Tenor Recorder in c’ after Schell,
a=415 Hz, boxwood with double holes, Baroque (English) fingering.
This tenor has no keys and plays easily over more than two octaves
It is interesting to note that Stanesby suggested in his Plea for the Tenor recorder in 1705 to use the tenor for transcribing music instead of the common flute in order to play the music in its original pitch!

Johann Schell, Nürnberg (1660 – 1732)
mark: H SCHELL/ (in scroll)/ S / x-shaped ‘Schlingmonogramm’ JS

He was the sun of hunt-lure turner Anton Schell. He is first documented as a “flute-maker” in1693. In 1694 he applied together with I.C. Denner to the council for the master’s rights as a woodwind-maker, which lead to him being admitted as a master in1697. It is uncertain how significant the role was he played relative to Denner concerning the development of French woodwinds.

His extant recorders show though a highly detailed and developed perfection together with a ‘modernising’ of design and sound. Especially the alto recorder (1956/632) of the Basel Collection (Historisches Museum) as well as the above mentioned tenor recorder (2/85) in the “Tiroler Landesmuseum” show I.C. Denner and the much younger Jakob Denner to be equal in development. The statements of Nikkel and Lerch cannot be backed up by an examination of the instruments. They deny that Schell shared an equal development and importance as I.C. Denner concerning the “modern” French design of bore and sound character.


Lit.: Thomas Lerch, “Vergleichende Untersuchungen von Bohrungsprofielen Historischer Blockflöten des Barock,“ Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-922378-14-5
Ekkehart Nikkel, „Der Holzblasinstrumentenbau in der Freien Reichsstadt Nürnberg“, München 1971, ISBN 3-87397-008-2
William Waterhouse, „The New Langwill Index“ London, 1993, ISBN 0-946113-04-1
Pillip T. Young , 4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments, London 1993