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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:55 am 
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BUT: as NicoMoreno pointed out, how about playing in the key of Eb on a D whistle? At best it would be a parlor trick. Supposing it could be done, I'll stick my neck out and guess that it wouldn't even sound good. So that's why I say diatonic.


Let me put in a bit of anecdotal whateveryouwanttocallit: playing tunes regularly with one of my neighbours years ago I noticed a few times when playing in more or less noisy environment she changed to a C whistle to play along with my D. The transition was seamless and apparently no bother to her at all. The only explanation I could come up with for doing this was that playing the two Sindt Ds was confusing, you can't really hear what you're playing because the other is sounding exactly the same, so changing to the C and the change of timbre that came with it made it easier to hear who was producing which notes. But whatever the reason, it did show that, in the hands of a good player, transposing from a different keyed whistle into D doesn't have to be a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:26 am 
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Mr Gumby help please. I am a bit out of my depth with the technical aspect of your friend playing a C whilst you play a D. My assumption as a non musician is that you have to play in the same key if playing together. If that assumption is correct then how does she play in D on a C whistle.
I only play for my own enjoyment so I am a bit at sea here but I am interested. When I play a C or a Bb whistle for a bit of variation I just use the same fingering I use when playing the D and I have been naively assuming that in that way I am playing in the key of C or Bb. But you talk about “transposing”. Any explanation would be gratefully received
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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:59 am 
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Not using the the same fingerings as on a D whistle but moving everything up a tone.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:03 am 
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JTU wrote:
Mr Gumby help please. I am a bit out of my depth with the technical aspect of your friend playing a C whilst you play a D. My assumption as a non musician is that you have to play in the same key if playing together. If that assumption is correct then how does she play in D on a C whistle.
I only play for my own enjoyment so I am a bit at sea here but I am interested. When I play a C or a Bb whistle for a bit of variation I just use the same fingering I use when playing the D and I have been naively assuming that in that way I am playing in the key of C or Bb. But you talk about “transposing”. Any explanation would be gratefully received
Cheers
JTU



If you treat the whistle as a diatonic instrument, then you can play any tune on any whistle if you have a grasp of the intervalic relationships. That is, the step-wise movement of the tune. Starts on a note, moves up a whole tone, then a half tone, then up to the fifth, then down while tone. Like "it starts on "Do," with Do being any pitch, then moves to "Mi," then La." You have all the same note relationships to each other, but you started on a different pitch. You transposed it. It's much easier to do on some instruments than on others.

Yesterday I was trying to play a Jobim tune in "A" on a D whistle while waiting for a long traffic light. It was doable, but partly because I already knew the tune--that is I knew the interval relationships. It would have sounded much better on an A whistle, BTW :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:10 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Not using the the same fingerings as on a D whistle but moving everything up a tone.
As in, XXX XXO for D, not XXX XXX. And presumably half-holing the C# (XXX XXD, not OOO OOO) and either half-holing or perhaps cross-fingering F# (maybe XXO XXX, not XXX XOO).

Impressive.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:10 am 
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NicoMoreno wrote:
The point is that it's generally agreed upon that if you have to half-hole (or bend) a note, then it's not a "native" note of the instrument.


Which makes absolutely no sense to me. Following this logic, "overblowing" produces one or two octaves full of notes none of which are "native" to the instrument. Because overblowing is nothing more than bending a note. What you're saying then is that the whistle, by nature, has a range of seven notes. Furthermore, following this logic, the holes themselves are not "native" to the tube, thus the seven notes you previously limited us to are contrary to the nature of the whistle. We should stick to overtone whistles. Oh, but wait! The fipple itself is not native to the tube...

And finally, keys are not "native" to any instrument, so according to this logic, no wind instrument can be either chromatic or diatonic by nature; the only "truly native scale" of the tin whistle is obtained by breaking off the mouthpiece, taping all the holes, turning it bottom side up and playing its native overtone series. Try Paddy-Whack's Reel that way and see how far we get!

There simply comes a point when we just have to engage common sense lest we take an argument too far. If actual musicologists are "generally agreed" upon this, then I'd have to adjust my argument. But then I'd just have a gripe with the musicologists, because common sense and ordinary practice tell a different story.

PB&J said it well: much of this discussion is simply a matter of technology applied to a plain tube. I don't make the distinction of "diatonic by nature" vs "chromatic by nature" as a function of technology. The metal tube is technology that allows for musical sound to be produced. Holes are technology that allow all the standard western notes to be produced. Keys are technology that allow all the standard western notes to be produced more easily. Double barrel with extra keys (like you find on some specialist clarinets) are technology that allow all the standard western notes plus all the quarter tones to be produced more easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:35 am 
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You guys are a hoot! This is great fun! I got my whistle yesterday and it looks pretty good. Not sure if I will play this one or display this one, but you all have me revved up enuf that I am going to have to get a whistle to play for sure. :lol: :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:00 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:
Because overblowing is nothing more than bending a note.

No it isn't. That's a strange thought.

Quote:
keys are not "native" to any instrument

Yes they are, that's kind of the point. There's a reason I put quotes around "native" - it was a shorthand to basically mean the note exists as a simple on-off function (hole / key).

Quote:
common sense and ordinary practice tell a different story.

Yeah, I don't agree with you at all. Common sense and ordinary practice are that no one plays in the key of Eb (or Bb or F# or a number of other keys) on a D whistle, therefore a whistle isn't chromatic.

What it is exactly is still open for debate, but diatonic is a good short-hand for getting the basic point across. As Ben says, it's constructed to get a [limited] number of keys out of it with ease. In fact the number is 2 unless you use note bending / shading, which I would argue is forcing the whistle out of its natural fingerings. That it is possible is sort of beside the point.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:09 pm 
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NicoMoreno wrote:
There's a reason I put quotes around "native" - it was a shorthand to basically mean the note exists as a simple on-off function (hole / key).

The whistle is tuned diatonically; there's no question of this. However, there's also no question that with expertise it can be played chromatically. So what is this little beast? Tacking "native" onto "diatonic" is a start in attempting to address the dichotomy, but the word's a bit loaded, and I agree that including the quotemarks with "native" is probably necessary every time. Nor do "chiefly" or "primarily" satisfy. Instead, perhaps "essentially diatonic" is closest to the mark.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Right, what I mean is "the whistle can not be played chromatically without halfholing, and I take the position that halfholing invalidates chromaticity". Another way of putting it is "an instrument is chromatic when it can play all notes of the chromatic scale using a fingering that doesn't involve halfholing, bending, shading or similarly shaping notes".

I acknowledge that forked fingering is a bit of a grey area. Piano is clearly a chromatic instrument - each note exists, there's one key to press to achieve it. Boehm flute is more or less the same way (although certainly some keys are harder than others). A baroque flute, technically can be played chromatically, with forked fingerings (no halfholing), but there's also clearly keys that are more challenging to achieve, plus there's the whole not being tuned to equal temperament issue. A keyless irish / modern flute is *not* designed to play with cross fingerings (same as a whistle) and hence is not a chromatic instrument.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:14 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:
NicoMoreno wrote:
The point is that it's generally agreed upon that if you have to half-hole (or bend) a note, then it's not a "native" note of the instrument.


What you're saying then is that the whistle, by nature, has a range of seven notes. Furthermore, following this logic, the holes themselves are not "native" to the tube, thus the seven notes you previously limited us to are contrary to the nature of the whistle. We should stick to overtone whistles. Oh, but wait! The fipple itself is not native to the tube...

And finally, keys are not "native" to any instrument, so according to this logic, no wind instrument can be either chromatic or diatonic by nature; the only "truly native scale" of the tin whistle is obtained by breaking off the mouthpiece, taping all the holes, turning it bottom side up and playing its native overtone series. Try Paddy-Whack's Reel that way and see how far we get!


I get the impression that you two are using the word "native" in very different ways. NicoMoreno seems to be using it to mean "inherent in the construction of the instrument." Since the instrument is constructed with a fipple and holes, they are therefore "native" to the way it is constructed. In a similar way, a Boehm flute is constructed with keys, so they are native to its construction. But he considers half-holing and cross-fingering to be out of the range of the way the flute was constructed to play, and therefore "non-native."

Nanohedron has a good point. I think you guys need a better word than "native." You will still be in disagreement, but at least you'll both understand the terms.

And I hope I have not merely muddied the waters further.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:26 pm 
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"Nominally diatonic". How's that?

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
"Nominally diatonic". How's that?

That might work, though you'd still need a bit of context to really understand the reference.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:42 pm 
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michaelpthompson wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
"Nominally diatonic". How's that?

That might work, though you'd still need a bit of context to really understand the reference.

No doubt. The way I look at it, if needed the context can follow, for thereby hangs a conversation. In discussing whistles, I can think of a few friends who would understand right away, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:16 pm 
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What1cand0 wrote:
You guys are a hoot! This is great fun! I got my whistle yesterday and it looks pretty good. Not sure if I will play this one or display this one, but you all have me revved up enuf that I am going to have to get a whistle to play for sure. :lol: :)


At least take some good pictures for us! We've worked hard in this thread of yours!

Oh dear --- you don't have a whistle to play yet?

Perhaps you can start up a "what's the best whistle out there" thread and can enjoy a whole nother fireworks show!

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