Recorders for left-handed people? Nowadays many items in daily use are produced in a version for left-handed people: scissors, tin openers etc. Is it also useful to offer a recorder especially for left-handed people, designed for playing with the right hand at the top?
In order to answer the question about left-handed recorders one should think about the way the hands are used when playing the recorder. The demands on the fingers covering the finger holes at the front are more or less equally distributed between both hands (there are some easier and some more difficult fingerings in both hands). The only exception is the thumb of the left hand: while all other fingers are only required to open or close the finger holes the thumb is responsible for the sensitive overblown notes. Not only does it have to make sure that the high notes sound clean but are also in tune. That is precision work! If anything, left-handed people are at an advantage when playing the recorder!
A student who learns to play using a left-handed recorder will require especially made instruments whenever he/she plays recorders. In an ensemble situation: play a colleague’s bass? Impossible.Try out interesting recorders in a music shop? Impossible. It is only by making a left-handed player dependent on a special instrument that he/she becomes disadvantaged.
However, if someone has a disability that doesn’t allow the use of a normal recorder, for instance if left-hand thumb or right-hand little finger are too short or immobile, then a left-handed recorder is a good alternative that might actually enable the student to play the recorder. In this context Mollenhauer offers left-handed recorders.
Complete text: Gisela Rothe: Blockflöten für Linkshänder? In Windkanal 2005-4 (PDF in German)
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