Chiff and Fipple Forums

Whistle Temperature affecting Tone?
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Author:  RoberTunes [ Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Whistle Temperature affecting Tone?

NOTE: this post is not concerned with whistle intonation.

I'm under an impression that when warmed up from playing for a few minutes, a whistle's (aluminum, anyway) tone actually improves, over when it's cold and you just start playing it.............But is that an illusion? ............ I'm wondering if there is a relationship between the quality of tone a whistle produces, and the whistle's temperature (talking about "TONE" only, not the intonation).

I might be wrong, for these reasons:
1) the temperature of the breath doesn't change
2) the temperature range the whistle is likely to experience between "cold" to "played for 5 minutes" is typically minimal.
3) it might be that by playing for a few minutes, I get used to the whistle and settle into playing it better, so that tone sounds it's best, and perhaps weaker tone results from the initial minute of playing with less than ideal attention and application by the player?

What's your experience? Do you think whistle temperature affects tone? Yea? Nay? :-?
(I wouldn't be surprised with a uniform "No" response, but thought I'd ask)

After searching Chiff and Fipple, I didn't see the topic. I did see comments about how temperature can affect "intonation" (especially metal whistles) as well as clogging characteristics, but that's not what I'm concerned with here. Tone is all I'm concerned with; the bass/treble mix, the responsiveness, the windiness, loudness, etc.

Author:  fatmac [ Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistle Temperature affecting Tone?

Tone/intonation will be slightly affected when an instrument is outside of its optimal temperature range, that is why we normally blow our warm breath through our whistles/flutes before playing them.

(P.S. It's the same principle with harmonicas, only we warm up the reed/reed plates first before playing them, especially a chromatic that uses windsavers/valves, to prevent condensation from our warm breath.)

Author:  bruce.b [ Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistle Temperature affecting Tone?

Yes, the tone on my low D whistles is affected. When it’s colder the tone is weaker and less focused. The volume is reduced too. I’m not sure why. Does a small amount of moisture immediately get in the windway when it’s cold? Something else? I don’t notice this with my high D.

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