re·cord·er / riˈkôrdər/ •
n. 1. an apparatus for recording sound, pictures, or data, esp. a tape recorder.2. a person who keeps records: a poet and recorder of rural and industrial life.3. a simple woodwind instrument with finger holes and no keys, held vertically and played by blowing air through a shaped mouthpiece against a sharp edge.4. (Recorder) (in England and Wales) a barrister appointed to serve as a part-time judge.DERIVATIVES: re·cord·er·ship / -ˌship/ n. (in sense 4).
recorder (Fr. flûte à bec; Ger. Blockflöte; It. flauto diretto; Sp. flauta de pico).
Woodwind instr. of ancient lineage, made without reed. Forerunner of the fl., but end-blown through a whistle-mouthpiece. In medieval times, the recorder was known under the Lat. name fistula
, hence ‘fipple-flute’. It had 7 finger-holes in front and a thumbhole behind, and a beak-shaped mouthpiece. The antiquity of the instr. is hard to determine because its playing position is so like that of similar instr. (other whistle types), that contemporary illustrations are of little help. But it has been est. as being in existence in the 12th cent., although the word ‘recorder’ first appeared in a document in 1388. A recorder tutor was pubd. in Venice
, 1535. By the 15th cent. there were several sizes of recorder. Praetorius lists 8, i.e. great bass, quint bass, bass, ten., alto, 2 sop., sopranino. Thus, recorder consorts were a common feature of Renaissance
mus. life. The instr. has been widely revived in the 20th cent. both as an easy instr. for children and as part of the revival in performing early mus. on authentic instr. Modern composers have written for it e.g. Britten, Arnold Cooke, and Rubbra. The most common size today is the descant (sop.), but there are also sopranino, treble (alto), ten., and bass.
re·cord·ing / riˈkôrding/ •
n. a recorded sound or picture. ∎ a tape or disc on which sounds or visual images have been recorded.
musical instrument, popular in Europe
since the 15th century. It comprises an end-blown straight tube with eight finger-holes. Modern recorders include soprano, descant, tenor and bass instruments.