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 Post subject: Mezzo, Alto, Tenor ???
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:10 am 
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I am a bit confused with these words when looking to purchase a whistle. Are these all the same? Or does it depend on the key? Even in the same key sellers use different words :boggle:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:35 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
High/soprano is generally from 'C' upwards, mezzo/alto is the gray area, 'Bb/A/G', low tends to be from 'F' downwards.

Some tend to think of below 'Bb' as low, because they are not mass produced, whereas 'Bb' & above are.

Hope that helps your understanding. :)

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Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:42 pm 
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That helps, thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
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Location: WV to the OC
Unfortunately different players and makers use various terms inconsistently.

With recorders and human voices etc you have "bass" "baritone" "tenor" "alto" "soprano" "mezzo" "treble" etc.

Whistle terminology doesn't need to be that complicated! If we confine ourselves to whistles in fairly common production the terms "high" and "low" are sufficient.

The common Generation whistles come in the "high" keys of Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and the tiny G. Since whistles an octave higher than this are happily not seen, and whistles TWO octaves lower than these Generations aren't common either, it's sufficient to call these common Generation whistle keys "high" and whistles one octave lower "low".

The one exception, and it's relatively rare, are huge whistles in G, two octaves below the tiny high G Generation. Overton and Goldie seem to have made a number of these. So I can understand the usefulness of using the term "mezzo" for the G whistle in between the microscopic Generation G and the humongous Overton/Goldie bass G.

Using my whistle roll as an example, you can see that I don't have any key in three different octaves:

Image

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:45 am 
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Thank you. Yours are very well marked and in a lovely roll. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:44 am 
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Location: WV to the OC
Frizzygirl wrote:
Thank you. Yours are very well marked and in a lovely roll. :thumbsup:


It's for gig survival! I might have a few seconds between the end of one piece to the beginning of the next, and have to change whistles.

Sometimes gigs are in poor lighting.

So I can't be fumbling around in the dark hunting for the next whistle.

This was really a problem when my roll had six or seven Burkes in it- they all look the same.

Image

Bad enough that I have four red-topped Generations, three of them with Bb tops. And my Low D and Low C Goldies have the same tops.

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Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:25 pm
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You have a very impressive collection. I just love playing these instruments! I have a Freeman tweaked Brass "G" coming in the post.
I can't wait!! I am transposing some old classics, it seems I have an ear for it. It is quite easy. I just write down the music as notes. I find this the easiest way to read the tune when I'm playing. I found the dot music hard on the eyes. Thanks for sharing!!


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