My Way To The Recorder

Let me tell you once and for all.

I’m a novice, a noob, ein Anfänger, en nybörjare. Perhaps the best would have been if I just kept silent about this, but I feel obliged to write this in gratitude to:

  • The late Mr Sven Melander who introduced me to the recorder some 43 years ago by selling Moeck wooden recorders to me and my classmates for about 2,50 Euros each and for giving us lessons.

  • Jacob van Eyck, ca 1590-1657, for writing wonderful music for solo recorder.

  • Mr Frans Brüggen for completely knocking me with his interpretations showing that virtuosity and ambience is not an opposite pair.

  • Mr Erik Bosgraaf  and Mr Stefan Temmingh   for showing that you can be young, intellectual and manly, and yet be playing the recorder.

  • Frau Silke Kunath for running the where you can find quality recorders in every price range, and with a friendly and encouraging attitude towards even a small customer like me.

  • Herr Jo Kunath for running the community and the repair and service workshop

  • Ms Christine Fuxa,  representing all happy amateurs around the globe, although Christine is a semi-pro.

Well what´s the story?

When I grew up in Northern Sweden in the 60s and 70s, the descant recorder with Deutsche Griffweise was mandatory as an introduction to the world of music. After a few years I was recommended to start playing the bassoon which I played a couple of years. About 1980 I tried once again the recorder but lack of guidance and lack of suitable sheet music made me put it away. During my medical studies I felt the need having something creative to do in order to relax from my studies. From a friend at Karolinska Institute I bought a Chinese flute. I played and played, took lessons, and played and thougth that I could play the flute pretty well, but my girlfriend Annika, later to become my wife, tried to give me some hints that this note you have to press down and this you should try to pitch up a bit. I was glad getting the sound at all. Adjusting the pitch of the different notes while playing was not to think of. When I realised how bad I really was and when I got the mark of an axe in my apartment door(!) I put the flute down.

The story could have ended here but some >25 years and five children later, this summer 2012, I got the idea to see if my flute could be restored. So I visited Mr Stefan Porst at Windcorp in Stockholm to let him have a look at the flute. ”It’s just Chinese crap. It’s not worth the money restoring it.” In fact this was the reply I wanted to hear. My Plan B was put in action: I purchased a Moeck Rottenburgh soprano recorder, and started playing the recorder again! Thanks to YouTube, the internet in general, and all the wonderful people mentioned above, I’ve found the beautiful music for solo recorder written by Jacob van Eyck. So now, at last, I’m really enjoying playing music again. I play in the garage and out in the woods. I have not dared letting someone else listen to me playing, but it’s really fun to play ”real music”. To play music on the recorder adds another dimension to the music, the tactile feeling and the interaction between the fingers and the blowing.

Thanks for your attention.

5 responses

  1. Wow! Recorder, Bassoon, and Fountain Pens. I share the same 3 interests! I have been playing recorder for 50 years, played bassoon in high school and college, and took up fountain pens about 10 years ago.

    Andy Hoffman


  2. “To play music on the recorder adds another dimension to the music, the tactile feeling and the interaction between the fingers and the blowing.”

    That sounds a little bit like letter writing. What a pleasure for you. I’m glad to see you back to posting; I check now and then and am glad to see your recorder. I will write soon!


  3. Thank you both for your nice comments!
    Yes, playing the recorder and writing real letters gives me the same kind profound feeling that you are doing something that has a bigger value than just tapping some words on the keyboard or playing a CD.


  4. I am a recorder player and a music teacher. At my school the recorder is the instrument that I use with my students to introduce the wide world of instrument playing and music, just as your teacher did when you were a young student. And what a lovely tribute you have paid to him. This is truly all that we music teachers wish for our students – to create a love of music. I hope that some of my students might in the future remember our times with the recorder with the same fondness you have for your memories. It is wonderful that you have brought it back into your life.
    I will be playing some concerts as a recorder player with a mandolin orchestra in the Netherlands this summer. Contact me if you would like more information and would like to hear some fun music!


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