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'faking' music for an F recorder

GUEST,ripov 03 Jan 14 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 03 Jan 14 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jan 14 - 06:57 AM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 14 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Bart Brush 02 Jan 14 - 09:52 PM
Jack Campin 24 Jul 12 - 11:41 AM
Tootler 24 Jul 12 - 11:27 AM
Tootler 24 Jul 12 - 10:26 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jul 12 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 12 - 08:40 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jul 12 - 04:43 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Jul 12 - 04:14 AM
Manitas_at_home 24 Jul 12 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jul 12 - 10:39 PM
Tootler 29 Jun 12 - 03:32 PM
Jack Campin 29 Jun 12 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 29 Jun 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jun 12 - 11:10 AM
GUEST 28 Jun 12 - 07:35 AM
Jack Campin 28 Jun 12 - 07:32 AM
Tootler 28 Jun 12 - 07:00 AM
Tootler 28 Jun 12 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 27 Jun 12 - 03:21 PM
IvanB 27 Jun 12 - 02:54 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Jun 12 - 10:04 AM
Jack Campin 27 Jun 12 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Jun 12 - 09:49 AM
Tootler 25 Jun 12 - 07:14 PM
Tootler 25 Jun 12 - 07:09 PM
Jack Campin 25 Jun 12 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Jun 12 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Jun 12 - 11:30 AM
IanA 03 Apr 12 - 09:13 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 05:51 PM
IanA 02 Apr 12 - 05:31 PM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 04:28 PM
Tootler 02 Apr 12 - 04:01 PM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 08:45 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Apr 12 - 08:12 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 07:53 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 07:50 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 07:37 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Apr 12 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,oggie 02 Apr 12 - 04:55 AM
IvanB 01 Apr 12 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Apr 12 - 09:17 PM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 12 - 06:34 PM
Tootler 01 Apr 12 - 05:22 PM
Ole Juul 01 Apr 12 - 04:15 AM
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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:56 PM

Jack Campin is quite right (30 Mar 12 - 07:21 AM )about this. What we call the pitch of the note an instrument produces, and how it's represented in written music, is all a matter of convention. It's giving pitches names that causes problems. If music is read as a series of intervals, which in any case makes more sense harmonically, the problem sort of disappears, so long as the instrumentalist is familiar with their instrument. Singers do this as a matter of course. they (with apologies to those blessed, or cursed, with perfect pitch) don't sing, for example, a D followed by a (higher) A, simply two notes a fifth apart (although possibly with reference to a pitch provided by a fixed tuned instrument; and without going into complications caused by temperament).


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:25 AM

Loretto points out a neat feature of his design that a 3D printer can't match - because the holes are on the front panel, which is an easily replaceable sheet of plywood, you can experiment with hole placements for optimal tuning and throw your failures away without losing the whole instrument.

I think Loretto is still alive and contactable, if you can't trace the article.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:57 AM

Bart, you sure are bold - sounds like nothing less than "squaring the circle"!

Pragmatic teachers will soon get a solution to the problem of bass wind instruments, affordable and playable by children: 3D printers! The Rackett principle will be resurrected, or rather brought to its full potential for the first time. Give it three more years. Here an example of the current state-of-the-art.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 03:19 AM

Alec Loretto published some in a British recorder journal in the 1970s, before Paetzold started making them. The Recorder Homepage should give a reference to the article - I don't think it'll be online.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,Bart Brush
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:52 PM

Where can I find plans or measurements for making a square bass and tenor? I'm an elementary school music teacher in Arizona with extensive woodworking experience (but not with wind instruments) and would like to make a few tenors and basses that could be comfortable fingered by smaller hands (4-5-6th graders, ages 10-12).


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 11:41 AM

Search YouTube for "paetzold square recorder" and you'll find quite a few good samples. (The video of the SubSubContrabass isn't one of them - makes it look utterly pointless).


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 11:27 AM

Found my recording. It's not particularly good. There's a lot of distortion - I suspect it overloaded the cheap mic I had at the time.

I will have to make another recording.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 10:26 AM

I have a Paezold Contrabass. They are very good. They have a strong first octave which is what you need and a full two octave range. They are also very easy to play as the wooden keys have finger "pads" that are placed in comfortable reach. Although the larger ones are cheaper than their round equivalents, they are not cheap. The bass and great bass versions have a wooden rod at the bottom so they will stand on the floor. I agree they need plenty of air down them, but their demands are not excessive. I was asthmatic as a child and don't have huge lung capacity but I can manage mine fine.

I think I have a sound sample on my computer. If not I'll make one and post it online so you can hear.

I use a neck strap with my regular bass and hold it to one side rather in the same manner as a bassoon.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 09:02 AM

I thought about making one of those square recorders when a church near me scrapped its pipe organ. I've got a bunch of eight-foot pipes. Whoop-de-doo, a next-to-free contrabass.

I soon discovered it wasn't quite that easy. Organ pipes are designed to work at just one frequency, and most of the ones I got were stopped. They would make narrow-range swannee whistles and that's about it. They also need VAST amounts of air. I've been thinking of hooking them up to a couple of mainframe computer cooling fans to act as drones.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 08:40 AM

Manitas - good observation. I had forgotten that some organ pipes are rectangular.

Jack - thanks for the tips on ways to hold a bass.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 04:43 AM

Have you ever seen a new-fangled bass that's square in cross-section? They seem to play just as well and, I suppose they would be easier to fabricate.

They're not all that new. The first one was made by Alec Loretto in the 70s, written up in a recorder magazine at the time as a DIY project readers could try. Paetzold put them into production a bit later, probably independently.

I've heard one of the Paetzold ones. It was terrible. Turned the owner had assembled it wrong in some way, but i haven't heard her playing it since she figured that out.

For playing position - whatever works; there are pictures from the 18th century of players holding the bass recorder as you describe. I prefer vertical, since my Zen-On is so light I can take all the weight on my right thumb and not use the neckstrap, if it's for a short piece. For my greatbass, I usually play sitting down, balancing the bell between my feet.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 04:14 AM

100


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 03:59 AM

Or just like an organ pipe?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 10:39 PM

Yes, Tootler, that's what I thought.   

The bass got played again yesterday, again with a specially edited part. Michael likes our new way to hold it. Put the strap on like a guitarist, place the bass against the outside of the right leg, and put a piece of grabby stuff on the trouser leg to keep it from slipping. (I had seen someone playing it that way at a concert and recently remembered it.)

Have you ever seen a new-fangled bass that's square in cross-section? They seem to play just as well and, I suppose they would be easier to fabricate. They do seem like something out of a work of science fiction.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:32 PM

Holy moly, $500 for a Moeck? They don't make many models that expensive.

Absolutely and more. The cheapest Moeck bass in the Early Music Shop is £885GB. That comes to almost $1400US at current exchange rates.

I bought my current bass recorder (A Mollenhauer) six years ago and it was £650 then and that was cheap then by bass recorder standards. It's a long time since you could get a bass recorder for under £500 from a regular dealer even less $500. (plastic instruments excepted)


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:32 AM

Holy moly, $500 for a Moeck? They don't make many models that expensive.

I see a lot of high-end instruments listed on EBay by a dealer in Bulgaria, he's been at it for a while and seems completely above board.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:11 AM

So what you're saying is, both recorders kind of fell off a truck. Isn't that right?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 11:10 AM

Too bad about that. Wouldn't it be nice if music programs had a 'change clef' button?

Something else I wish I had - a little dealie that automatically uses an eighth note after I've put in a dotted quarter. A dotted quarter is followed by an eighth (I would estimate) 99% of the time.

A couple years ago, I got a little goofy and bought not one, but two bass recorders on Ebay. One of them, as I mentioned, was sold by a real-estate sales person. It's a Hopf. I guess Hopf is out of business now. I can't find them on the net.

The other recorder is a Moeck, and it came from Bulgaria. (Moeck has a very find reputation.) My banker trembled when I told him I wanted to send $500 to Bulgaria. But I figured, it's a gamble, and people down at the casino often gamble that much on one hand of blackjack. Why not gamble on a fine recorder, one probably $2000 or so today, instead?

It was obvious when they arrived that neither recorder had ever been played.

I like to picture some bloated Bulgarian communist buying that Moeck recorder for his kid, who screamed, "I don't want to play recorder! I want to play hot American jazz!" So it went back into its pretty little padded suitcase...

They've been sitting around, unplayed, till last Sunday, when my friend's long fingers plus the 'fake bass' parts made them easy to play.
==========
Guest, I'm glad you like the concept of 'jacking up'.

Here's another approach: sometimes when a part goes too high or two low, I enter both octaves in parallel (using the MIDI controller) and let my friends pick which version they want. Often flutes will go for the high, and harps for the low. Of course, at our casual sessions, I don't know ahead of time which instrument will be taking which line.

For people new to all this: 'MIDI controller' is the correct name for the thing that looks like a piano keyboard and plugs into a computer. It enters music.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 07:35 AM

the Snail's tips were incomplete

Sorry about that, I forgot about the clef change. I once wrote a user tool to do change clef and move the notes accordingly but I can't get it to work under Windows 7.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 07:32 AM

isn't all that difficult?

No. It's much easier than learning the control layout for a different type of car (and unlike the car, you won't kill anybody if you make a slip-up). If you have problems switching fingering system like that, you aren't mentally capable of driving any more and should shred your licence.

Of the 19 people who contributed to this thread, only the Snail said anything accurate, and the Snail's tips were incomplete.

Mainly because he didn't address the more important issue at all - whether you should even be doing this.

It's essential to know what happens when you "jack up" the notes and when you transpose.

I can't interpret that. You just play what's written. Whatever "jacking up" is, you don't need to do it.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 07:00 AM

Back to the original subject of the thread, I think if leeneia's friend is playing bass recorder as a one off or only occasionally, then what she was doing makes sense. However, if it starts to become regular, it is worth spending the time to learn to play from bass clef - and it doesn't take all that long. It took me about two weeks to be comfortable and I was in my mid fifties at the time. It then opens a lot of possibilities. Bass recorder is my first choice these days with the recorder group I play with though I use others in other situations.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 06:56 AM

As I understand it, BarFly is an ABC editor rather than a standard Notation editor. From your description, Jack, I would say that changing clef in noteworthy is no more complex. Essentially you replace the treble clef with a bass clef then move the notes to the correct position. It only seems more complex because leeneia gave a detailed "blow by blow" account which for someone who has not done it before, is very useful.

The transposition function in Noteworthy is a menu item and you simply select the the menu item and tell it how many semitones up or down you wish to go up to +/- one octave. Changing the clef automatically puts the notes in the right octave for midi playback, the adjustment of the notes after changing clef is to put them in the right position on the stave.

I would imagine top end notation editors such as Sibelius or Finale would take care of changing the note positions automatically but then you are paying almost twenty times as much for the full version.

I would say that as value for money, Noteworthy is almost unbeatable both for its capability for the price and for ease of use. I have tried open source editors such as MuseScore and NoteEdit and found both much more difficult to get started on, though I do know people who like them and they are free.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 03:21 PM

The way I see it, it's like learning a foreign language. It's not really that difficult, but it requires time and effort. Learning the language and grammar is ultimately more rewarding, but if you're only visiting the place for a couple of weeks you might prefer to get by with a phrase-book.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: IvanB
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 02:54 PM

Sorry, Guest post previous was I, sans cookie.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 12:20 PM

leeneia, I DO have to say that, although I thought there was far too much furor expressed over this subject, I learned one valuable thing: I had never been aware of the CTRL/SHIFT/ARROW combination for moving a selected set of notes in one direction or the other.

I'm continually having to do octave shifts on a few notes that fall out of the range of the instrument on which they're to be played and I'd always accomplished that by deleting the notes and entering them in the desired octave. You'd have thought I'd have looked up a quicker fix, but I didn't. Thanks for imparting your method.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 10:04 AM

isn't all that difficult?

Of the 19 people who contributed to this thread, only the Snail said anything accurate, and the Snail's tips were incomplete.

It's essential to know what happens when you "jack up" the notes and when you tranpose, and I learned that by taking a familiar song with bass parts and modifying the bass parts different ways. Then we test-drove the results.

Maybe someday somebody will do what I did - buy a nice bass recorder on Ebay and then want to have fun with it. If so, the directions for instant play are just above.

My bass was found in a trunk in an empty house by a real-estate sales person. It had obviously never been played. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 05:18 AM

BarFly is free unless you want some of the fancier features.

How to do this: remove the word "bass" from the key signature, and also remove the "middle=" directive if there is one. Transpose the tune up to some random key, then up again to the one you started with. (There is no facility for transposing tunes by an octave directly). Do another two transpositions up if you need the tune up two octaves. Done.

Leeneia, you are deliberately creating unnecessary anxiety about something that isn't at all difficult.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 09:49 AM

Let me tell you something about life.

The player is 65, not 18. Mastering a whole new set of reactions is much harder at that time of life. Actually, what Jack is suggesting would require two new sets of reactions - to bass clef and to F fingerings.

He has a wife on oxygen and a grandson with OCD. He's learning Spanish and he's teaching English. He has more important things to do with his life than master new fingerings.

I thought Mudcatters would be happy to see that a computer can be used to help friends make music, but I was wrong.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 07:14 PM

OK having got that off my chest, I do rather agree with Jack's last point.

If you are going to play the bass recorder, it is better in the long run to learn to read from the bass clef because you don't then have to go through all the rigmarole you described.

I can, and do sometimes, play my bass (and contrabass) recorder from treble clef reading it as an F alto (including reading up an octave), but I am really much more comfortable playing from bass clef.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 07:09 PM

OK Jack, how would you do it in BarFly?

As to Sibelius, when I bought Noteworthy, it cost me $40 US - about £25GB at the then current exchange rate. I don't think it's much different now. I just checked Sibelius costs £460GB somewhat more. I should hope it will do it more easily.

Nevertheless there are two steps they all have to do

1. Change from bass to treble clef - Does your software automatically adjust the position of the notes on the stave? I would hope Sibelius does at that price and I admit that it is a weakness of Noteworthy.

2. Transpose - I would imagine all of them have a similar mechanism for transposing to different keys.

Finally how much does BarFly cost?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 06:48 PM

It's probably the same for all programs.

No it isn't.

It takes a lot less steps in BarFly. Probably even quicker in Sibelius.

It's just as bad an idea however easy the software makes it.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 03:20 PM

That should be

1. Change the bass clef TO treble clef.

We're gonna work our way up to this:

colossal recorder


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 11:30 AM

To get back to the original topic (playing of bass recorder), we finally did it! Last week I used TheSnail's directions as a starting point, and I finally managed to produce music which looked like a treble part with C fingering, but when played it produced the right notes on a bass recorder in F.

Everyone was tickled by the warm, mellow sound of it. It was very much a group effort as we figured out how Michael should hold it, how to cope with the weight, which bass to use, and which neck strap to use. I'm pleased with my friends, none of whom got impatient at not being able to play for a while.

Here's how you do it in Noteworthy Composer. It's probably the same for all programs.

1. Change the bass clef treble clef.

    a. highlight the notes
    b. jack them up two half-steps.
       (ctrl-shift- up arrow, up arrow again.)
    c.   delete the bass clef sign, insert a treble clef sign.
    d. you will not see a key change

2. Transpose the staff

    a. Tools menu - transpose staff (I hit alt-t-t on the keyboard)
    b. choose 7 or -5, whichever is handier.
    c. Leave box checked.
    d. you will see a key change

3. Label the staff and change the title to show this is special music with a line which will not sound right unless played on a particular instrument. I simply add "fake bass."


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: IanA
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 09:13 AM

A=405? I bet that herz...

And don't tell me about the low standards of the French.

Of course, 415 is just a handy number chosen because it is a semitone below modern pitch - there are many instruments made at 409 and even 460 pitches. In the good old days, the makers were only concerned with making instruments in tune with the other instruments they were producing - or, at best, with the pitch used in their area. String players must have been insufferably smug.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:51 PM

Yep - old-pitch Northumbrian pipes are A=405, more or less. Probably derived from the "musette de cour" as played by French aristos playing at peasants before the real peasants reduced their sounding length with the aid of Madame la Guillotine. The French often tended to go for lower pitch standards than everybody else.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: IanA
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:31 PM

Merde! Et zut alors!!

Ow iz ze French Baroque any different from ze German Barock?

Answers on a carte postale to M. Campin svp.

(I 'ave many flutes a bec en A=415.)


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:28 PM

Many Northumbrian pipers these days will have a G chanter so they can play in sessions with the usual collection of instruments.

Those were the ones I was thinking of. The others with the F-off chanters generally stick together like a dating agency for people with herpes, so the rest of us don't really need to know about them.

In any case, the F-off types will still be producing a G with that fingering; the note corresponding to a blob on the second line. It just happens to be a G from the French Baroque. Highland pipers have the same issue, with their A for the same fingering sounding somewhere between B flat and B. But the note is written as an A and that's what they call it.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:01 PM

Northumbrian bagpipe music with six-fingers-down making a G

No it doesn't. Northumbrian pipes are actually a transposing instrument. When you play a written G, Northumbrian pipes in traditional tuning actually play an F. Well, actually, about 20cents sharp of F since we are in pedant mode. Many Northumbrian pipers these days will have a G chanter so they can play in sessions with the usual collection of instruments. I have been in a session led by pipers and I played a C whistle as a transposing instrument and the fiddler tuned down a tone. Mind much of the time I was playing bass on my F contrabass recorder and playing a bass line fell quite naturally under my fingers in C and F.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:45 AM

I first got that tune from David Greenberg's CD - he does it with a B flat at the end of the first time through the second part (natural minor). I prefer it that way; the B-natural/G7 makes it sound too much like the tune is about to stop.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:12 AM

I love those A naturals! I haven't seen many tunes that sharp & reflat the fourth like that. (Even further off-topic, sorry.)


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:53 AM

(Bugger - edit:)

I'm curious as to how an alto flute scores over a C flute.

There are quite a few Scottish fiddle tunes that go down onto the G string - things like "King George IV". Currently one of my favourites is Paul Cranford's The Graveyard of the Gulf, which ranges from the G below the staff up to the C above it - it was written for scordatura tuning. Scottish and Irish trad never needs the top end of a C flute's range, so an alto can do everything that turns up in practice, and it seems to fit better with voices.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:50 AM

I'm curious as to how an alto flute scores over a C flute.

There are quite a few Scottish fiddle tunes that go down onto the G string - things like "King George IV". Currently one of my favourutes is Paul Cranford's The Graveyard of the Gulf, which ranges from the G below the staff up to the C above it - it was written for scordatura tuning. Scottish and Irish trad never needs the top end of a C flute's range, so an alto can do everything that turns up in practice, and it seems to fit better with voices.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:37 AM

many recorders are made to A=435 so will have to transpose up a semitone in order to mix with those that use A=440.

Not many.

Purpose-built A=415 recorders are uncommon, hand-made and very expensive. I have a cheap semitone-flat descant recorder made in purple glittery plastic, probably a design mistake in some Oriental toy factory 10 years ago; I use it on occasions when playing along with guitarists capoed up into silly places. I have never encountered another recorder at that pitch on the folk scene and have never got to handle a real A=415 recorder myself.


Hehe,

Is that out of Beavis and Butthead or what?


you know one really needs to develop quite a skill to transpose all the flutes that one might reasonably encounter.

No you don't. As I said, if you've done it for two different pitches others come very quickly. In practice almost all bagpipe players do it, since Highland bagpipe music is written with six-fingers-down making an A, Northumbrian bagpipe music with six-fingers-down making a G, and pipers almost invariably play the D whistle as well (six-fingers-down makes D). Lots of whistle players can read at pitch for a C whistle. This is not at all a rare and unusual skill.

Note that we haven't heard from anybody in this thread who's seriously tried to learn to read at pitch and failed. All the panic and naysaying is coming from people who are afraid to even start. (If only we could spread a similar amount of horror about learning to drive - a far more complex skill - the world would be a much better place).


Who can read can read tunes like Ornithology or similarly harmonically rich tunes on a baroque recorder with guitar accompaniment?

Tune like that are a bugger to get your fingers round. That's where the difficulty lies. If you can play them at all you won't have a problem with the notation.

One thing like that I play sometimes is Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now", on the F alto in the original key of D flat. Before I had it in my head I was using at-pitch notation - the notation never even registered as an issue, the unusual fingering patterns were what I had to get to terms with.

If I remember right, "Take Five" is at a convenient pitch for C recorder but I have never yet managed to play it properly with all of Paul Desmond's twiddles in - the fact that it only uses primary-school notational conventions doesn't help one little bit with actually playing the thing.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:36 AM

Jack - I'm curious as to how an alto flute scores over a C flute. Most tunes I know sit quite happily in a range from D to D''; I can only think of two offhand that go any lower, and they only do it once. Is there a lot of Scottish music in the lower range?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:55 AM

I'm with those who think it would be easier in the long run to learn to read bass clef and/or the fingerings to play the treble cleff parts at correct pitch on a bass. I'm currently in the process of doing both and it's not as hard as people seem to think.

Steve


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: IvanB
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 10:37 PM

Thanks, leeneia, I like it! I'm going to see if I can do it on mountain dulcimer and bowed psaltery as well as the recorder.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 09:17 PM

Found it! Here's the thread with the MIDI in Ivan's honor, because he helped me out on my a MIDI contoller.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=131807


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 06:34 PM

the Wikipedia definition is perfectly satisfactory and explains quite clearly what a transposing instrument is

Implicitly what that "definition" does is tell people that they can't use the clarinet, or other so-called "transposing" instruments, in any other way. Which is a huge waste of potential.

People do get unnecessarily discouraged by that misconception. I did.

It cost me a thousand pounds and years of lost time with the alto flute. I didn't think of reading at pitch with it - all published music for it transposes. So when I started playing Scottish music I didn't think of using it; no way was I going to transpose all of Kerr's Merry Melodies or O'Neill's 1001 Irish Tunes. So I sold it and got other instruments which were okay but not as useful for Scottish music as the alto flute would have been if I'd stuck with it and realized at the time that it covers exactly the same range as the fiddle and can play all the same music if you read it at pitch and don't bother looking for stuff pre-transposed for it. So I finally bought another one, no better than the one I started with and a thousand pounds more expensive. I have never even seen a published music sheet for the alto flute since I got that new one and don't particularly want to.

If that's pedantry, tough. Somebody is going to thank me for saying it, and their bank balance is going to laugh at you and Wikipedia.


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 05:22 PM

I assume you mean A=415?


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Subject: RE: 'faking' music for an F recorder
From: Ole Juul
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 04:15 AM

Perhaps I missed it, but one mustn't forget that many recorders are made to A=435 so will have to transpose up a semitone in order to mix with those that use A=440. Hehe, you know one really needs to develop quite a skill to transpose all the flutes that one might reasonably encounter. Who can read can read tunes like Ornithology or similarly harmonically rich tunes on a baroque recorder with guitar accompaniment? Almost nobody. There's no end to it, and that's why I mention this theoretical and ridiculous, though quite possible, situation.

The bottom line is to stop dreaming about clearing the highest bar and just write it out the way you need to have it, so you can get the job done. High aspirations are fine, but let's play some music now.


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