One of the recorder orchestras I play with has recently acquired a new Paetzold contrabass recorder. These instruments are the marmite of the large recorder world – people tend to love them or hate them. They’re made of marine plywood formed in a square shape, based on the concept that if you can have a square organ pipe that sounds like a recorder why not build a square recorder. I know a number of folks who dislike them for their looks but I have to admit I rather like their utilitarian design. The material and design also makes them significantly cheaper to make, easier to play and helps to conserve the hardwood trees traditionally used to make the usual ‘tree trunk’ shape variety of contrabass. I brought the new contra at home last night ready to show my pupil Christian, who will be playing it in the orchestra, how to use it in his lesson today and I thought I’d take the opportunity to take some photos while I had it. I didn’t have time (or space) to take a shot of the whole instrument (you can see both varieties here
) so I focussed on the keywork instead.