recorder

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recorder,

musical wind instrument of the fluteflute,
in music, generic term for such wind instruments as the fife, the flageolet, the panpipes, the piccolo, and the recorder. The tone of all flutes is produced by an airstream directed against an edge, producing eddies that set up vibrations in the air enclosed in the
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 family, made of wood, varying in length, and having an inverted conical bore (largest end near the mouthpiece). Its tone is produced by an air stream against an edge, like that of the flute, but the air is conducted by a mouthpiece through a channel to the edge; intonation is somewhat less flexible on the vertical recorder than on the transverse flute. The recorder has a soft, sweet timbre which makes it an ideal chamber instrument. It was known in Europe as early as the 10th cent., and at first was the principal flute instrument. By the 16th cent. it was made in a variety of sizes, and in the 17th and early 18th cent. it was a very important solo, chamber, and orchestral instrument. Until c.1750, the term flute referred to the recorder; the transverse flute was always distinguished by a qualifying adjective. After that time the recorder was too weak for the continually growing orchestra, and it fell into disuse until the revival of interest in older music and instruments in the early 20th cent. Since it lacks keys and a complicated embouchure, the recorder is one of the few instruments of artistic importance easily played by an amateur, a fact that has contributed to its growing popularity. It has a huge literature of solo and ensemble music from the 16th to 18th cent., to which many 20th-century composers have added. Related to the recorder is the flageoletflageolet
, small straight flute of conical bore, with a whistle mouthpiece. The number of finger holes varies, as does the length, which may be from 4 to 12 in (10.2–30.5 cm). The flageolet, related to the recorder, was known as early as the 16th cent.
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, which differs mainly in that it has fewer holes, usually six, two of which are closed by the thumbs. It was known as early as the 16th cent. and has seldom figured in serious music.

recorder

[ri′kȯrd·ər]
(engineering)

recorder

1. something that records, esp an apparatus that provides a permanent record of experiments, etc.
2. short for tape recorder
3. Music a wind instrument of the flute family, blown through a fipple in the mouth end, having a reedlike quality of tone. There are four usual sizes: bass, tenor, treble, and descant
4. (in England) a barrister or solicitor of at least ten years' standing appointed to sit as a part-time judge in the crown court