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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:42 am 
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So "chiff" would be a very slight "ch" produced py the organ pipe or whistle at the start of a note? Am I right in thinking that only happens when starting the airflow, not when slurring from one note to the next? (Not that I really notice "noise" when tongueing, but when slurring up and down the scale there is absolutely none. When tongueing, I can sometimes imagine a tiny little bit. Maybe my ears are the problem.)


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 11:16 am 
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In recording, "transients" are short lived high frequency content, generally related to plucked or struck notes. Engineers use "transient shapers," for example, to control the high end of cymbals. Transients are as implied short-lived: the sound of the strike rather than the ring of the cymbal: the initial strike of the kick drum rather than the longer duration thud.

A flute, for example, does not typically have a lot of what engineers describe as transients, and neither does a sax: plenty of high frequencies, but not short duration high frequencies that are not part of the desired note.

I have no real idea what is meant by "chiff:" I think it's the sound you get when you do a cut or a tap, that is, it's not a musical note, really, it's a short lived burst of noise. And because it's short we probably hear it as mostly high frequency, So it's technically broadband, but really I'm guessing it's closely related to a "chirp."


Last edited by PB+J on Sat May 19, 2018 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 12:09 pm 
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I am surprised that "transients" are considered a component of chiff. Although those sounds are not part of the purity of a note, there are other sounds made in the making of that note that is also not pure. Taking away breathiness the remaining roughness or impurities of the note could be considered chiff, at least in my simple mind.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 2:34 pm 
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I'm not sure when or where chiff came into common usage among whistley people. When I picked up a whistle in the late 1970's I certainly didn't hear the term. It is a term well known to organ makers. There is a significant 'transient' when eight and sixteen foot organ pipes begin to speak. A one foot 'D' whistle, not so much.

Bob

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 7:37 am 
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That makes sense, an organ-building term that somebody applied to recorders at some point, and that some recorder player who learned whistle then applied to whistle.

That's my theory for now, anyway. I know that in all the years playing flute and whistle and pipes I never heard the term.

In any case it doesn't sound like a desirable thing! I don't want whistles to have noise, transient or otherwise.

For sure in piping a noise at the attack of a note is a bad thing, usually caused by a bad reed.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:46 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
I'm not sure when or where chiff came into common usage among whistley people. When I picked up a whistle in the late 1970's I certainly didn't hear the term. It is a term well known to organ makers. There is a significant 'transient' when eight and sixteen foot organ pipes begin to speak. A one foot 'D' whistle, not so much.

Bob

I think the term might be more common over here, in the UK and Ireland. I can't remember a time when I didn't hear the term, and I've been playing Irish music for nearly 50 years. And a lot of whistlers in the past positively encouraged the sound of chiff. Lots of people here on the forum have over the years as well.

My understanding is that everybody always knew it was a term associated wit organ pipes, but it's the same sound on a whistle as well.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:10 am 
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I think the term might be more common over here, in the UK and Ireland. I can't remember a time when I didn't hear the term


YMMV but I never heard it used in a whistle context until I came across this site. And I still don't hear it used in 'real life' , but then again, I don't discuss whistles much in real life. But on the occasion whistles do get talked about, it's usually in terms never, or rarely., encountered on these forums.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 1:46 pm 
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It's out of my league to reproduce, but some years ago I saw graphs produced from electronic analysis of the sounds produced by various instruments. Perhaps the patterns produced could help with comparisons between whistles/recorders/more whistles rather than relying on the terms that get used here, often it appears, without common knowledge or consensus of what those terms mean. Let's get some science into the equation!

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 3:47 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
That makes sense, an organ-building term that somebody applied to recorders at some point, and that some recorder player who learned whistle then applied to whistle.

That's my theory for now, anyway. I know that in all the years playing flute and whistle and pipes I never heard the term.

In any case it doesn't sound like a desirable thing! I don't want whistles to have noise, transient or otherwise.

For sure in piping a noise at the attack of a note is a bad thing, usually caused by a bad reed.


I first heard the term, I'm in the US of A, many years ago when, as a music major in college studying early music, I first heard a Portative Organ. I believe they're also called Virginals but I'm not going there.

At the beginning of a note there is a noticeable "H" or "CH" sound. Sounds kinda cool on the little Portative Organ but I don't want it on my whistles, or recorders thank you very much.

You might also think of Plaz Johnson on tenor sax. :poke: Breathiness in the extreme.

I had also heard it applied to recorders, but like you, never whistles until I joined the Chiff and Fipple community.

Fun discussion though. :thumbsup:

Piper Joe


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 3:56 pm 
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piperjoe wrote:
I believe they're also called Virginals but I'm not going there.

A name more commonly given to a type of harpsichord, but apparently also once understood to include organ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzwilliam_Virginal_Book

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:29 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
piperjoe wrote:
I believe they're also called Virginals but I'm not going there.

A name more commonly given to a type of harpsichord, but apparently also once understood to include organ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzwilliam_Virginal_Book


Peter,

Thanks for that link. Very interesting.

Piper Joe


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 12:38 pm 
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The main Wikipedia article on virginals goes into more depth about the harpsichord type including possible derivations of the name, but doesn't say it could also mean organ (which was a surprise to me having always associated it with harpsichords). But your 'not going there' did tempt me (now pushed over the edge by references to spinets there) to bring up the old alleged student blunder about Bach having 20 children and practising on an old spinster in the attic!

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