"Music is well said to be the speech of angels." ~ Thomas Carlyle 1795 - 1881
The alto recorder is probably the world's simplest instrument to learn and perfect for the beginning adult who has never touched a musical instrument before. It is a larger version of those familiar plastic soprano recorders that are often handed out in about 4th grade in grammar school music classes. The alto is longer and has a deeper, more mellow sound. The spacing of the holes is farther apart and perfect for adult fingers. Recorders are fully chromatic instruments, that is, they contain all of the notes including all the sharps and flats over a range of about 2 octaves. Other simple wind instruments such as harmonicas and penny whistles are made in certain keys and only contain the notes in those keys. The alto recorder can be used to play any song as long as the notes don't go below the F on the bottom of the Treble Clef. If there are notes below low F, then the song must first be transposed up higher to play on the alto recorder. The alto recorder can be used as a solo instrument or in groups and play either the melody or the harmony parts.