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The Recorder 1800-1905. Volume II: Inventory of Recorders.

MacMillan, Douglas. (2005) The Recorder 1800-1905. Volume II: Inventory of Recorders. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The prime evidence for the use of a musical instrument in any period of history is the continued (or reinstated) manufacture of that instrument, and a search for recorders built between 1800 and 1905 yielded a total of 114 instruments: in sixty-nine cases the name of the maker is identified. A further group of nine recorders built at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are added to this number. These may be of late eighteenth or early nineteenth century origin although their precise date of manufacture cannot be discerned, but the recorders are of interest as they demonstrate a continuing tradition of recorder making up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Finally, an heterogenous group of seventeen instruments is added, bringing the total to 140. The present location of some of these is not known, some are of hybrid type, some may be of early twentieth century origin, and others are presented for discussion as being of organological interest. Some are presented to correct misunderstandings in the literature, or to demonstrate attempts to develop and improve the basic baroque recorder. For ease of reference, each instrument has been allocated a ‘MacMillan Number’ which will be used throughout the thesis. METHODOLOGY A study was made of organological reference books (notably Waterhouse’s The New Langwill Index and Young’s 4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments), museum catalogues and journals, in order to obtain as much detail as may be discerned about the instruments. Visits were made to collections both in the United Kingdom and overseas and internet sites examined. O f these. Lander’s Recorder Home Page and its database of recorders was of particular importance. Personal communication was established (electronically, by mail, and by telephone) with scholars, many of whom provided extracts from museum catalogues containing details of recorders. I gratefully acknowledge the help of these men and women who gave their time to replying to my many queries. The sources are cited in detail in Appendix I: the text of the checklist gives surnames only. Lander’s website is referred to as ‘Lander’, The New Langwill Index as "New Langwill ' to distinguish it from previous editions which are cited "LangwilT and Young’s 4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments as ‘Young’. Many museum curators contributed extracts from their museum catalogues (detailed descriptions) and inventories (lists with little detail) in the form of personal communications to the author: their names and the museums they represent are listed in Appendix III. The museum sigla are given in Appendix IV. PLAN OF THE INVENTORY The most significant instruments are those whose makers can be identified by name and so can be dated with some accuracy with regard to the years between which they were made. Sixty-nine such instruments have been identified and are given the prefix ‘N ’. Some of these recorders form part of a continued tradition of recorder-making, whilst others are products of the recorder revival. Secondly, forty-five recorders whose makers cannot be identified (most often because they bear no stamp) are listed under the prefix ‘A ’. The evidence for a nineteenth-century origin of many of these lies in the expertise of the curators of the museums in which they are located, but cross-referencing within the present thesis has substantially confirmed the nineteenth century origin of some of this group of recorders (notably A2, A7, A8, A34, and A35 compared with N5 and N46) and A24 compared with the Berchtesgaden recorders (N58 - N69). Nine recorders made at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are prefixed ‘E’ and the seventeen heterogenous instruments (about which there is uncertainty or debate) are prefixed ‘D’. Information regarding the maker, location, and type of each instrument is given (where known): as much detail as may be discerned regarding length, materials, key work, maker’s mark, and provenance is listed. Biographical information is given only for the first recorder by any given maker, the second (and subsequent) instruments only bearing the maker’s name. The source(s) for the information is/are given (often several for each recorder), and, where appropriate, the instrument is discussed. The pitch of the lowest note (where known) is given: this can only be approximate for the pitch standard (in cycles per second) is seldom specified. Details of bore dimensions, and the size and position of tone holes, are beyond the scope of the present work. Three recorders no longer extant are included for completeness: the makers of all these instruments is known, but the recorders themselves were lost in the Second World War. It is improbable that this checklist of recorders built between 1800 and 1905 is complete, for other instruments will almost certainly exist in small museums and inaccessible private collections. However, the list as it stands has no equivalent in the literature relating to the recorder and provides, at least, an overview of recorder making between the years of 1800 and 1905.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : MacMillan, Douglas.
Date : 2005
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2005.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:56
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:04
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856758

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