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Eagle vs. Baroque comparison

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Adriana Breukink Eagle Recorders


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Adriana Breukink Eagle Recorders


On the Eagle you can play any style where a strong, dynamic and flexible recorder would add to depth to the music. It’s also possible to play elegantly and softly, because the voicing is very fine. The power comes from the strong basis in the tone and not from the harmonics in the 2nd and 3rd register. This ensures that the Eagle still has an authentic, round and full recorder sound. The low register is as strong as the high register so that you can make beautiful musical lines over the whole range of the instrument. This solves the usual problem of losing volume in the low register, without the instrument being too loud in the high register.

We enlarged the Eagle with an extension to E, which makes the range 2 octaves and a 6th. ( e’- c’’’). The high register plays easily due to addition of the octave key.

Our latest development is a new metal labium which makes the sound even stronger and more suitable for playing together with modern instruments.

It is best to order these Eagles based on your own breathing type. You will need a lot of air, so it is important not to lose your energy on an instrument that is not fitted to your blowing style. For more information see the information below.

The Eagle Recorder is developed by Adriana Breukink, Geri Bollinger and Küng Blockflötenbau.


Strong Balanced Sound

In the Baroque time the bore of the recorder was very narrow toward the foot.

This made the low tones weak.

The Eagle has a much wider bore, which hardly narrows toward the bottom.

This makes the tone very powerful.

Double key, E key, Octave key and Metal Labium

The key system with an extension to e' makes it possible to play very strong low notes.  The result is a beautifully balanced range of sound over the whole instrument.

The octave key supports the normal thumb hole so that the higher notes from e''' and f''' are easier to attain.  It is also possible to play these tones without the octave key.  The octave key can be easily adjusted to each individual hand.


A labium made from metal makes the sound stronger and attaining higher notes easier.

Customer Feedback

I love it. Full sound, rich and complex. A great instrument for the work that I do. JW, 08/12

Carlos Núñez:       The flute is fantastic! It is so unique and it has a very personal sound.  It opens many possibilities for the music of the future.

Michala Petri:        It is an absolutely wonderful instrument - and i am very impressed that you have been able to make an instrument so "fully" and complete and convincing at the ‘first go’.

Dan Laurin:           The Eagle is a sensation with musicians. All the wind players where stunned by the power and beauty of its tone - and for me as a player it was so easy to balance and blend with the clarinets, saxophones, flutes, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, trombones - even with the tuba! Intonation as a consequence is easy: the timbre of the Eagle is good for the ears of the players. I guess it is the overtones that are logically structured and helps the player tremendously. This is a break for me as a musician. It is a possible new lifestyle that my students must get to know and understand the importance of. Just to play with all those other great musicians' is such a moving experience that it is hard to describe.

Susanna Borsch:    The volume is really cool. It blends really well with other instruments, and I'm sure I can make good use of it.

Piers Adams:         I am working - slowly but surely - on a dedicated Eagle CD project.  I am excited by it.



Model Number


Fingering Chart


mp3 (S+A)


grenadilla NEW Modern C Soprano "Eagle" with B foot A443   video 1 2 $1525

Modern F’ Alto  “Eagle” with E foot + register key, A=443

Fingering Chart

1  2  3  



Modern F’ Alto  “Eagle” with E foot + register key, A=443

Fingering Chart




During study weekends led by Brunhilde Holderbach (recorder player and specialist on this subject) I studied the following phenomena together with, among others, Bernhard Mollenhauer, Geri Bollinger (Küng) and Anneke Boeke.


We can distinguish two types of recorder players

1. Those who blow ACTIVELY, with breath energy and FORCE.

2. Those who let the air flow into the recorder ON ITS OWN, WITHOUT PRESSURE.


Here, the amount of air and the volume will not be taken into consideration.

1. The ACTIVE, ENERGETIC players are the EXHALERS; they breathe out actively, but breathe in passively.

2. The PASSIVE, RELAXED players are the INHALERS; they breathe out passively, but breathe in actively.

1. The EXHALERS breathe out actively by pulling in their sides and, after a short pause, they allow the drawing in of breath to follow automatically by relaxing their flank muscles. They use very few muscles to inhale. After inhalation the active exhalation follows immediately. The chest (pectoral) and stomach (abdominal) muscles are hardly used during this.

The stomach muscles only hold the abdominal organs still. The active use of the flank muscles to exhale lasts 3 to 4 times as long as the passive admission of air into the lungs.

2. The INHALERS use their chest muscles actively to breathe in, expanding their chest a little and allowing it to rise slightly. They pause briefly then release the air passively. The active inhalation follows directly after the air has flowed out of the lungs. The muscles of the stomach and sides stay as relaxed as possible during inhalation leaving more room for the lungs to expand. Inhalation lasts 3 to 4 times as long as the release of the air from the lungs.

For me as a recorder maker it is important to be able to make the right recorder for the inhalers and the exhalers.  You know the feeling, when you try a new recorder and something is not at all in line with your way of playing (regardless of the quality of the instrument). This has a lot to do with the size of the opening at the top of the windway in the mouthpiece.

EXHALERS prefer a smaller opening with more resistance so that they can use more pressure as the air is obstructed somewhat by the opening of the windway.

INHALERS are benefited more by a larger opening where the air can enter on its own and is not obstructed by the opening of the windway.


If an INHALER plays a recorder with too narrow an opening, the tone will sound unstable not as full (rounded) because he will have to use so many muscles that he can only control with a lot of hard practice and mental energy

An EXHALER, on the other hand, will have more difficulty with a recorder with a wider opening. He or she will “lose” their breath and will feel that they have to use too much breath support which will diminish the tone and the expression. 

Also, exhalers like to have the fingering ergonomically placed with holes 3 and 6 and/or 7 bored off centre so that they can keep their hands tilted.

Inhalers prefer to have the fingering in a straight line.  This has to do with body positioning which in turn affects hand and arm positioning.



"For long passages one must gently draw in a good supply of breath beforehand, and to this end should spread the throat and chest wide; draw up the shoulders; try to keep as much air in the chest as possible; and then very sparingly let it flow into the recorder. Should one find notes, one must play the note after which this is to occur, so much the oneself in need of breath between fast shorter that the beat does not suffer …"

The “poor” man was simply an inhaler!



The following characteristics can be seen by the different types of breathing



  • Like to move a lot whilst playing but the instrument remains static (they move around the recorder)

  • Fingers straight on the recorder, preferably with the tips over the openings

  • Relaxed fingering with active opening and passive closing of the holes

  • Play with a lot of lip tension

  • The air moves more slowly

  • Cheeks are puffed

  • Playing seated; prefer (actually!) to rest lazily against the back of the chair so that they have more breathing support in their sides

  • Playing while standing; often the right leg forward and leaning on their heels




  • Play statically but move the instrument (they “play” with the recorder)

  • Prefer fingers slanted on the recorder, wrists turned inwards

  • Hammer more with their fingertips and close the openings actively

  • Play with loose lips

  • Air moves faster

  • Cheeks more tensed/taut

  • Playing seated; prefer to be upright without a backrest so that they can use their flank muscles properly

  • Playing while standing; often the left leg forward and leaning on the fore foot


You can refer to the website  to determine your own breathing type.

For all clarity, here is a part of their website :

“This doctrine starts with the observation that there are two (opposite) respiration types. We call these types inhaler (Einatmer) and exhaler (Ausatmer). Each person can be assigned to exactly one type and your type cannot change during yours lifetime.

The inhaler stresses her inhalation. Inhalation is supported by an upside-down position. When sitting the inhaler stretches her legs and has an easily lifted head, she needs a seat-back. At desk her elbow joints are stretched and the wrists are bent as possible. The inhaler does not like to walk on high heels. The head is raised, when running the torso is bent forward. The inhaler runs with stretched kneeling and arm joints, her arms swing clearly; she prefers left curves. The inhaler necessarily needs a warming-up before any sport activity and holds her extremities at the body. She breathes in the thorax and feels cold very easily. The favorable climate are humid zones.


inhaler sitting

inhaler standing

We very often observe type-adverse behavior. If an inhaler for example walks high-heeled steadily she will (over a short or long period) get serious health complaints. Unfortunately these complaints are not always associated with the wrong respiration behavior (see in addition the case studies). Therefore determining its own respiration type and learning the type-correct behavior is of great importance for your health.

The exhaler stresses her exhalation. Exhalation is supported by a prone position. When sitting she does not need a seat-back and prefers bent legs. The exhaler tries to bring her feet under the seat and writes with stretched wrist. The exhaler can stand well on high heels. The head is easily lowered (despite an upright torso). Her arms swing calmly, the arm joints are never stretched; she prefers right curves. She keeps her arms somewhat distant from the body and prefers retaining work; she breathes into the abdominal cavity. The favorable climate is dry, only an exhaler tolerates desert climate.”



exhaler sitting


exhaler standing 

Following are a couple of examples of body-and hand-stances from which you can see whether somebody is an inhaler or exhaler.

Anon.1750 The complete tutor for the FLUTE



Wiegel 1722  Musicum Theatrum




Virdung Exhaler

Hotteterre Inhaler

EXHALERS: Joris van Goetem, Han Tol 

I hold to the principle that it sounds the most interesting and the most natural when a player uses the windway best fitted to them so that they can conform completely to their own “Type”. A person’s own physical playing technique combined with the right recorder can contribute to this because the player will be more relaxed and therefore able to get closer to his own soul and power of expression.

Try, however, to assess your own playing technique very critically. Sometimes many years of training have been given by a teacher who has tried to teach you the opposite technique by conveying their own playing technique to you. Most breathing schools are aimed at exhalers. During my own time at the music academy, for example, Quantz was severely ridiculed for his breathing technique in which he promoted holding the chest up nice and high when breathing in.





Ordering Information                                                                                                                                                Top of PageSubcontrabass recorder in Bb, by Adriana Breukink

Email, call or write me to order or discuss your needs.  You can't order from my web site--I like to discuss your order with you first.

Many people have told me how much they enjoy my bringing my ‘store’ of instruments to workshops so that they can try many different ones over the course of a few days.  This makes their decision-making process much easier. 

Obviously, when ordering by mail, I can’t send you my whole ‘store’ of instruments to try, but I do try to come as close as is reasonably possible.  All instruments can be ordered on approval.  I am happy to send out two or more instruments for you to compare.  For instance, I could send out two or three rosewood altos, or rosewood, pearwood, grenadilla and  boxwood altos for you to sample.  Then you can play them (please, no more than 15 minutes per day, just as if you were starting the breaking-in process), let your friends try or listen to them, and let a teacher try them.  This gives you some feedback on your choice, and gives you more confidence in your decision. 

I want you to be satisfied with your instrument, and feel under no obligation to buy it if you don’t like it.  A normal time for deciding is approximately one week.  I, of course, expect any returned instruments to be in like-new condition (see below).  Whether you decide to buy an instrument or not, all I ask is that you pay for shipping costs both ways.

Once you have decided on a purchase, I will bill you. 

Email, call or write me to order or discuss your needs.  You can't order from my web site--I like to discuss your order with you first.


I had an instrument returned that smelled of cigarette smoke.  The customer did not smoke, but a visitor did.  I haven't yet succeeded in removing the smell.  I can't sell a smoky instrument, so I do not want to send instruments on approval to households where people are allowed to smoke.  If a smoky-smelling (or mildew-smelling) instrument is returned to me, I will not accept it, and you will have bought it, since it is no longer in like-new condition.  In my experience, hardly any recorder players smoke, so this should be a rare occurrence.  So please, no smoke, mildew or lipstick, and brush your teeth before playing--all things you should do if the instrument were yours.  I hope you understand this policy.


I don't give out customer contact information to other companies.


I accept personal checks, money orders or cashiers checks.  
I accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. VisaMasterCard  


425 N. Whisman Rd., Ste. 200

Mountain View, CA 94043

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(866) 511-2981 toll free

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(650) 938-5367 local/foreign/Skype


OPEN BY APPOINTMENT-Call--I'm here most of the time, 6-7 days a week


To order, email, phone or write me your request.


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