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I have learned a bit about composing a melody using the piano. But then, when I try composing a melody for the recorder – it doesn't sound right. What things should I be aware of when composing a melody for different instruments?

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When writing for any instrument there are a few things to keep in mind :

  • The range of the instrument
  • How the instrument sounds in different parts of it's range
  • The Dynamic Curve of the interments (how loud can it play in different parts of it's range)
  • Articulation and techniques that the instrument can and can't do
  • What is playable for a typical player and what is playable for more advanced players

Basically you should learn as much about the instrument as possible especially if you want to give it to someone to play.

There are plenty of online resources to learn more about instruments and in fact a quick search for recorder techniques yielded two interesting links about it's range and what to keep in mind when composing for it.

I'm going to look though a book I have called Instrumentation and Orchestration to see if there is any more specific information I can give you about the recorder. I'd imagine it would have a small section for the recorder.

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Sarah Jeffery runs the excellent Team Recorder channel on YouTube and has posted a video which will help you out - Composing for Recorders: Your How-To Guide:

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