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 Post subject: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:09 pm 
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I have recently saw a wooden Lyra tenor recorder 2nd hand, in beautiful condition and had to buy it. Only having played descant at school many years ago I am almost starting from scratch. The one point I cannot fathom out is low'C'. I can ay it carefuly but I dont know when! The note I often get sounds pleasant enough ie. not a screech. But if the 7 th hole is there should I be able to use it? I have lightly oiled the recorder. Help!Jonathon


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Hi Jonathon ... Not sure I understand your questions. Yes, the low C involves putting all fingers down, including the bottom pinky (little finger). And it usually takes a fairly gentle breath. When? You play it when the music calls for the low C (written as C below the treble staff).

I'm not familiar with the "Lyra", so I don't know if it's keyed or not. Most tenor recorders have a key/keys for the C/C# holes, because it's a fairly big stretch. You simply depress the keys. If yours doesn't have the keys, then you'll have to learn to make the pinky stretch yourself. And if you can't manage that, you're more or less out of luck.

But again, I'm not sure I understand your questions correctly.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Theres a lever for the bottom note so its not too much of a stretch Nd a pad which covers the hole. I can get a lovely sound about half the time the other half -yuk! I think its difficult to play this note but it seems to be more by luck. I assume its me or perhaps I should practice on this recorder and buy something good later.


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:51 pm 
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The pad might not be sealing properly. Also, if any note is going to fail on a not-very-good recorder, it's that one.

Here's all the info I can find about that recorder on the web:

http://musicaviva.com/instruments/galle ... ienr=11837
http://www.musicaviva.com/library/displ ... ?book=1050

40-year-old German-made recorder sold as a house brand by a distributor of random cheap musical junk to schools. Not promising.

The pad will probably be some sort of synthetic rubber which has perished with time. A repair shop might be able to fit a new one, but it would probably cost more than ten pounds, which is about all that recorder is worth. (If you're lucky it might be a leather pad which could be got working just by adding water, but I wouldn't count on it).

Also, it may have German fingering. Check the relative sizes of the right-hand fingerholes. If the index finger hole is the same size or larger than the middle finger hole, it's German fingered. Avoid. German fingering is only worth putting up with if you know for sure the instrument is otherwise something exceptional (as is the case with two of mine, but I can't see myself ever buying another one).

Any plastic Aulos or Yamaha tenor made in the last 20 years would almost certainly play better.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Ah then, it could be that the pad is worn and not sealing properly. They do need to be replaced after a while. And you may not know how well the instrument was cared for by the previous owner.

You need to perform a "suck test". Take just the foot joint (bottom joint) in hand. Depress the C key fully, then cover the end hole of the joint with the palm of your hand. Now place your mouth completely over the open end of the joint ... and suck. You shouldn't be able to draw any air if the pad is air-tight. If you can, it's time for a new pad.

If so, a local music shop with general woodwind repair (flutes, clarinets, saxophones, etc.), can probably handle that and find a pad that will fit. No need for a specialized recorder repair.

If that's not the problem, then it may be that you're just not pressing the key firmly enough. The pinky finger is usually weak, and you may simply not be used to it yet.

Good luck!

[ Crossed with Jack. ]

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:55 pm 
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and make sure that none of your other hole covering fingers are leaking when you are trying to play the low note...any leak anywhere will cause it to be weak or fail.

ah, grease the joint corks also :D

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:27 am 
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Thank you very much all. Very interesting. I think pit maybe a combination of everything. It did have a girls name on the box and a 2 nd year school class! Girl with big hands. I ll learn on it and buy something.else. Thank you. Jonathon


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:55 am 
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Vapouriser wrote:
But if the 7 th hole is there should I be able to use it?

If it's got standard English/Baroque fingering, you also need that hole for the low F (fingered X|XXX|XOXX), although it's possible that your problem Cs are caused by leaking R2 or R3 as you go for the key (which wouldn't affect the F so much with R2 being open anyway and a leaked R3 not instantly killing it).

Incidentally (before somebody jumps in and tells me this!), 'Baroque' fingering is something of a misnomer for modern English fingering, with true Baroque fingering (as used on 18th century originals and modern copies) using X|XXX|XOXO for the low F. But that's another story resulting (like the German-fingered X|XXX|XOOO) in additional complications elsewhere...

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:25 pm 
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I did the suck test. It leaks. Now I need to know how to take the lever off. No screw heads out side. I assume its push fit. I m sure I could get it back in alright but pulling it out?!


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Prod one end of the axle with a bradawl till something emerges from the other end and then pull it with pointy nosed pliers. Clean the axle and its bearing thoroughly (pipecleaner through the bearing). When putting it back, use a dry lubricant like high-performance cycle lubricant (a suspension of teflon or graphite particles).

Before replacing the pad, look at it and see what it's made of. If it's crumbling rubber, replacement is the only option. If it's leather or rawhide, it may have just dried out, and you might be able to revive it by repeatedly applying water with a paintbrush.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor recorder
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:49 am 
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It s a cloth pad in good condition so I put some olive oil on it. Seems to have worked. Thank you. Jonathon


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