The recorder has been part of Western music for more than seven hundred years, during which time it has enjoyed a particularly special relationship with the composers and musicians of England. Played by professionals, virtuosos, dilettantes and even royalty (King Henry VIII owned a collection of 47), the recorder was at one time known as the "English Flute". Even as the recorder faded from the concert halls of Europe during the Classical and Romantic periods, its bucolic tones (and those of its near relatives) continued to echo through the English countryside.
It is one of the great ironies of Western music that, just as the dominance of the major/minor tonal system began to collapse, numerous revivals and explorations of early music were under way throughout Europe. The recorder was one of the first beneficiaries of this renewed interest and by the first decade of the twentieth century, its popularity began to spread again as numerous recorder schools and early music associations appeared in Germany and, of course, England.