The following recordings feature each recorder on the reel "Swinging on a Gate."
left to right: Hohner maple sopranino, Adege blackwood soprano, Adege rosewood alto
Hohner tenor recorder in pearwood. Note the angled toneholes that keep the reach manageable.
The recorder is a kind of fipple flute which has a chromatic range of two octaves and one note, the chromaticism enabled by using cross-fingerings and doubled holes on the lowest notes.
The voice of the recorder varies according to make and ranges from very soft and sweet to a moderately loud reedy timbre reminiscent of the oboe.
Up until the late Baroque period, when a composer wrote "flute" on a score the instrument he meant was the recorder; if he wanted transverse flute he would write "flauto traverso," or just "traverso," or if in Germany, "querflote."
The recorder has enjoyed a modern revival in Historically Informed Performance of early music, in consorts and ensembles, and as a solo instrument.