The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument in the flute family. Though flute-like whistle instruments date from the Iron Age, it is unknown when the recorder was invented. The earliest surviving examples date to the latter 17th century. The vast majority of recorders made today resemble the more refined Baroque variety. Notwithstanding the documentery ignorance concerning its precise medieval shape and mode of use, the recorder has become ingrained in the recreationist canon as an authentic period instrument.