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Recorder sounds like a whistle

Bassic 27 Jan 05 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,MCP 27 Jan 05 - 03:50 PM
Bassic 27 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM
Bassic 28 Jan 05 - 05:17 AM
Bob Bolton 28 Jan 05 - 05:47 AM
Bassic 28 Jan 05 - 06:05 AM
Bassic 28 Jan 05 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,banjoman 28 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM
Bob Bolton 28 Jan 05 - 09:20 PM
Nerd 29 Jan 05 - 03:56 AM
Bob Bolton 29 Jan 05 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,MCP 29 Jan 05 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,banjoman 29 Jan 05 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Jan 05 - 10:59 AM
Nerd 29 Jan 05 - 01:20 PM
Marion in Cornwall 30 Jan 05 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Captain Chris 24 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM
Jack Campin 24 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Corinne 19 Apr 09 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,AmericanRandy 30 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM
Jack Campin 31 Aug 09 - 04:13 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Aug 09 - 05:07 AM
allybeag 25 Feb 11 - 07:08 PM
Jack Campin 25 Feb 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Feb 11 - 08:53 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Feb 11 - 01:43 AM
SteveMansfield 26 Feb 11 - 10:26 AM
Jack Campin 26 Feb 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Feb 11 - 11:35 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 26 Feb 11 - 01:32 PM
Jack Campin 26 Feb 11 - 03:22 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 26 Feb 11 - 03:50 PM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 16 - 12:52 PM
leeneia 21 Jul 16 - 03:36 PM
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Subject: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bassic
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 02:28 PM

A year or two ago, a recorder playing friend of mine was looking to buy a metal bodied Descant Recorder that sounded very "whistle like". If I remember correctly, there was a dealer in the Bristol area that sold them for around £100+ . I also saw and heard one being played in a session at Cleethorpes Folk Festival at around the same time. Anyone know the make of Recorder I am refering to and who stocks them now in the uk?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 03:50 PM

Bassic

It could be Saunders Recorders of Bristol. Search down to Silberton - they don't seem to have any currently, but there is a photo.

A web search on Silberton will get you some references and possible other sources.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bassic
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM

Thanks MCP....looks a beautiful instrument but it isnt the one I remember...that was an all metal body. Anyone else any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bassic
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:17 AM


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:47 AM

G'day MCP,

I'm not sure if Bassic fell off when the Mudcat had its usual collapse at just after 5 AM Mudcat time (9 PM Sydney time) ... but that site said the later Silberton recorders were all silver-plated brass ... and the photo was an earlier model.

Anyway, they only offer to look for a second hand one for you - but you could try (and see what they fetch!).

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bassic
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:05 AM

Thanks Bob and MCP, on looking at the text on the Saunders site it could well be that the Silberton is the one that I remember....it was the photo that threw me. A phone call to Saunders seems to be in order. Thanks once again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bassic
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:27 AM

Called Saunders. The Silberton is no longer available as far as they have been able to determine. If anyone knows any different or knows of one that may be for sale second hand then I have a friend that may very well be interested. These Recorders seem to be unique in their construction and aparently nothing else really comes close to the sound that they can achieve.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM

My wife plays an all metal recorder - beutiful concert instrument & great in the band. Make is "Silvertone" & I only know of one other in this country. Obtained from Saunders about 5 yrs ago after a long search by ourselves & saunders who eventually found one on a trip to germany. Very expensive but worth every penny. Usually promotes audience questions such as "what is that - some sort of flute" followed by surprise when told its a recorder.
Hope this is useful


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM

"Silvertone" was the name used back when you could order Saxophones, Clarinets, and Flutes from the Sears Roebuck catalog. I never heard of a Silvertone recorder, but quite likely they had them.

I think Sears & Sawbuck quit publishing musical instruments and switched to just guitars in their catalogs sometime in the early 1950s or so.

Of course the name may also have been used by others.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 09:20 PM

G'day again Bassic ... and JohnInKansas,

I think Silvertone has been widely used about the world ... I have a (Australian-made ... or, at least, retailed) "Silvertone" fife in my collection, presumably unconnected to the Sears Roebuck models ... or your metal recorder.

However, in respect of banjoman's wife's recorder ... surely "Silberton" is German for "Silvertone". Perhaps they produced some models with the name rendered in English for the British and American markets ... and, possibly, were prevented from using a name still registered to S & R.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:56 AM

A metal-bodied descant recorder? No wonder it sounds like a whistle: it IS a whistle!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:11 AM

G'day Nerd,

True ... but a whistle with chromatic pretensions!

Definitely not an instrument for me ... although I did make a couple of cylindrical, metal-bodied recorders back in 1965 ... when I was living with friends in Tasmania, on a farm with a fully equipped smithy behind the farmhouse. I had found a quantity of offcuts of copper plumbing pipe and I made whistles in a high G, standard C and low G ... as well as the recorders.

I sent one off to folklorist (and recorder-playing fanatic) John Meredith. John was polite enough to reply that the metal recorder, whilst not really any improvement in the modern repertoire, did very nicely on Bach.

I may not have really put my heart into the recorder models ... I was only a few (well ... eight!) years past my fifth year (primary school ... ~ 11 years old) experience of compulsory recorder class with the she-dragon Miss Standen. That put me off all music-playing for the next five years!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:44 AM

If you search on Silberton as I mentioned above, you can find quite a few references. They were made by one Gyula Foky-Gruber (and marketed by Hopf IIRC), who (it seems) might still make them (you'll find references to the web site.). There was one advertised on eBay (recently I think - I didn't chase up the reference too closely) with an opening bid of £3, so you might try looking at the auction sites.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:44 AM

Having looked a bit more closely at the recorder previously mentioned it is in fact a "HOPF - Silvertone " so well done to Guest
I believe that Hopf are no longer in business, but Saunders say they also made an all metal Treble recorder.
You would have needed a body building course ro play it if the weight of the descant is anything to go by.
My wife also says that the C sharp note leaves a lot to be desired & uses alternate fingering.
It appears that SAunders found three of these on a trip to Germany some years ago so leaving out the one we have and the other one we know about, there should be at least two others circulating in UK

Just a quick note to "Nerd" : your musical knowledge is about as good as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest. The Recorder is a fine instrument when in the right hands. Stick with your whistle .


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 10:59 AM

I bought a Hopf Silberton-Metallblockflote at a music shop in Dresden three years ago. I'm sure it was used, or old. The literature with it seems very old-fashioned. Yes, it is heavy, but the thumb-rest takes care of most of that problem.

The instruction sheet has an actual photo of Gyula Foky-Gruber playing the instrument.

It's a nice instrument, though not very loud. It comes in handy for tunes where the whistle would be nice. (I have never had any luck getting high notes out of whistles.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 01:20 PM

banjoman,

I was not trying to impugn the recorder, which I too think can be a fine instrument.

Technically speaking, however, it is the same thing as a whistle, as Bob recognized above.   The recorder merely has a few design elements that make it more nearly chromatic than the average whistle. The relationship is like that of the uileann pipes to other bagpipes: uileann pipes are still bagpipes, just more developed ones. Just so, the recorder is still a whistle, but it is a more developed whistle. I happen to like both recorders and other whistles!


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Marion in Cornwall
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 04:14 AM

Banjoman,

I bought a Kobliczek "Silberton" recorder from Saunders Recorders about 5/6 years ago, so I guess it's probably one of the 'other 2' you mention. The sound is much nearer a flute than a whistle and, like your wife, I often get asked what it is. It's a lovely instrument.

Regards
Marion


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,Captain Chris
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 04:14 AM

Hello, dear whistleblowers

A few days ago I bought an old Hopf Silberton recorder; simply because I liked it. I love to play it for a minute or two at a time - though my recorder memories from Kindergarten times are horrid ones. If a friend out there wants it and wishes to give me something else for it, you are welcome to it. My e-mail:   christofarnold.kunz@vtg.admin.ch
Regards Chris


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM

Acoustically, what makes the difference in sound between different models of whistle or recorder is bore and windway design, not the fingering system or the material they're made of. Susato make "Renaissance recorders" which are the same as their whistles but with the fingerholes in different places - I use their G alto and G sopranino a lot for Scottish music. These are parallel bore with a curved windway, which gives a lot of power in the lower register but crappy response at the top end (notes up there are hard to start and flat). This design was abandoned by recorder makers some time in the Middle Ages. Upmarket whistles tend to use reverse conical bore like Renaissance or Baroque recorders, which improves intonation in the upper octave. The more expensive they get, the more like recorders they are.

I'm regularly asked what the green plastic recorder in the photos on my website is. People just don't expect Scottish session tunes to emerge from a basic primary-school recorder - my repertoire and the way I play it makes them think it must be something else entirely.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,Corinne
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:26 AM

Hi Christof, I emailed you about this

thanks, Corinne


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,AmericanRandy
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM

On the flip side of all this...I just listened to Brandenburgische Konzerte 4-5-6 by The English Concert. The recorders sound wonderfully mellow, ocarina-like, "round" and full. Does anyone know what kind of recorders were used? They were very un-whistley.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 04:13 AM

Given their repertoire, probably historical-reproduction treble recorders in F at A=415 pitch, played in some form of meantone intonation. Bressan, Stanesby, Denner and Steenbergen were some of the 18th century makers most often copied today.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:07 AM

Dolmetsch still do A=415 recorders, but with otherwise normal intonation and internal construction. My late wife had (and therefore I still have) one in silkwood, and it has a wonderful lachrymose sound: and was also very useful for playing in the keys which on a standard descant the accidentals did not fall conveniently, although it was necessary to stretch the bottom joint just a smidgeon to get the pitch spot on (which in turn meant that the overtones became harder to get right). Brian Blood at Dolmetsch was totally amazed that a couple of mere folkies could hear that A=415 was not exactly a semitone flat of A=440, when we went down to buy it.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: allybeag
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 07:08 PM

Just came across this rather old thread. Sorry I'm so late to join in! I play a Hopf Silberton alto, and also have a soprano, but the soprano's got German fingering so I don't use it as much as I'd like. You can see me with my alto here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/allybeag/3756537298/ .

I bought them a number of years ago after a long search. I first came across these fabulous instruments when I saw Dick Lee, the Scottish jazz clarinet/recorder player using one on the Edinburgh Fringe. Of course, I asked him what it was at the end of the gig, and thereafter spent several years searching for one. In the end I phoned Saunders Recorders, only to be told they weren't being made any more, and Mr Etherington (I think that's his name) said he no longer attempted to find second hand ones, but by chance he'd just received a letter from a chap in Australia who had a pair for sale. This was before the days when everyone and his dog had internet connection. He forwarded the handwritten letter to me; I wrote to the Australian; weeks later I got a reply. It took months, but in the end the money was transferred and I got my instruments.

I play the alto regularly in gigs and for practising. It's louder than the average recorder, especially in those bottom notes, which are so easy with the flute keys. It blends very well with the rest of our group, even though they tend to play more standard models.

I like my weird recorders. I also play a knick tenor from Roessler, with a metal joint at the knick, and several metal keys. http://www.flickr.com/photos/allybeag/5278105003/

ally


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:08 PM

I heard somebody with a Silberton at a session at the Middle Earth in Whitby last year. Nice thing. Must... resist...

I was thinking about Instrument Acquisition Syndrome with recorders earlier today before this thread surfaced. Just looking at the F altos I have:

- a fifty-year-old pro Baroque model in cocobolo by Koch in the US, fantastically brilliant and powerful, will cut through anything in a noisy pub

- a Lee-Collins-modified Zen-On (plastic with a cedar block, hand-finished), highly responsive, blends very well with George's moothie in the Sunday afternoon Sandy Bells session

- a 1980-ish Schott Concert in something like plumwood, helluva loud and not very subtle, has some personal associations for me

- a Hopf Praetorius Renaissance replica, wonderful dark breathy tone and strong low register, part of a set of these, also looks and smells terrific

- an unmodified plastic Zen-On for lending to any friend who needs an alto to play with me

- an ordinary plastic Yamaha that sits in a basket where I can grab it any time.

There. I've got a good reason for having all of them, haven't I?...

Haven't got an A=415 alto yet.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:53 PM

Of course. Each one sounds a little different. And when one has too much condensed moisture in it, you can always pick up another.

I have about 30 recorders myself, from bass to sopranino.

Didn't I read somewhere that Henry VIII had 56 recorders?


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 01:43 AM

56 recorders???

That sounds more like his secretarial pool.

(Lots of managers and politicians kept(?) large ones more for entertainment than for recording, I'm told.)

John


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:26 AM

I have about 30 recorders myself, from bass to sopranino.

What, no garklein? Useful for summoning the dogs from the other side of the field, and guaranteed to cut through the wall-of-soundest of massed melodeons? You need really thin fingers to get much purchase on a garklein, and you wouldn't want it to be the only recorder you ever played, but they're great things.

Saw Laura Carter playing a lot of recorder last night with the rest of her excellent band The Old Dance School, and she gets a really nice whistle-like tone on some of the faster numbers.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 11:00 AM

A garklein in C doesn't go any higher than a G sopranino - the G (third one above the treble staff, in sounding pitch) is as far as it gets. And a G sopranino has much easier finger spacing.

G sopraninos are not exactly common either, but Susato make them (plastic, parallel bore, tone like a referee's whistle). I have two of those and a somewhat more civilized wooden one, made specially by Hopf for Michael Copley of the Cambridge/Classic Buskers. They're great for Highland pipe tunes.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 11:35 AM

It's true, sfmans, I have no garklein.

I tried a garklein (German for 'way small') and even though my hands are petite, the holes were too close together.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 01:32 PM

...and the same goes for an sopranino in my hands.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 03:22 PM

Playing tiny recorders is simply a matter of practice. I have average-sized hands for a man (based on my glove size) and have no problem with the sopranino (which I play quite a lot). I can play a garklein (my fingers fit with no space to spare), but don't get enough practice to play it very well.

Recorder players usually play lots of sizes - I have everything from garklein to greatbass (the toughest stretch is my Praetorius F alto, which needs a long reach for the little finger). We can snigger at clarinet players who moan about how hard it is to shift between Bb and A instruments.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 03:50 PM

Frankly, I just tried a quick grip of a sopranino in a music store, but it did feel very awkward at best. And, as for the great bass, I've only seen photos but would like to try one, one day.

I play a tenor just about every day, and a soprano and alto (pretending it's a tenor/soprano re. fingering) about once a year!


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 16 - 12:52 PM

[From another thread about a flat-key instrument session at Whitby]

[B/C melodeon player] theoretically you can play in any key, provided you can find the notes!
Yes, I was told that the recorder is a chromatic instrument.
Would help if I had chromatic fingers though (or is it the brain that's too slow?)


The problem with this situation is not playing the notes (you just need to stop telling yourself you can't) but playing them loudly enough - you'd be competing with melodeons, clarinets, saxophones and brass.

You might be audible using a sopranino recorder, which would probably have the right range and okay fingerings for about half of what's likely to be played. I'll probably have one with me and I'm happy to lend it, though I have a couple of much louder flat-key-friendly gizmos.


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Subject: RE: Recorder sounds like a whistle
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 16 - 03:36 PM

Sopranos can really carry. A few weeks ago, I was playing a soprano recorder in church. At the same time, a grand piano was going full bore, the congregation was singing, and a flutist was playing.

My husband was in the attic, 40 feet up and 50 south, with the church ceiling and insulation between us. He heard the soprano recorder best of anything.

Another observation - when I played along with a church choir, the leader wanted me to play melody (rather than indulging in descants) because the clean, high sound of the recorder showed the congregation what the melody was.

When I play for country dance, I won't use a microphone. I could hurt somebody.


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