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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:45 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I hope it's clear m not fighting, I'm discussing! :party:


I certainly don't take what we've been doing as fighting! On the other hand, I don't think we can convince each other one way or the other, either, so probably best to leave it as is.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Yep! On those instruments, you either half hole or fork-finger. That's just how they evolved to solve the problem! Some whistle don't like to be fork fingered, others are more amenable. The c-nat being the most commonly known that can be done both ways.


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. If an instrument can't play the chromatic scale with native notes, then it's not a chromatic instrument.

Forked or cross-fingering may be a somewhat grey area, but is generally considered that if the cross-fingerings are consistent, then they are "native" notes of the instrument. Whistles are not designed to play with cross-fingerings (except the Cnat) whereas, for example, recorders are. The recorder is a chromatic instrument, the whistle is not. I'd really hate to hear someone try to play in Eb or Db on a D whistle, and doubt anyone would ever try.

At any rate, call it what you want. I for one really appreciate the beauty that comes from the limitations of the whistle. You can call those limitations whatever you want, personally I use the term diatonic as a shorthand for describing (some of) the limitations.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:24 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
You can easily interpret this as a history of technology problem. Man invents whistle. Eureka! It plays easily in one key. He's having a great time! Chicks dig him!

Is that how you see the world? :really:

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:31 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
PB+J wrote:
You can easily interpret this as a history of technology problem. Man invents whistle. Eureka! It plays easily in one key. He's having a great time! Chicks dig him!

Is that how you see the world? :really:

Now, now. There's nothing wrong with being heterosexual.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:34 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
PB+J wrote:
You can easily interpret this as a history of technology problem. Man invents whistle. Eureka! It plays easily in one key. He's having a great time! Chicks dig him!

Is that how you see the world? :really:

Now, now. There's nothing wrong with being heterosexual.

Oh no, absolutely not. And of course I accept that every invention of any worth whatsoever has been made by straight white males. As, of course, would any reasonable person.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:39 pm 
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Ohhhhhh, I see. Point taken. I guess it's all mutatis mutandis to me.

BTW, I'm in the "The whistle, as a class, is diatonic" camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:42 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Ohhhhhh, I see. Point taken.
Ye-e-e-e-s.

Nanohedron wrote:
BTW, I'm in the "The whistle, as a class, is diatonic" camp.
I swing both ways on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:07 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
BTW, I'm in the "The whistle, as a class, is diatonic" camp.
I swing both ways on this one.

Twice the fun - or twice the disappointment.

Allow me to be serious for a moment: I get that. Totally. If you play a whistle with scads of half-holing and such, you get a more or less chromatic result so far as it goes. 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. Press me harder and we can allow for chromatic departures, but they're departures, and that word makes all the difference. An illustration:

There was a fellow, a professional clarinetist IIRC, who was trying out a whistle for the first time. He was pretty good for starters - like a duck to water, you could say - but in the key of G he was confounded over what to do for Cnat, and I had to show him. He had understandably taken the layout at face value, so the concept of crossfingering wasn't even on his radar.

The best concession I can make in this debate is that the whistle is diatonically constructed. Not much of a concession, is it...

To me, the instrument's construction is the crux of the issue, not what you can wring out of it. In its construction, a fully keyed flute is chromatic; all the notes are right there at a touch. In its construction, a keyless flute (or a whistle) is diatonic; you can get accidentals, but you have to perform tricks to do it, and a satisfactory outcome is not guaranteed.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:08 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
PB+J wrote:
You can easily interpret this as a history of technology problem. Man invents whistle. Eureka! It plays easily in one key. He's having a great time! Chicks dig him!

Is that how you see the world? :really:


???? I don't understand the question. I think the answer is no, since it was purely an imaginary hypothetical, but I'm not sure.

Oh I get it! You're accusing me of sexism, and thinking by "man" I mean "man" in the sense of "man's quest for knowledge" intoned by someone with a BBC accent. Let it be "somebody invents a whistle" then. Chicks can still dig that person, and the term can still be used tongue in cheek. I have to go back to grading papers about Judith Butler.


Last edited by PB+J on Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:10 pm 
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I guess I'm about 40% along on the diatonic/chromatic line. I'd describe a whistle as basically a diatonic instrument, but I would never say that it's diatonic "by nature". It plainly isn't, as far as I'm concerned. I think it's always been constructed so as to enable a player to get a number of keys out of it with relative ease. Hence, as far as I'm aware, there have always been compromises on the positioning of the top hole to enable a reasonable Cnat and not too flat a C#. And, whilst Eb major, as a key, would be a stretch too far on a D whistle, C major is reasonably OK, with only a minor bit of inconvenience at the Fnat. And all notes are present. So, as I say, I tend to think of it as "mainly" or "basically" diatonic, but with every note being playable*.



* ... though I must admit, Fb can be a problem at times. :boggle:

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:17 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
PB+J wrote:
You can easily interpret this as a history of technology problem. Man invents whistle. Eureka! It plays easily in one key. He's having a great time! Chicks dig him!

Is that how you see the world? :really:


???? I don't understand the question. I think the answer is no, since it was purely an imaginary hypothetical, but I'm not sure

I couldn't understand why your hypothetical situation was so androcentric, and straight at that. My world has moved on. Also, "chicks"??? Who are dazzled by the clever, clever man and his marvellous ingenuity? I'm not offended. It's just a bit of cognitive dissonance, because I haven't read anything quite like that since the 1970s.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:22 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
PB+J wrote:
???? I don't understand the question. I think the answer is no, since it was purely an imaginary hypothetical, but I'm not sure

I couldn't understand why your hypothetical situation was so androcentric, and straight at that. My world has moved on. Also, "chicks"??? Who are dazzled by the clever, clever man and his marvellous ingenuity? I'm not offended. It's just a bit of cognitive dissonance, because I haven't read anything quite like that since the 1970s.


Right, it was a deliberately anachronistic joke aimed at making sure the discussion didn't become heated. Like talking about Herr Mozart frowning. I assumed the silliness of the phrase--which is used as a joke fairly often in the US--would be obvious. That is the phrase is used to mock the very idea it expresses. Nobody in the US has used it seriously since Bill Murray was in Stripes. I was making fun of the whole idea really. Humor often doesn't translate.


Last edited by PB+J on Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Well, I must say that this thread has had its twists and turns! It's almost like the old days. Welcome to C&F, What1cand0, and hold onto your hat.

PB+J wrote:
Humor often doesn't translate.

I'll bet you use a smiley next time... :wink:

(I use that winky one a lot)

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I'll bet you use a smiley next time... :wink:

(I use that winky one a lot)

You making fun of those with right-eye disabilities? :boggle:

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:19 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
I'll bet you use a smiley next time... :wink:

(I use that winky one a lot)

You making fun of those with right-eye disabilities? :boggle:

Sure, I'll do anything for the right amount. Who did you have in mind?

PB+J wrote:
I have to go back to grading papers about Judith Butler.

And you, sir: I can't decide whether you're a sadist or a masochist. Probably both, I'm guessing. Thanks to you I looked her up, and I wasn't able to withstand more than but a passage of hers; it's not the content, but her clangorous prose so beyond purple that it emits UV rays. If you must go there, I recommend sunscreen and welding glasses.

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