Recorder, soprano (descant), wood / plastic, made by Schott, England, 1940-1965
This instrument is important in representing one of the first companies to mass produce the recorder for use in schools, giving children the opportunity to learn both a musical instrument and basic musical skills. Schott, a music publisher, marketed plastic, and later wooden recorders, in England from 1940 eventually selling hundreds of thousands of the instruments world wide. This instrument with its original box shows a later design that incorporates the use of both wood and plastic in its construction. It is also important in illustrating the story of recorder use in schools and the use of plastics in musical instrument production. As such it complements other recorders in the Museum's collection such as the early Schott plastic recorder H4368 which dates from the earliest years of production.
The use of recorders to teach basic music skills in schools sees its origins in the 1930s in England when flautist and teacher Edgar Hunt suggested they would be a better alternative to the carved bamboo flute that had begun to be used in English schools from the mid 1920s. After seeing recorders demonstrated by Dolmetsch at the Haslemere festival, Hunt went to Germany in search of possible manufacturers. One maker began supplying wooden recorders but this ceased at the commencement of World War II prompting Hunt to go into partnership with a local English maker who started producing plastic instruments to Hunt's design. Schott seeing the popularity and distribution opportunities this production represented financed the instruments being made under their own name.
Edgar Hunt; The Recorder and its Music. (Revised and enlarged. Eulenburg, London. Reprinted by Peacock Press, Hebden Bridge, 2002).
Nicholas S Lander; The Recorder Home Page, http://www.recorderhomepage.net/
Alexandra Williams; "From art instrument to 'plastic fantastic': the revival of the recorder", Traffic, 2004.
Curator, music & musical instruments
Designed in England, possibly by Edgar Hunt. Production numbers are estimated to be in the millions.