Im a recorder enthusiast and I love playing early music. There is so much music from that time that fits for the recorder, but it is still limited. So I would like to go for more modern / contemporary music.

According to van Hauwe (Source: The Modern Recorder Player) there have been more compositions for the recorder since 1960 than in all the centuries before. But most pieces I find are very unmelodic and super difficult, since they require strange and difficult techniques. But as much as I try to enjoy them, they simply don't sound nice to me.

Let me give an example: One of the better known pieces among the recorder community is Gesti:

Let me clarify, I don't want to judge about this kind of music. There are probably people who like it. The performance by Sarah Jeffery in the video is actually great.

So is it me, who is too limited for this music? Or do I have to find an easy access to contamporary music at first? Or did I simply find the wrong pieces, and there are actually many melodic sounding modern pieces for the recorder? And if so, where do I find them?

Any help is appreciated.

  • As you probably know Sarah Jeffrey did a YouTube video in wich she talks about Gesti. I found it very illuminating and it increased my appreciation for this kind of music.
    – Tim H
    May 12 '18 at 20:30
  • 1
    A big part of music is pushing the boundaries. Certain common things today would have been considered dissonant or unmusical in the past. But you aren't wrong if you dislike something. I have found it helpful for me to find something positive about pieces I strongly dislike, and to try to explain specific aspects I dislike. That way it is possible you can apply something they are doing in a way you DO like. May 12 '18 at 20:45

It's not just recorder music! About 100 years ago a lot of composers felt music wasn't developing interestingly enough and made a conscious break from 'common practice' - which might (very) loosely be described as 'music with tunes'. Sometimes this manifested as a quest for instrumental 'alternative techniques'. (I believe it is actually illegal today to write a piece for flute without a considerable amount of flutter-tonguing, unpleasant though the sound is.)

You might get some ideas here.


  • 5
    It's true! The other day, I witnessed a neighbour getting arrested by the thounality police for playing a newly-written tune with only clean flute tones. Luckily, I was practising chop cello rhythms at the time they passed my window (which I still can't do properly in time, so they apparently mistook it for a modern enhanced-performance technique and left me in peace). May 12 '18 at 15:32
  • 4
    I like some contemporary music, but at a certain point I draw the line and say "the emperor has no clothes." May 12 '18 at 16:28

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