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We are happy to announce a new exclusive design with our Harmony Renaissance recorders – now in stock at West Music!  We took our original two-piece design, made some tweaks to it to improve performance, and added a new bag.  They still come in four colors, and they’re still affordable.

What’s the difference between Renaissance and Baroque recorders?

Renaissance recorders are designed to be like the original recorders of the Renaissance period – played in consort with a variety of instruments in arrangements with a more “choral” design. Think independent lines within a small ensemble.  They have a smaller range than Baroque recorders, as traditionally Renaissance ensembles never expanded more than one octave in range.  The Renaissance recorder range is typically an octave and a fifth. Additionally, this recorder has a less conical bore and larger tone holes than Baroque recorders.  This design produces a stronger sound throughout the range, with the lower range being just as strong as the upper – something not traditionally found in Baroque recorders.  The sound is also warmer and mellower than the bright Baroque sound.

The Baroque recorder was designed as more of a solo instrument to be played with accompaniment, with an expanded range and clear tone to project above other instruments, like a vocal aria rather than an ensemble choral piece.  The high register sings out strongly, while the lower register is subdued and less powerful.

Which design should I use in my classroom?

This comes down to a personal choice.  Traditionally, most classrooms use Baroque recorders due to their affordability and wide availability.  However, we do sell enough Renaissance recorders to schools to make it a viable option.  They are often a “smidge” higher in price, and not all stores carry them.  However, if you’re looking to have your classes play more ensembles than solo pieces, it may be worth it to give them a try!

We’d love to hear why you choose to play Baroque or Renaissance recorders with your students!  Email Andrea Pelloquin at apelloquin@westmusic.com with your philosophy – you may end up in a future blog post!

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