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Tips for finding and arranging music.

Learn To Play Recorder Songs

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Tips for finding and arranging music.

Finding free music that can be arranged for recorder is easy, and there are many websites that offer free music.

  • Noteflight.com is a community of musicians who compose, arrange, and share music using the Noteflight web music notation software. Many songs shared by users can be exported as MusicXML files from the File menu in Noteflight.
  • MuseScore.org offers a powerful desktop notation program called MuseScore as well as a large library of shared sheet music.

Arranging songs for the Odogy recorder app isn't hard. When starting from an existing score, it's usually best to look for an arrangement that has the melody line on a single staff (and not something like a piano part). Many songs written for voice or solo instruments like flute, violin, clarinet or trumpet may work well. Arrangements for a solo instrument/voice with piano accompaniment are common and are a great place to start. Small ensemble arrangements, like trios, quartets or quintets can also work well. In general you want to avoid starting from a large ensemble, like a band or orchestra. Solo piano music usually doesn't work, because Odogy requires that the top staff has only one note at a time (so piano chords don't work).

To arrange music for recorder, you'll need a notation editor. Both MuseScore and Noteflight are free and work great. Below I've shown some common edits you might make with MuseScore.

Common edits in MuseScore

  • The top staff should be in treble clef for recorder. To change the clef in MuseScore, select the clefs palette and drag the treble clef onto the first measure.

  • Make sure the top staff is a "non-transposing" instrument. Right-click the staff name and choose Staff Properties. Set the Play Transposition selection to "Perfect Unison."

  • Transpose the entire score so that the top staff is in a good range for recorder. This might take some experimentation. You want notes that aren't too high or low for recorder, and you want a key signature that doesn't have many sharps or flats.

    In this example, see how the notes on the top staff line are below the lowest possible recorder note. We need to transpose all of the staves up to fix it.

    Press ctrl-A to select the entire score. Go to the Notes menu and choose Transpose. Choose Transpose by Interval, the direction to transpose the notes, and the amount to transpose them by. Make sure the check boxes in the Options are checked.

    If the first transposition you try creates too many sharps or flats, Undo the operation from the Edit menu and try again.

  • Here's the music after the transposition.

  • Sometimes you will need to clean up individual notes after your basic transposition. To fix individual notes, click them to select them and then change their pitch or rhythm. The up and down arrow keys will change the pitch. Clicking a different rhythm value (as shown below) will change the duration of the note. If you make the duration bigger, notes that follow will be removed or shortened to make space for the bigger duration.

  • When you are finished, go to the File menu >> Save As and set the type to MusicXML Format. This will create a file that you can upload into the Odogy recorder app.