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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:15 pm 
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I’ve been watching Mary Bergin on you tube and other tin whistle players . Before they begin a piece of music they clear the whistle of spit and then play a quick tuning notes . What are these notes for and why do they do it.
They play it even after the whistle is warm.
If you know them can you tell me what those notes are?
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:28 am 
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What are these notes for and why do they do it.


It's simply a test run. It's to check if the instrument is sounding OK and to check it against any other instruments for tuning.

Everybody has their own (often characteristic) run.

it has no meaning or significance.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:28 pm 
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I've always thought of it being a piping thing, because it exists in several types of piping.

In Highland piping they're are called "tuning phrases".

Yes each player has his own distinctive tuning phrase, yet they generally follow similar patterns.

At least on Highland pipes part of their intent seems to be to show off fancy fingering and ornaments. They will work their way up to High A with some piobaireachd movements, once on High A taking their upper hand off the chanter to fine-tune the drones. A common theme is to finish with a series of Low A's seperated by a variety of different embellishments, rather useless for tuning the scale of the chanter.

Here. There are tuning-phrase bits and fragments of tunes and such, part of a typical pre-competition tune-up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SifR1m8ln-I

In like manner Spanish Gaiteiros begin with an elaborate flourish, starting low, then soaring up to the highest possible notes of the 2nd octave, then returning to the low tonic note with a rapid vibrato.

Bulgarian pipers start with a shorter phrase, beginning with a bend up to the 5th above the drone note, then going down to the drone note (tonic) with a stereotyped note sequence and ornament.

I can't recall hearing uilleann pipers doing that. (Now sure enough somebody will post a YouTube video of an uilleann piper doing it!)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:10 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I've always thought of it being a piping thing, because it exists in several types of piping. In Highland piping they're are called "tuning phrases". ... I can't recall hearing uilleann pipers doing that.

You suggesting Uilleann pipers don't tune?? :poke:

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:38 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I've always thought of it being a piping thing, because it exists in several types of piping.

As far as I can make out, everybody does it, on every instrument. I just think it's kind of like a nervous tic. Sort of like, "Right. I've tuned the instrument and I've warmed it up. Now, let's see if it plays across its range as I expect it to."

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:30 am 
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Catherine McEvoy often does it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjbCPGkw3pw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-UQuRK ... tu.be&t=33

With flute it is not hard to put the thing to ones lips slightly away from the best place and have to shuffle around a little over the first few notes. Although expert players will be better at doing it right I suspect they are also aiming for a much smaller perfect spot than most of us.

I am usually out of tune for [at least] the first few notes.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:52 pm 
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I just watched Angela Dean do the exact notes .


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