Frequently asked questions

Who is Nicholas S. Lander?

After a lengthy career as a taxonomic botanist I am now retired and living in Tasmania. My avocational interest in musical performance practices of the distant past has centred largely on the recorder, although I have also played a number of renaissance reed instruments and the trombone. I taught recorder privately and at several tertiary institutions for many years on the larger island to the north of here. I have performed extensively as a soloist, have led early music ensembles and served as musical director of various recorder and early music societies in Sydney, Perth and Hobart.

How do I order instruments, music, or CDs from you?

This site is strictly non-commercial. There is nothing whatsoever for sale here. However, there are pointers to contemporary recorder makers that may be of assistance to you in the Contemporary Makers database.

How much is this old recorder which belonged to my grandfather worth?

I am not a valuer. If the instrument is of genuine historical interest I would strongly encourage you to donate it to a public museum with an actively maintained musical instrument collection. You will find contact and other details of many such museums worldwide in the interactive Historic Makers, Instruments & Collections databases on this site.

Who made this old recorder labelled MADE IN GERMANY I found at a swap meet?

Someone in Germany.

Can you recommend a recorder teacher?

Since I live on an island to the south of Australia (namely Tasmania), it is barely possible for me to recommend a teacher to you if you live in the Wild West (ie Perth), Deep North (ie Darwin), Middle East (ie Adelaide), or Far East (ie Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane). If you live on the other side of the globe, for example in Europe, the Americas, or Asia you will find details of many tertiary institutions offering the recorder as a subject on their websites. Your local recorder or early music society will also be able to assist you: for details see the Societies page on this website. If you live on another planet, I can’t help you – yet.

What recorder do you recommend I buy?

This is very much a matter of personal choice, and there is a great deal of variation between instruments of the same make and model. There are some useful general recommendations given on the Contemporary Recorder Makers page. If you are looking for a high-quality instrument, much can be learned from visiting the websites of the many makers noted in the Contemporary Recorder Makers Database accessible from the same page. It is also a good idea to discuss your choice with your teacher before committing to the purchase of a particular instrument.

What can I do about a recorder which is consistently flat, even when fully warm?

First, make sure that the problem is that your recorder is flat rather than that the other instrument or tuning meter you are using as a reference pitch is sharp! If you still believe the problem lies with the recorder then send it back to the maker for adjustment or replacement.

How did the recorder get its name?

This is a tangled tale. See How the Recorder got its Name.

How can I find others to play with?

There are societies devoted to the recorder and early music throughout the world. Contact and other details of most of them can be found in the Societies database.

What are the paintings featured on your splash page?

The four paintings featured on the splash page are by Australian artist Sydney Long (1871–1955), namely  Pan, Spirit of the Plains, Spirit of the Land, and The West Wind. The instruments played by the figures in these paintings are highly ambiguous pipes, but I like to think of them as recorders. Long was a major participant in the fin de siècle school of Australian Paganism, reflected in the literature of the period as much as in the art, and counting among its practitioners Lionel Lindsay and his brother Norman.

What do you use to manage this web-site?

This site is built and maintained using WordPress, with the assistance of my daughter, Maeve Lander, a professional software engineer, intrepid rock climber, and demon trumpet player/multi-instrumentalist.

Six databases concerning 313 contemporary recorder makers, 400 historical makers, 1,820 original instruments and the 283 collections in which they are housed, 433 literary quotations, 288 societies can be accessed in the form of interactive tables built with TablePress.

For the time being the rather large database containing details of some 13,400 recordings which feature the recorder is available only as a table in Google Sheets. This can be downloaded to your own computer and more easily accessed via the database, spreadsheet, or tabulation software of your choice.

The extensive supporting bibliography, housing details of some 4,000 items, is maintained in Zotero which is used to prepare the in-text citations, reference lists, and bibliographies scattered throughout this site.

Can I directly access your databases myself?

Using the already freely available public tabular interfaces to these databases available here it is a simple matter to print, copy or export selected records or the entire tables in a variety of file formats, including text, CSV, Excel, and PDF. Such extracts can be uploaded to a word processor, spreadsheet, or database of your own, should you wish to do so, without the need for any special access privileges.

Can I directly access your Zotero citation database myself?

Apart from fields containing my own notes, the complete bibliographic database is already publicly accessible on the Zotero website, here. The Zotero interface is straightforward to use and allows you to search and export selected entries in a variety of file formats and to create your own citation lists in a range of journal styles. All you need is your web browser. This will be of particular assistance to students and researchers.

Cite this article as: Nicholas S. Lander. 1996–2024. Recorder Home Page: Frequently asked questions. Last accessed 12 July 2024.