David Lasocki, The Recorder and Other Members of the Flute Family in Writings from 1100 to 1500. Published June 2012. 88 pages; 8 1/2 x 11 inch format. E-book (pdf) price $12. Printed book price $19 plus $5 shipping -- United States only (SORRY, TEMPORARILY OUT OF PRINT). Customers in other countries should write to and ask for a shipping price to their country.

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Surprisingly little systematic research has been done until now on the recorder and other members of the flute family in the writings of the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance (approximately 1100–1500). This new study, by an internationally renowned scholar of woodwind instruments, surveys the surviving literary and lexical writings in eleven languages: Latin, Greek, French, Occitan (Provençal), German, Dutch, Catalan, Spanish, Old English, Anglo-French, and Middle English. In contrast with earlier studies, which extrapolated backwards from much later usage, the study begins with the earliest names linked to a description or depiction and traces them forwards. The resulting evidence shows to what extent the panpipes, recorder, tabor pipe, other duct flutes, and transverse flute had clearly differentiated names in the various languages. It also suggests the musical and social contexts in which the instruments were used. Finally, the study supplies an answer to the commonly asked question: Why has the recorder had a special name in English that does not include the word “flute,” as in other European languages?

Praise for the book:
“The volume is both scholarly and accessible, organizing 400 years of writing about the recorder and its relatives in at least a dozen languages into a fascinating and illuminating account.... this compact volume contains a wealth of information about the early history of our instrument and its relatives, the people who played them, and how they talked about them. Lasocki’s clear prose is liberally interwoven with historical texts, providing both evidence and context. As is often the case when I read this author’s writings, I was fascinated not only by the subject matter itself but also by the thought process that went into formulating the right questions to ask, asking them, and organizing the results. It’s a brilliant work.”
     Gwyn Roberts, review in American Recorder 54, no. 4 (winter 2013): 47.

"Lasocki's book is a valuable addition to the literature, as it illuminates the medieval history and development of these instruments in a new and creative way. I believe it will become a staple of music libraries and of the personal collections of early music specialists everywhere."
     Aldo Abreu, review in Early Music America 19, no. 3 (fall 2013): 49-50.

(Of this book and A Listing of Inventories, Sales, and Advertisements relating to Flutes, Recorders, and Flageolets, 1631-1800): “Es sind dies umfassende Materialsammlungen, die einen Ausgangspunkt für eine Fülle von Spezialstudien zu bilden vermögen...." [“They are comprehensive collections of material capable of providing a starting point for an abundance of special studies...."]
(Of this book): "Lasocki zeigt mit der Vielfalt der Bezeichnungen auch einen Reichtum des Instrumentariums und der Einsatzmöglichkeiten auf—grundlegende Kenntnisse vor allem für diejenigen, die sich mit der Musik jener Zeit beschäftigen.” [With the diversity of the terms Lasocki also demonstrates the wealth of the instrumentarium and the possibilities of its use -- fundamental knowledge above all for those who are dealing with the music of this period.”]
     Regina Himmelbauer, review in Tibia 38, no. 2 (2013): 450–51.