposed to play. These online lessons substitute a live teacher, by providing audio samples at every stage. In particular, there are backing tracks for each exercise. These maintain your rhythm (most important), and introduce a range of music styles.

We introduce the recorder repertoire, in the hope you will come to love it as we do. The music here, found in the music library, has two broad categories:

  • Folk tunes: these come from England, Ireland, Germany and other parts, and are generally memorised and played without scores, often for dances. The 17th century "Playford Dancing Master" is a primary source for these tunes, we draw on it here.
  • Baroque and Renaissance "art" music: played from written scores, the high points include the great masters: Bach, Telemann, Handel

Distinctions between these categories are blurred. The baroque recorder masterpieces are a key goal, they require at least the full ranges of notes from Level 2, sometimes more. We aim to get you there.

If you are a beginner, then Level 2 is a major point of departure. If you are a more experienced player, then browse the lessons and find your starting point. Do try all the exercises however, when combined with the audio they provide useful insights

So. Let's get started with Level 2.

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