I am confused about there being different lowest notes for different sizes of recorder.

My soprano recorder says descant B. It is an average sized recorder (Yamaha YRS-24B).

What will the fingering be like if I were to play: do re mi fa sol la si, on it as opposed to on a bigger recorder.

  • 1
    unless you are using fixed-do solfège there is no difference in fingerings
    – Legorhin
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 16:04
  • what does solfege mean ? forgive me I am a beginner
    – UVic
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    do re mi fa so la ti is solfege. In some cultures do always refers to C. If that is not what you mean then you should be able to use the same fingering charts for all recorders.
    – Legorhin
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 16:07
  • 2
    read this thread and it might help you music.stackexchange.com/questions/5374/…
    – Legorhin
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 16:12
  • 1
    sure, but solflege isn't really used much.
    – Legorhin
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


I don’t believe that there are B-recorders. Your recorder is certainly down tuned almost a semitone about 435 or 430. So you think it is tuned in B. Try to push the mouth piece with the rest of the flute.

If you want to play together with other Baroque instruments (recorders or harpsichord) you can just play the C scale as doremi, as they all have lower pitch) but together with a Piano you will always have the problem that you are too low.

  • that's what it said on the recorder B descant.
    – UVic
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 17:21
  • 1
    I think Yamaha 24B means B = barock edition with 2 holes for C and D, so you can play Db and Eb. The letter B stands probably for baroque or B edition as Yamaha also sells a recorder with only one hole for C and D, the German fingerings. Could be 24A ;). Mind that the fingering of F is using the index and ring and pinky finger, only the middle finger is open (right hand) Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 17:41
  • The YRS-24B is the Baroque system model, as opposed to the YRS-23; the German system model. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 9:48
  • ... Both of these models are A=440Hz. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 12:45
  • @AlbrechtHügli Recorders have 2 different fingerings Baroque and German and I think the name coding for Yahama is YRS = Yamaha Recorder Series [Number] and the B = Baroque (fingering) "blank"=German. Though contrary to popular believe double holes for c/d (soprano/tenor) or f/g (on alto/bass) exist for both Baroque and German fingering (though for Baroque they are standard for German fingering they are optional) the distinguishing feature is that the size of the 4/5 hole. For Baroque it's 4th small 5th big for German it's 4th big 5th small. Also there are recorders in weird keys ;)
    – haxor789
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 13:03

The "B" stands for baroque, which is the fingering system the instrument uses. The baroque system is the most common fingering system for the recorder, as opposed to the slightly simpler (but generally not as good overall) German system—see the video in this answer: Is it difficult to transition from German fingering to Baroque fingering?

To play the C major scale (the easiest scale) on a soprano/descant recorder with baroque fingering is relatively straight forward:

fingering diagrams for the C major scale on a soprano recorder with baroque fingering: C/do, 01234567; D/re, 0123456-; E/mi, 012345--; F/fa, 01234-67; G/sol, 0123----; A/la, 012-----; B/si, 01------; C/do, 0-2-----

There is only one note that has a somewhat odd fingering in this scale and which requires a "forked" fingering. (The German system makes this particular note easier to finger, but to do this compromises have been made in the design that mess up intonation and various chromatic notes.)

For the larger alto/treble recorder, this same fingering pattern produces an F major scale:

fingering diagrams for the F major scale on a alto recorder with baroque fingering: F/fa, 01234567; G/sol, 0123456-; A/la, 012345--; B-flat/si-bemolle, 01234-67; C/do, 0123----; D/re, 012-----; E/mi, 01-----; F/fa, 0-2-----

To be able to play both alto and soprano recorders requires learning the fingering for each size of instrument separately. This can be confusing at first, but (with practice) it's not as hard as you might think.

  • I had always thought alto recorders were played as a transposing instrument.
    – nuggethead
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 11:27
  • @nuggethead traditionally recorder parts are written at concert pitch. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alto_recorder. I expect that this is because they were in use during the Renaissance when most consort music was published without necessarily specifying what instruments were playing.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 11:52
  • 1
    @nuggethead music the smaller and larger recorders is written either transposed down or up by octaves (or with octave clefs) if you count that as transposing, but otherwise not transposed. So you do have learn different fingerings for the C and F instruments. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 12:26
  • Interesting! I never knew that
    – nuggethead
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 18:29

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