I studied early music in The Hague and Amsterdam where, in the late 1970s and 1980s, I trained to become a professional recorder and traverso player. Much later, more or less as a matter of coincidence, I started making transverse flutes. At that time I happened to be not altogether satisfied with an instrument that I had purchased before. A fellow recorder maker then offered me a small lathe that he no longer used, together with a couple of reamers, some bits of maple wood and basic information, commenting “You are always fiddling with your recorders, why not try to make a new middle joint for your traverso and see if you can improve it?” From a single middle joint I progressed to making complete instruments. My “musical ear” is an aid to my instrument making while my “acoustic ear” has brought an added dimension to my musical performance.

About Thijs van Baarsel...

My areas of interest also now include a number of research projects focusing on traversos and other woodwinds in several collections throughout Europe. I also used to teach historical woodwind instrument making in the Oskar-Walcker Schule in Ludwigsburg, Germany which is one of the very few schools in Europe at which the making of historical woodwind instruments is taught.