Recorder vs. Flutophone (What’s The Difference?)

If you have been wondering if flutophones and recorders are the same instrument, the answer is no, they are not the same instrument.

They are, in fact, recognized as being two different kinds of instruments, though the reality is that they are very similar.

The simplest way for you to be able to make the distinction between these two types of instruments is to view the end of the instruments as well as to view the holes for the fingers.

The main difference between the flutophone and recorder is the shape. Flutophones have flared ends while the recorder is straight.

In such cases where there are finger holes that are raised, then the instrument is most assuredly noted as being a flutophone.

But when there is the presence of holes that are drilled and not raised, then the instrument is defined as being a recorder.

What Are the Differences?

The flutophone is noted as having more ease in regard to its playing ability due to the fact that there is no need for as much control of air as when playing the recorder.

The recorder must implement the usage of an increase of control and a higher level of force in order to make the instrument function as it should.


A flutophone does not possess a tone that is characterized as being refined as a result of the mouthpiece that is much like a whistle, which, therefore, contributes to this instrument sometimes having a sound that seems to be shrill in essence.

On the other hand, the recorder is noted as producing a tone that is softer, which is more applicable for the quality of a concert or band.


Moreover, the flutophone is not equipped to be able to accommodate the playing of as many notes as a recorder is able to do. The impressive thing about the small recorder is that it is equipped to be able to engage in the playing of all notes of music. 


Recorders may be regarded as the preferred instrument to use, which is why some teachers who have been using flutophones in various schools have made the switch to implement the use of recorders among students.

The reason for this is due to the fact that recorders are considered to be instruments that are more well established in comparison to flutophones due to possessing a history that is long and due to also possessing the ability to perform repertories that are recognized as being quite substantial.

There are not many serious repertoires that have been compiled for flutophones. The benefit of using a recorder in this regard is that the recorder is actually played in many songs that are enjoyed by people in our modern times.

The recorder allows for more variability of usage for the students and adults overall in comparison to the flutophone. The baroque fingering style that is used for recorders is more preferred in comparison to German fingering.

This is due to the fact that this seems to be what most people are familiar with and this makes teaching the children much easier. 

What Are the Similarities?

When one desires to play the flutophone, then the person will place his or her fingers over the holes in order to produce a sound while blowing in the mouthpiece of the instrument.

These same processes are also used in order to play the recorder. But the holes for the notes of the flutophone are raised, while the notes for the recorder are noted as being simply drilled into the instrument.

It is noted that for both the flutophone as well as the recorder, the application of the amount of breath contributes to the formation of distinctions in the softness, loudness or placement of emphasis in regard to the notes.   

Which One Is Easier to Play?

A recorder is noted as being an instrument that is classified as being a woodwind instrument that is open holed.

It is truly a simple instrument and it is common for those who are elementary students to learn to play this instrument while they are attending school.

This instrument was created many centuries ago and was truly popular during the time of the Middle Ages.

The recorder is fairly easy to play and allows for the learning of music reading, coordination, fingering, breath control as well as tonguing.

It is noted that many teachers consider the recorder to be a wonderful instrument of choice when getting students ready to play in a school band. It is further noted that recorders possess a wide array of tunings as well as sizes.

It is common for students at school to resort to the usage of the soprano recorder.

Though the flutophone may seem to be very similar in appearance to a toy, it really is not a toy.

It is truly a recognized instrument that is used for children as a category of a pre-band instrument to help them to get ready to play other types of instruments, such as the recorder.

The flutophone is less expensive than a recorder. It is truly highly durable, which makes it a great option for small children to use and it is light in weight.

This is also a key feature that makes it much simpler for children to start using this instrument in comparison to other instruments.

Moreover, when someone engages in the playing of the flutophone, there is no need for the application of a large quantity of breath as is necessary for a recorder in order to make a nice note.


Both the recorder as well as the flutophone are able to engage in the playing of notes that tend to be similar, though the recorder is truly able to engage in the production of more notes than the flutophone.

A major distinction is that the flutophone tends to be much simpler for those who are just small children to play. Thus, it is a relatively easy process for children to transition over to playing the recorder as a result of knowing already how to play the flutophone.

The recorder can be used to play many different types of songs and has a more refined sound than the flutophone.

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