What musical instrument did Satan play?

Berlin (dpa) - Small soprano flute for beginners, alto flute for hobby musicians or concert bass flute for several thousand euros: recorders are not only popular at family concerts at Christmas time.

"The recorder is still played by almost 60,000 students every year," says Dirk Mühlenhaus from the Association of German Music Schools, which claims to have around 930 public institutions with 1.4 million music students.

According to the association, this makes the recorder the fourth most popular instrument in Germany - the number of those who learn to play the flute is still falling. "That has to do with the fact that the recorder has lost its importance as a classic entry-level instrument," says Mühlenhaus.

In the past, cooperation between elementary and music schools was a matter of course, but many federal states now have their own programs for musical education. "But that doesn't mean that the flute generally sinks into insignificance," says Mühlenhaus.

Because the instrument doesn't only have young fans. The flute also plays a role in so-called early music, for example in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Stefan Kömpel, co-managing director of the recorder maker Mollenhauer from Fulda, even speaks of a "flute scene" that meets at festivals and plays at a high level. "In general there is one development that can be described: fewer, but higher quality instruments," he says. The number of flutes sold is going down somewhat, but customers are putting more money on the table on average.

And what about the flutes in the corona pandemic? The number of newcomers has dropped again, says Kömpel. Concert instruments such as deep bass flutes are also sold less often. But: "In the domestic area, more music is apparently being made again, with the result that in some cases we even have an increase in the demanding instruments for domestic music."

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201222-99-787394 / 3