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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:46 pm 
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Terrific new input! I appreciate everyone sharing with me. Thamk you!


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:24 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
I remain skeptical about the "Civil War era" claim. I believe they played tin whistles and flageolets in the Civl War, just doubt that's one of them.


I concur. I used to have a book on CW era musical instruments (Garafalo & Elrod). I don't recall any mention of penny whistles. Mind you, their focus was regimental instruments.

The whistle type in question could easily have been owned and played by soldiers in camp. (Maybe C.W., maybe Indian Wars, maybe War of 1898, maybe action against Mexico, maybe even WWI.) The U.S. / Eagle marked whistle is almost certainly post-war, as you find those in Sears & Wards catalogues of the late 19th & early 20th century era.

For the OP, a generic brass whistle with lead fipple or a vintage Calura or Clarke would not be out of place in a C.W. display. But the likelihood of this particular (or any particular) whistle being associated with the C.W. itself is a much dodgier prospect.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:39 pm 
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Thanks for your input


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:12 am 
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Quote:
a generic brass whistle with lead fipple or a vintage Calura or Clarke would not be out of place in a C.W. display.


I have to wonder if the Caluras go back that far. I doubt it to be honest.


They''re surely easy enough to find though. Several on ebay at the moment although some sellers are looking for silly money (saw one for $125). Shouldn't pay more than a tenner, if you have any sense.

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You should, perhaps, be looking at something like this, plain and un-printed. And even then I'd have my doubts about time and place:

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:24 am 
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To FatMac, do you have a picture of the original Clarke Tin Whistle? Did it have the eagle and U.S. Stamped on it? Please advise!


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:57 am 
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If you don't mind, I have a snap handy : The plain grey one is an old Clarke, plain without their typical print exterior. No eagles on any Clarke. It does say Clarke 1843 but that's more the date the company started than the date the model was made. These, or something close to it, are made again, but shinier. :lol: In fact I think that was what fatmac was saying in reply to michaelpthompson's post.

The Williamsburg souvenir whistles (see michaelpthompson's post) and Coopermans for that matter, are along similar lines, and both flirting with CW enthusiasts. Without eagles.

Shaws do another shiny take on the classic tapered whistle.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:00 am 
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Thanks Mr Gumby


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:55 am 
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What1cand0 wrote:
To FatMac, do you have a picture of the original Clarke Tin Whistle? Did it have the eagle and U.S. Stamped on it? Please advise!


No, no US or eagle, I was just saying that it looked like an original Clarkes whistle, who were the first to make mass produced whistles, I believe.

Maybe they bought & stamped them for use by your country's military(?).

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:04 pm 
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"All American Fife"...

And people wonder why there's any confusion.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:17 pm 
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That is my thinking as the eagle is identical to coins, tokens and other memoralbilia of that era.

Thank you everyone for contributing. Since I know so little about tin whistles, can you give me a little bit of help explaining B and G and E. I assume that the different whistles are designed by the musical scale. Is there truly a lot of difference. Can you find music for every tones on the scale?


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:15 am 
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Those letters designate the key that they are tuned to, they are diatonic, meaning that not all notes are present on any one instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:29 am 
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If you look again at the picture I posted from the 1897 Sears catalog you can see what looks to me to be the wing of an eagle stamped on it.

About the notes: forgive me if this is too remedial. Some musical instruments are "chromatic," meaning they can play every pitch, including all sharps and flats. Pianos, saxes, guitars, the silver, keyed Boehm flute--most "professional" instruments are chromatic. Tin whistles are "diatonic," meaning they can only play a more limited set of notes related to a "base" or "home pitch," called the "key." So a tin whistle in the key of "D" can easily play all the notes in a D major scale. But if the song is in "F" you'll be missing notes. Whistles are sold tuned to different keys, and the size changes with the Key. So an Eb whistles is a little smaller than the same maker's D whistle, a C whistle is significantly bigger, a whistle in G is a lot bigger, etc.

Other diatonic instruments include the Appalachian dulcimer, some button accordions, the keyless "irish flute," most simple flutes, and most harmonicas.

With a tin whistle you can get around this to some extent by "half-holing," partially covering some of the holes, or by "forked fingerings." But it's easier to just have whistles in different keys


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:51 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
whistlecollector wrote:
a generic brass whistle with lead fipple or a vintage Calura or Clarke would not be out of place in a C.W. display.


I have to wonder if the Caluras go back that far. I doubt it to be honest.


They probably don't. Early 20th century, I believe. Note that I said they would not be out of place, not that they came from that time!

There are many similar makes of whistle that would look similarly "not out of place", including whistles made in Japan and Germany.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:52 am 
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fatmac wrote:
Those letters designate the key that they are tuned to, they are diatonic, meaning that not all notes are present on any one instrument.


Penny whistles are actually chromatic.

Keyless (so-called "Irish") flutes are also chromatic.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:55 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
fatmac wrote:
Those letters designate the key that they are tuned to, they are diatonic, meaning that not all notes are present on any one instrument.


Penny whistles are actually chromatic.

Keyless (so-called "Irish") flutes are also chromatic.


This one got my attention. Seems worthy of a thread of its own. I think the the argument can be made that, with no small amount of effort, the whistle can be chromatic. But, fundamentally, I think it is designed as a diatonic instrument that can handle a few accidentals. As an example, I can play a G# in passing on my D. But, I don't think it would sound overly pleasant as a sustained note. Or the lower octave Eb on a whistle that does not have a larger hole for the E. Or that same note, Low octave Eb on a keyless flute. Seems to me playing in Eb would be much easier on an Eb than a D.


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