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Many begin their musical careers playing this easy-to-pick-up instrument!


Many begin their musical careers playing this easy-to-pick-up instrument!

Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Metallica all have one thing in common - the absence of a lead Recorder player. Which, when you think about it, is quite odd considering many of us had to play the recorder at school. Even stranger considering one of the US's largest music retailers, Music & Arts, reckons it sells 100,000 per year.

While we can't put a precise date on it, the recorder goes back to at least 1500 and has, at times, been front and centre of popular music. So popular that people have even written concertos specifically for it (Vivaldi's Concerto in F major, for example).

So, why do so many of us start with the recorder (and then ditch it)? Well, that's thanks to a chap called Carl Orff, a German composer who was heavily involved in shaping music education theory. The recorder is relatively cheap to produce and also matches the vocal range of a child, making it an ideal learning tool. It is, of course, viewed as slightly less cool than a guitar (particularly as a house party winds down), although I can't imagine why...

P.S. I was being slightly facetious with the opening paragraph:

Ruby Tuesday, Stairway to Heaven and Lou Reed's masterpiece Satellite of Love all heavily feature its dulcet tones. It's also featured in the theme tune to Squid Game, the popular TV show.

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