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(Asahi Shimbun)   Dismayed by plastic kids' woodwinds, Japanese man makes it his life work to build handcrafted wooden recorders made from hardwood of maple, cherry and boxwood trees over 100 years old   (ajw.asahi.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, trees, hardwood, Japanese, metal spinning  
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2284 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Oct 2013 at 2:16 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-12 10:24:39 PM  
But  can they hit the Brown Note?
 
2013-10-12 10:28:19 PM  
They have plastic kids in Japan? Doesn't surprise me in the least.
 
2013-10-12 11:18:17 PM  
So he goes around cutting down centuries old trees? That's farked up
 
2013-10-12 11:43:58 PM  
The reason these are cheep plastic crap is because if you are just being force to play for music class you really don't appreciate a quality instrument.


/obliviously not 100% true but at least 95%
 
2013-10-12 11:45:41 PM  
"I want to show how trees that grew tall in the forests can create sounds that are so attractive and so entertaining," Takeyama said. "I want to deliver the message to future generations."

So, the message is it's okay to go cutting down 100 year old trees to make kids instruments?
 
2013-10-13 12:03:59 AM  
What an incredible waste of quality wood. Kids don't give a shiat. Give them a wooden recorder made out of goddamn pine, they'll think as highly of it as any other wood.
 
2013-10-13 12:38:01 AM  

Lando Lincoln: What an incredible waste of quality wood. Kids don't give a shiat. Give them a wooden recorder made out of goddamn pine, they'll think as highly of it as any other wood.


From the prices listed, which roughly translate to around $100-$4,000, these aren't instruments for kids.

Recorders were serious musical instruments back in renaissance times.  Professional or academic ensembles that wish to recreate that music likely prefer higher quality instruments such as what he makes.
 
2013-10-13 01:22:01 AM  
and by "dismayed at plastic woodwinds" you mean "the chief representative of Takeyama Woodwind Instrument Production, Japan's only manufacturer specializing in wooden recorders."
 
2013-10-13 02:02:56 AM  
The irony is the cheap plastic crap was made in the USA
 
2013-10-13 02:41:36 AM  

Peter von Nostrand: So he goes around cutting down centuries old trees? That's farked up


Because it's better to let them rot?
 
2013-10-13 02:42:51 AM  

show me: They have plastic kids in Japan? Doesn't surprise me in the least.


farm6.staticflickr.com

What a plastic Japanese kid might look like.

/Obscure?
 
2013-10-13 03:08:19 AM  

show me: They have plastic kids in Japan?


i.imgur.com
 
2013-10-13 03:22:18 AM  

Mr. Eugenides: Peter von Nostrand: So he goes around cutting down centuries old trees? That's farked up

Because it's better to let them rotkeep growing?


Yes.
 
2013-10-13 03:48:46 AM  
fromthebungalow.files.wordpress.comFor some reason when some guy died he left an endowment to by recorders for every student at my elementary school and to "honor" this we had to learn a song to play.  could have been the worst thing i have ever heard.  Still have it have no idea what do with it unless I run into the girl from American pie

(yes i know it was a flute)
 
2013-10-13 04:28:23 AM  

EvilEgg: The reason these are cheep plastic crap is because if you are just being force to play for music class you really don't appreciate a quality instrument.


/obliviously not 100% true but at least 95%


A well-played recorder can sound absolutely beautiful. But most of us have memories of stuttering renditions of Mary Had a Little Lamb, so it's not really that well appreciated.
 
2013-10-13 04:42:39 AM  
What a recorder might sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ80LRf1KRg
 
2013-10-13 05:05:24 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: What a recorder might sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ80LRf1KRg


Was going to make a Jean Luc Picard reference, but then, damn, that was great!

Sidebar: isn't John Luke one of the Duck Dynasty kids?
 
2013-10-13 05:26:58 AM  
What a waste of good trees.  There's a reason why we give recorders to 5 year olds who never pick them up after age 8.
 
2013-10-13 05:44:14 AM  
10,000 yen = $100. I doubt this is a common item in public schools.
 
2013-10-13 05:46:08 AM  
My husband has made ukulele parts out of walnut, maple and cherry firewood logs we got from a tree service as part of a cord delivery

At least the recorder guy isn't letting the wood go into fireplaces.
 
2013-10-13 05:46:41 AM  
Recorders are the devil.

Kids have small hands and so it is hard for them to cover the holes, which leads to squeaks as air escapes and discomfort as they attempt to press their tiny fingers over the open holes. Plus they require breath control that takes time to teach but as far as I know most school music classes are maybe once a week for the elementary schoolers so they never have time to learn.

Kids should learn to play percussion FIRST, as rhythm is the most basic element of music. So blocks or whatever, or some cheap drum. After that is down we can talk about something else.

Goddamn, I PLAY woodwinds and I remember how much I hated the recorder as a kid. It frustrated the hell out of me.
 
2013-10-13 06:01:34 AM  
Don't give a fark about the trees. Trees grow back. The only importance of them being 100 years old is the sentimental/emotional value some people attache to that.
 
2013-10-13 06:03:16 AM  

taurusowner: Don't give a fark about the trees. Trees grow back. The only importance of them being 100 years old is the sentimental/emotional value some people attache to that.


if that was the case then he wouldn't bother using 100 year old trees.
 
2013-10-13 06:38:57 AM  
Poor. poor trees. Really. It's a shame. I mean it.
 
2013-10-13 06:51:49 AM  
kids' woodwinds sounds dirty
 
2013-10-13 06:54:56 AM  

adamatari: Recorders are the devil.

Kids have small hands and so it is hard for them to cover the holes, which leads to squeaks as air escapes and discomfort as they attempt to press their tiny fingers over the open holes. Plus they require breath control that takes time to teach but as far as I know most school music classes are maybe once a week for the elementary schoolers so they never have time to learn.

Kids should learn to play percussion FIRST, as rhythm is the most basic element of music. So blocks or whatever, or some cheap drum. After that is down we can talk about something else.

Goddamn, I PLAY woodwinds and I remember how much I hated the recorder as a kid. It frustrated the hell out of me.


Recorders are used because they are cheap.  Unfortunately, cheap means it has all of the problems you describe, whereas if they taught all the kids some instruments with mechanical bits that help them work for fingers of all sizes (flute, saxophone, trumpet, whatever) it wouldn't be as much of a problem.  Of course all of the instruments I listed also won't make a damn bit of loud noise until you learn how to properly blow into them.  That might be an advantage too, at least for the low-talent kids who have no idea how to play the music but don't feel that should stop them from belting out what THEY are play as loud as possible so they can be heard over everyone else.  Why yes, I have asked a child about why they were playing the same note loudly during an entire performance, how could you tell?

You know what else are cheap and easy to play?  Harmonicas.  I'd sure as hell rather listen to a group of first graders mangling songs on harmonicas than recorders.  Even if you play the damn thing wrong it will at least be in the same key.
 
2013-10-13 07:00:21 AM  
By "100 years old" they most likely mean that the wood is 100 years seasoned. Most instrument makers prefer that old wood because it's dry enough. It doesn't expand or shrink anymore when it's exposed to humidity/aridity.
 
2013-10-13 07:30:05 AM  

robohobo: Poor. poor trees. Really. It's a shame. I mean it.


I bet 95% of those recorders wind up as womens' hobby instruments.

I can think of worse fates than being blown by a Japanese housewife for an hour three times a week.
 
2013-10-13 07:50:35 AM  

log_jammin: taurusowner: Don't give a fark about the trees. Trees grow back. The only importance of them being 100 years old is the sentimental/emotional value some people attache to that.

if that was the case then he wouldn't bother using 100 year old trees.


It's his sentiments against yours. You(and others commenting) care about the trees being old because of your emotions. He's using the wood because of his emotions. It doesn't matter either way. Except he's got the trees in hand, you don't. So the trees become instruments.
 
2013-10-13 07:51:10 AM  

doglover: robohobo: Poor. poor trees. Really. It's a shame. I mean it.

I bet 95% of those recorders wind up as womens' hobby instruments.

I can think of worse fates than being blown by a Japanese housewife for an hour three times a week.


Depends if she also fingers while blowing.
 
2013-10-13 08:10:08 AM  

Dimensio: show me: They have plastic kids in Japan? Doesn't surprise me in the least.

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x480]

What a plastic Japanese kid might look like.

/Obscure?


lh3.googleusercontent.com

AHAHAHA. AHAHAHA. AHAHAHA. :D
 
2013-10-13 08:15:22 AM  
I love recorders. When played well, and recorded well, they sound amazing. Especially in harmony. Listen to I've Seen All Good People by Yes, or Ruby Tuesday, or Stairway to Heaven.

I have a plastic and a wooden one, and honestly the plastic one sounds better, but likely only because the intonation of my wooden one is out of whack.
 
2013-10-13 08:15:37 AM  
Ummm, you do realize that the ratio of trees to recorders is not 1 to 1, right? He's not felling a forest to get his 20,000 recorders his company has hand-made in the past 48 years. He uses wood from around the world, including Florida cedar, South American rosewood, ebony and Grenadilla from Africa, cherry from Japan (he uses the shavings in his smoker), boxwood from Europe, and the bulk of his material is common maple.

His website is here, and well worth a look. I can't think of a better fate for a piece of wood.
 
2013-10-13 08:17:20 AM  
adamatari:Kids have small hands and so it is hard for them to cover the holes, which leads to squeaks as air escapes and discomfort as they attempt to press their tiny fingers over the open holes. 

Goddamn, I PLAY woodwinds and I remember how much I hated the recorder as a kid. It frustrated the hell out of me.


You want frustrating? Try the xaphoon. It's like a recorder with a reed and weird fingering.
 
2013-10-13 08:22:24 AM  

gadian: What a waste of good trees.  There's a reason why we give recorders to 5 year olds who never pick them up after age 8.


We give them to kids because you can buy them for a dollar each. Violins also sound painful when played like shiat.
 
2013-10-13 08:27:16 AM  

Dragonflew: I love recorders. When played well, and recorded well, they sound amazing. Especially in harmony. Listen to I've Seen All Good People by Yes, or Ruby Tuesday, or Stairway to Heaven.


All of those songs use a Recorder that is at a lower octave.  Most recorders seem to be of a higher octave, especially the children's ones (smaller hands and all).  Higher octave = more annoying = die die die.  Especially since at higher ranges that unique pure note with minimal harmonics just sounds ear-bleedingly painful.
 
2013-10-13 08:30:01 AM  

picturescrazy: gadian: What a waste of good trees.  There's a reason why we give recorders to 5 year olds who never pick them up after age 8.

We give them to kids because you can buy them for a dollar each. Violins also sound painful when played like shiat.


They also have the somewhat unique property of sounding excruciatingly loud and incorrectly pitched if you blow air into them "incorrectly", versus virtually any other wind instrument which just fails to make noise (or makes a barely perceptible farting noise) if you blow into it incorrectly.  Perfect thing to give to kids, since no children EVER do things too forcefully or against directions.
 
2013-10-13 08:31:41 AM  
Required in this thread: Matt Mulholland O Holy Night on the recorder. Hopefully got the link right off my phone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXj3QYO3csc
 
2013-10-13 09:03:54 AM  

Mr. Eugenides: Peter von Nostrand: So he goes around cutting down centuries old trees? That's farked up

Because it's better to let them rot?


In the mind of an uninformed bleeding heart, yes it is. Morons like that are why America's forests are burning.
 
2013-10-13 09:26:49 AM  

jso2897: Mr. Eugenides: Peter von Nostrand: So he goes around cutting down centuries old trees? That's farked up

Because it's better to let them rot?

In the mind of an uninformed bleeding heart, yes it is. Morons like that are why America's forests are burning.


Trees, they're a renewable resource.

And thanks for outing yourself, Captain Hoveround.

favorited!.
 
2013-10-13 10:11:30 AM  
Can he make it rain?
 
2013-10-13 10:56:17 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: What a recorder might sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ80LRf1KRg


What another recorder may sound like.
 
2013-10-13 11:38:23 AM  
images3.wikia.nocookie.net

recorders aren't just for kids
 
2013-10-13 12:43:11 PM  
Approves of wood:

userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2013-10-13 01:17:46 PM  

Ginnungagap42: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: What a recorder might sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ80LRf1KRg

What another recorder may sound like.


I'm actually impressed... I had no idea the recorder could be a *not* shiatty instrument.
 
2013-10-13 01:42:01 PM  

adamatari: Recorders are the devil.

Kids have small hands and so it is hard for them to cover the holes, which leads to squeaks as air escapes and discomfort as they attempt to press their tiny fingers over the open holes. Plus they require breath control that takes time to teach but as far as I know most school music classes are maybe once a week for the elementary schoolers so they never have time to learn.

Kids should learn to play percussion FIRST, as rhythm is the most basic element of music. So blocks or whatever, or some cheap drum. After that is down we can talk about something else.

Goddamn, I PLAY woodwinds and I remember how much I hated the recorder as a kid. It frustrated the hell out of me.


The recorder is a beautiful thing in competent hands, but I don't know why schools insist on starting elementary kids on such an unforgiving and weirdly-fingered instrument. My choice of a first wind would be the pennywhistle, in all seriousness. Cheap; easy to sound; straightforward linear fingering.
 
2013-10-13 01:44:48 PM  

Ginnungagap42: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: What a recorder might sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ80LRf1KRg

What another recorder may sound like.


Been a Michala fan for decades. She autographed my cheap wooden recorder for me after a concert here a few years ago.
 
2013-10-13 02:08:14 PM  
Typical of the Japanese, destroy something rare and beautiful in nature when there is an easily used/replaceable substitute.

ichef.bbci.co.uk
 
2013-10-13 02:16:32 PM  
Frets over 100 year old tree being used for a musical instrument

Doesn't blink an eye over 400 million year old coal being used to light home.
 
2013-10-13 04:55:19 PM  

gadian: What a waste of good trees.  There's a reason why we give recorders to 5 year olds who never pick them up after age 8.


A much better use for the trees would be to slice them into 1/32 inch laminates that is then glued to particleboard to make cheap ikea furniture.
 
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