In 'Music for Children' (Orff-Schulwerk), the recorder plays an important role alongside the various percussion instruments. The eminent music scholar Curt Sachs (1881-1959) advised Carl Orff: 'You should use recorders, then you will have what you most need, a melody instrument to your percussion, the pipe to the drum, corresponding to historical development.' (Carl Orff, Dokumentation, Vol. III, Schulwerk Elementare Musik, Tutzing, 1976, p. 96). Peter Harlan of Markneukirchen made the first recorders for the Günther School in Munich, where Carl Orff taught with Dorothee Günther, Gunild Keetman, Maja Lex and others. Gunild Keetman in particular took an immediate interest in the 'new' instrument, soon teaching it and writing many pieces for it.

Many of the recorder pieces in Orff's Schulwerk evolved out of improvisation. Many of them are 'music for movement and dance', and this should always be felt when they are played.

In the original edition of 'Music for Children' (1950-1954) both authors are named on the cover, and the individual pieces are not ascribed specifically to Carl Orff or Gunild Keetman. Not until the release of the recording 'Musica Poetica' ( 1963-1975) was it necessary, for reasons of copyright, to identify the composer of each individual piece. According to these identifications the instrumental pieces in 'Music for Children' were composed by Gunild Keetman. Anyone who was able to observe the two composers' close co-operation over decades, knows that considerable collaboration was a feature of the initial conception and working out of their compositions.

The pieces here, selected from all five volumes of 'Music for Children' are also suitable as supplementary material for recorder teaching. As recorder players generally do not also play Orff instruments, drums and bass parts, these pieces have been arranged for piano accompaniment. Thus the teacher will be able to accompany the students - without requiring 'great' skills as a pianist.

In these arrangements I have tried to keep as close as possible to the original tonal character of the score, while developing figuration idiomatic to the piano. Except for a few transpositions, the recorder parts have not been altered. Accompaniments have been enlarged and supplemented. Although the piano is excluded as an ensemble instrument in Orff's Schulwerk, here it provides a welcome accompaniment that supports the recorder and stimulates the development of tone quality and interpretation.

In all the pieces in this recorder book the basic principles of Orff's Schulwerk also apply: the 'models' are there to stimulate students to vary, to extend, to supplement them and to find their way to compositions of their own.

Hermann Regner
(Translation: I. S. Rush worth)



Music for Children book reference


Instrumental Pieces


Music for Children 1/97


Music for Children 1/96

No. 17*

Music for Children 1/104

Three pieces for recorder and percussion


Music for Children 2/102


Music for Children 2/104


Music for Children 2/105

Twelve little ostinato pieces


Music for Children 2/21

Ten little ostinato pieces


Music for Children 2/48


Music for Children 2/46

Pieces for xylophone


Music for Children 3/59

Ten little dance pieces


Music for Children 3/19

For recorder and timpani


Music for Children 3/l2

Pieces for xylophone


Music for Children 3/59

For recorder and xylophone


Musik fur Kinder 3/66

Ten little dance pieces


Music for Children 3/18

Pieces for recorders, also suitable for other instruments


Music for Children 4/48


Music for Children 4/48

Ostinato pieces


Music for Children 4/128


Music for Children 4/129


Music for Children 4/123


Music for Children 4/124

Ten little pieces


Music for Children 5/5


Music for Children 5/61


Music for Children 5/50

* Pieces marked with an asterisk have been transposed

Music for Children: English Version adapted by Margaret Murray

Musik fiir Kinder: German Original Edition by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman

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