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 Post subject: Most common Alto key
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:38 pm
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I have a Dixon trad A whistle in brass and I like the sound but I can't find many recordings in the key of A. Are there are Alto keys that are better to find online music to play along to?

Michelle


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 Post subject: Re: Most common Alto key
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:22 am 
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There are loads of tunes in D, especially ones that dip into the lower strings of the fiddle that go well on the A whistle, giving you acces to low A and B notes the D whistle would fold up an octave.

Try tunes like this : Brendan Tonra's or Luachrachán

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 Post subject: Re: Most common Alto key
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:09 am 
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Exactly as Gumby says.

Due to being able to readily play either the sharp or flat 7th on whistles, each size whistle gives you two Major keys, one based on the bell-note (the six-finger note xxx xxx) and one based on the 4th (the three-finger note xxx ooo).

That way, an A whistle can become a D whistle with extended low range.

______D E F# G A B c# d e f# g a b (D whistle)
A B C# D E F# G A B c# d e f# ____ (A whistle)

Though you might not be talking about that issue at all, but what key of Alto/Mezzo whistle one might most often see in the hands of players.

I think for that it would be F. For example, MK Whistles initially offered only two keys, Low D and Mezzo/Alto F.

To me it was non-intuitive, because in my playing the most common Mezzo/Alto keys I've used in the groups I've played in have been G and A.

G takes you down to the lowest note of the fiddle, mandolin, and Irish banjo.

Another handy thing is that it takes you down a string on those instruments, in other words anything you already play on a D whistle you can play on a G whistle and it will come out the same as a string player playing the tune down a string.

Why would that be handy? When you play with a fiddler who plays all the tunes you know in A minor down in D minor!

In like manner an A whistle is handy when you play with a fiddler who takes tunes you learned in G down in D.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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 Post subject: Re: Most common Alto key
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:48 pm 
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Excellent explanation Richard. I have had some similar thoughts and you helped explain it properly. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Most common Alto key
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:22 pm 
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Yes Richard think you for the detailed description. I also have a soprano G whistle so I have g covered if I want to play in piccolo range!


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