The Garklein Recorder Project

Recently I’ve learned to make simple YouTube videos and that gave me the idea to make a series of them documenting my work in learning to play the Garklein recorder. I’ve chosen one of my how-to-learn-recorder books, ‘Mario Duschenes Method for the Recorder’ and intend to record some of the tunes in it I am learning.

Besides the videos marking my own progress, I thought it would be useful for self-study students on the recorder to hear the less-familiar tunes used in the lessons. For the student who doesn’t read music very well yet, it might be a help to hear what the music is supposed to sound like.

For the first video of the series, I am playing my brand-new apricot wood recorder, made by a Hungarian craftsman and purchased on Ebay. I was actually disappointed when I first got the recorder, it sounded hoarse on almost all the notes. But every day I carefully played it for 10 minutes to break it in, and after a while it started sounding very good. To the point that I’m hoping to get another recorder made by the same craftsman in a different wood.

For anyone else who might like to start learning to play the Garklein recorder: the instruments are available on Ebay and For plastic recorders, the Aulos brand is highly recommended. My own plastic recorder is a Woodnote, and it seems to play very well. There is also a rosewood Garklein recorder available.

Be careful, when purchasing a recorder, to be sure that it has baroque fingering. That is the best and most widely used.

The Garklein recorder is a recorder in the key of C, as the soprano and tenor recorders are. (The sopranino, alto and bass recorders are in the key of F.)  The Garklein differs from other C recorders in having variant fingering for some of the sharps and flats, and a more limited range. Also, when my Woodnote Garklein arrived, I was dismayed that the fingering chart that came with it didn’t cover the Garklein! I had to get a fingering chart for Garklein on the internet.!a&Aus=ClGk

DuschenesThe book I’m using is available used from and Ebay. Be sure you are buying the soprano (descant) and tenor version, and that it is part one and not part two.

Anyway, welcome to my adventure of the Garklein Recorder Project. Enjoy the ride.

New Kitten Umberto

IM001173My cat Saipan recently had a blessed event. Not a planned blessed event— a barn cat sneaked into the house and could not be caught. I didn’t worry because I thought it was a GIRL barn cat. Then Saipan went into heat and I discovered otherwise.

Update 3-16-2018: Kitten Umberto is grown up and the mommy of several one-kitten litters. I haven’t neutered her because the lady cats who have 5 or six kittens are higher on  the priority list.

Saipan WAS nice enough to limit her reproductive activity to just ONE kitten. Unlike kitty Gwen last year, who had FIVE. I was out of the house the day the kitten was born, and I decided to name one of Saipan’s kittens Umberto, after the owner of a Mexican restaurant in town. Sadly for the kitten, it turned out to be a girl. The other girl kitties might laugh at her— if they didn’t have names like Ender, Other Myfanwy, and Consubstantial.

IM001175The first day, new mama Saipan stayed in the kitten box nearly all day. Afterwards, she took some more time out of the box, and Umberto cried. Until she discovered that a fold in the towel that lines the kitten box make an acceptable mama-substitute.


In other news, I ordered a new garklein recorder on Ebay. It’s hand made from Hungary. It’s made from apricot wood, which is unusual. The seller is hollaja.  I sent a message to ask the name of the maker and got the response that it was made by some old guy. I’m hoping to get a soprano recorder made by the old guy at some point. And maybe, possibly, a tenor recorder. What I really want is the kind without a metal key for the low C note— I have 2 second-hand wood recorders where the key does NOT play that low C note, so I’m rather attracted to the ones without the metal key. Of course I’ll have to practice stretching my fingers….

I have been Googling to get sheet music to play some of the tunes I want to play— for some tunes I come up with enough different versions that I can find one that’s workable for recorder. But it didn’t work for ‘Josette’s Theme’, an old tune from the TV show Dark Shadows. There IS a book of Dark Shadows sheet music you can buy second-hand on but the price ranges from one to two hundred dollars. If I had that kind of money, I’d get a cat or two neutered.