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Flute vs. Recorder: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
The flute is a woodwind instrument played by blowing across a hole, while the recorder is played by blowing into a ducted mouthpiece.
Flute vs. Recorder

Key Differences

The flute is a reedless woodwind instrument that produces sound when air is blown across an opening, requiring a specific embouchure or lip shape. Recorders, on the other hand, have a ducted mouthpiece where air is directed through a channel, making it easier to produce a sound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
Flutes are typically held horizontally and have keys that are pressed to change the pitch. The recorder is held vertically and has holes, covered by fingers, to create different pitches. This structural difference affects the technique used to play each instrument.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
The flute, often made of metal or wood, is known for its expressive, lyrical sound and is used in a wide range of music from classical to jazz. The recorder, traditionally made of wood or plastic, has a softer, sometimes breathy tone, and is frequently used in early music and educational settings.
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Nov 29, 2023
In terms of complexity, the flute generally requires more advanced technique and breath control, and is often learned after mastering basic musical skills. The recorder is more accessible for beginners, commonly used as an introductory instrument in music education.
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Both instruments have a rich history and varied repertoire. The flute has been a staple in orchestral and solo performances, whereas the recorder is often associated with baroque music and has a significant presence in folk traditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Mouthpiece Type

Blown across an open hole.
Ducted mouthpiece.
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Playing Position

Held horizontally.
Held vertically.
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Material

Often metal, sometimes wood.
Usually wood or plastic.
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Sound Quality

Expressive and lyrical.
Softer and sometimes breathy.
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Usage and Complexity

Used in various music genres, requires advanced skill.
Common in early music, beginner-friendly.
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Flute and Recorder Definitions

Flute

A woodwind instrument played by blowing air across a hole.
She played a beautiful melody on her silver flute.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Recorder

A vertical instrument used commonly in early music.
The recorder ensemble performed a piece from the Renaissance era.
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Nov 23, 2023

Flute

A reedless instrument with keys to change pitches.
He practiced scales on his flute for the upcoming concert.
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Nov 23, 2023

Recorder

A woodwind instrument with a ducted mouthpiece.
Children often learn basic music skills on a recorder.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Flute

A versatile instrument found in various musical genres.
Flutes are prominent in both classical music and jazz.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
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Recorder

A historically significant instrument in folk traditions.
Recorders were used to create the authentic sound in the period film.
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Nov 23, 2023

Flute

A high-pitched woodwind instrument consisting of a slender tube closed at one end with keys and finger holes on the side and an opening near the closed end across which the breath is blown. Also called transverse flute.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

An instrument played by covering holes with fingers.
She played a traditional folk tune on her wooden recorder.
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Nov 23, 2023

Flute

Any of various similar reedless woodwind instruments, such as the recorder.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

One, such as a tape recorder, that makes recordings or records.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

An organ stop whose flue pipe produces a flutelike tone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A public officer in charge of the records of instruments required to be registered, such as deeds.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(Architecture) A long, usually rounded groove incised as a decorative motif on the shaft of a column, for example.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A judge who has criminal jurisdiction in a city.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A similar groove or furrow, as in a pleated ruffle of cloth or on a piece of furniture.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

(Music) A flute with eight finger holes and a whistlelike mouthpiece.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A tall narrow wineglass, often used for champagne.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

An apparatus for recording; a device which records.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(Music) To play (a tune) on a flute.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

Agent noun of record; one who records.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To produce in a flutelike tone.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A judge in a municipal court.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To make flutes in (a column, for example).
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

(musical instrument) A musical instrument of the woodwind family; a type of fipple flute, a simple internal duct flute.
Recorders are made in various sizes, from the high soprano or descant recorder to the low bass recorder.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(Music) To play a flute.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

One who records; specifically, a person whose official duty it is to make a record of writings or transactions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To sing, whistle, or speak with a flutelike tone.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

The title of the chief judical officer of some cities and boroughs; also, of the chief justice of an East Indian settlement. The Recorder of London is judge of the Lord Mayor's Court, and one of the commissioners of the Central Criminal Court.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A woodwind instrument consisting of a tube with a row of holes that produce sound through vibrations caused by air blown across the edge of the holes, often tuned by plugging one or more holes with a finger; the Western concert flute, a transverse side-blown flute of European origin.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A kind of wind instrument resembling the flageolet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(colloquial) A recorder, also a woodwind instrument.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

Equipment for making records
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A glass with a long, narrow bowl and a long stem, used for drinking wine, especially champagne.
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

Someone responsible for keeping records
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A lengthwise groove, such as one of the lengthwise grooves on a classical column, or a groove on a cutting tool (such as a drill bit, endmill, or reamer), which helps to form both a cutting edge and a channel through which chips can escape
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Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A barrister or solicitor who serves as part-time judge in towns or boroughs
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A semicylindrical vertical groove, as in a pillar, in plaited cloth, or in a rifle barrel to cut down the weight.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

A woodwind with a vertical pipe and 8 finger holes and a whistle mouthpiece
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A long French bread roll, baguette.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Recorder

An accessible instrument for beginners in music.
His first music lessons involved playing simple songs on a recorder.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Flute

An organ stop with a flute-like sound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A shuttle in weaving tapestry etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A kind of flyboat; a storeship.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(intransitive) To play on a flute.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(intransitive) To make a flutelike sound.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(transitive) To utter with a flutelike sound.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

(transitive) To form flutes or channels in (as in a column, a ruffle, etc.); to cut a semicylindrical vertical groove in (as in a pillar, etc.).
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Flute

A musical wind instrument, consisting of a hollow cylinder or pipe, with holes along its length, stopped by the fingers or by keys which are opened by the fingers. The modern flute is closed at the upper end, and blown with the mouth at a lateral hole.
The breathing flute's soft notes are heard around.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A similar channel or groove made in wood or other material, esp. in plaited cloth, as in a lady's ruffle.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A long French breakfast roll.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A stop in an organ, having a flutelike sound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A kind of flyboat; a storeship.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To play on, or as on, a flute; to make a flutelike sound.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To play, whistle, or sing with a clear, soft note, like that of a flute.
Knaves are men,That lute and flute fantastic tenderness.
The redwing flutes his o-ka-lee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

To form flutes or channels in, as in a column, a ruffle, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A high-pitched woodwind instrument; a slender tube closed at one end with finger holes on one end and an opening near the closed end across which the breath is blown
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A tall narrow wineglass
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

A groove or furrow in cloth etc especially the shallow concave groove on the shaft of a column
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Flute

Form flutes in
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Oct 19, 2023

Flute

An instrument often used in orchestras for its lyrical sound.
The flute solo added an enchanting quality to the symphony.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Flute

A cylindrical tube with keys for producing different notes.
Learning to play the flute requires mastering the correct embouchure.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can the recorder be used in professional music?

Yes, especially in baroque and early music ensembles.
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Nov 29, 2023

Are recorders suitable for young children?

Yes, they are a popular choice for music education for children.
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Nov 29, 2023

Is the flute made only of metal?

Not always; flutes can also be made of wood or other materials.
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Nov 29, 2023

Can flutes be used in jazz music?

Yes, flutes have a significant role in jazz and modern music.
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Nov 29, 2023

Are there different types of recorders?

Yes, including soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorders.
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Do professional musicians play the recorder?

Absolutely, especially those specializing in early and baroque music.
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What is the range of a recorder?

It varies but typically about two octaves.
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Is the flute difficult to learn?

It requires some practice, especially for proper breath control and embouchure.
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Nov 29, 2023

Is breath control important for playing the flute?

Yes, effective breath control is essential for flute playing.
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Nov 29, 2023

Do flutes come in different sizes?

Yes, there are various sizes like the piccolo and bass flute.
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Nov 29, 2023

Can the recorder play fast music?

Yes, it can be used for both fast and slow pieces.
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Nov 29, 2023

Do recorders require maintenance?

Yes, like all woodwind instruments, they need regular cleaning.
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Nov 29, 2023

Can the flute be self-taught?

While possible, lessons are recommended for proper technique.
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Nov 29, 2023

Is the recorder played in orchestras?

Not typically in modern orchestras, but in specialized early music groups.
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Nov 29, 2023

How long does it take to learn the flute?

It varies, but basic skills can be developed in a few months.
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Nov 29, 2023

Is the recorder made in plastic and wood?

Yes, it's commonly made in both materials.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

How is sound produced on a flute?

By blowing air across the top hole and pressing keys to change notes.
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Nov 29, 2023

Are there electric flutes?

Yes, there are electronic versions that can mimic different sounds.
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Nov 29, 2023

Do recorders have keys like a flute?

No, recorders have finger holes instead of keys.
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Nov 29, 2023

Is the flute louder than the recorder?

Generally, the flute can produce a louder and more projecting sound.
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Nov 29, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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