Thumb hole in Burke whistles

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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Sedi »

ecadre wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:23 pm
Sedi wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:33 am I'd say it's still a whistle. But John Bushby, who makes the Shearwater whistles makes a recorder-whistle - plays like a recorder but sounds like a whistle. I'd call that a hybrid-instrument.
It's a recorder.
Doesn't sound like one though. It's a whistle with recorder fingering. Unless you wanna define the type of instrument just by the fingering it uses. I don't think that would be correct. Or a boehm flute would be a saxophone and vice versa as they use almost the exact same fingering and key mechanics. So I'd say -- sound quality does have a say in defining into which category an instrument belongs.
Another example of an instrument that uses recorder fingering but clearly is not a recorder, is the Yamaha Venova.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Ronk »

I have one of Joseph Morneaux's "drop C" whistles with C & Fnat thumbholes along with a 7th hole below the low D for C. It definitely is a whistle, not a recorder. For example, you do not half hole the thumbhole to reach the 2nd octave like a recorder.

I am still getting used to it, but it has opened up a variety of different genres of music since it is essentially fully chromatic with cross fingering working well for Bb, G# as well. This is a fine instrument, and Joseph is a delight to work with.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Narzog »

I think the easiest way to answer the question of what makes something a whistle is to use a more extreme example. Carbony makes a whistle with highland bagpipe fingering and scale. Is it a bagpipe or a whistle?
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by ecadre »

If you make a fipple, internal duct, flute that has a Recorder style fingering then it is by definition a Recorder. It's as simple as that really.

References to Saxophones. Boehm flutes and Venmos are just deliberately misunderstanding what was being said.

Also, when was a fipple flute ever a bagpipe? The question doesn't arise at all, in any way, whatever the fingering.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Tunborough »

ecadre wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:55 pm If you make a fipple, internal duct, flute that has a Recorder style fingering then it is by definition a Recorder. It's as simple as that really.
A recorder has a very particular bore profile and mouthpiece geometry. Even the interior profile of the windway is carefully considered. All of this produces a particular tonal character, quite different from a typical whistle. That's what makes a recorder, not just the fingering pattern.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Peter Duggan »

I agree with Tunborough here... even allowing for historically evolving recorder bores, e.g. medieval, renaissance, baroque etc.

I also thought Narzog's 'bagpipe or whistle?' question quite apposite. Far from suggesting we might call that instrument a bagpipe, the intentional absurdity of the question observes that it's clearly not. I'm quite happy to accept that a recorder-fingered whistle is not simply a recorder.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by pancelticpiper »

CPA wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:57 pm Hi everyone,

could someone explain to me the exact function of the thumb hole in Burke whistles, please? Thank you.
I've owned them, and I'm not quite sure either.

Here on this video jump to 4:01 to hear me demonstrate playing C natural both with the crossfingering and with the thumbhole.

(It's a Low Eb whistle so the sounding note is Db.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by ecadre »

Tunborough wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:37 pm
ecadre wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:55 pm If you make a fipple, internal duct, flute that has a Recorder style fingering then it is by definition a Recorder. It's as simple as that really.
A recorder has a very particular bore profile and mouthpiece geometry. Even the interior profile of the windway is carefully considered. All of this produces a particular tonal character, quite different from a typical whistle. That's what makes a recorder, not just the fingering pattern.
You're not contradicting anything I wrote, you're simply expanding upon the point I was making. Evidently the instrument envisaged successfully uses a recorder fingering system ... or what would be the point in mentioning it and calling it a recorder?

A while back on Redditt there was someone who was asking about the availability of a "tin whistle with recorder fingerings." What could be said other than they should be looking for a recorder? What kind of recorder, Baroque, Renaissance, modern, by or after some maker? Maybe they wanted a recorder that looked externally more like a tin whistle, maybe made out of aluminium or something? I don't know.

Point is, that there is no such thing as a tin whistle with recorder fingerings and no recorder/whistle hybrids. Just fipple flutes that successfully (did that really need to be said?) use a recorder fingering pattern and are called "recorders."
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Tunborough »

ecadre wrote: Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:09 pmPoint is, that there is no such thing as a tin whistle with recorder fingerings and no recorder/whistle hybrids. Just fipple flutes that successfully (did that really need to be said?) use a recorder fingering pattern and are called "recorders."
If it doesn't sound like a recorder, then it isn't one. Putting a Porsche steering wheel on a Volkswagen doesn't make it a 911.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by pancelticpiper »

Personally I think the popularity of the C natural thumbhole is driven by Boehm flute people taking up the whistle, rather than a Recorder connexion.

Really the Boehm flute has only two fundamental changes vis-a-vis the whistle, having C natural worked by the thumb, and having

xxx xoo

sound F natural.

This being the case I'm a bit surprised that there's not a demand for whistles with

xxx xoo

giving F natural, and F# being sounded by a lower-hand thumb-hole, or by crossfingering

xx oxx

as is encountered with Baroque fluteplaying.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by CPA »

pancelticpiper wrote: Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:28 am
CPA wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:57 pm Hi everyone,

could someone explain to me the exact function of the thumb hole in Burke whistles, please? Thank you.
I've owned them, and I'm not quite sure either.

Here on this video jump to 4:01 to hear me demonstrate playing C natural both with the crossfingering and with the thumbhole.

(It's a Low Eb whistle so the sounding note is Db.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8
Honestly, I haven't heard any differences in frequency either: in my ear the two sounds are homophones. But, what does the electronic tuner... say?
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by CPA »

ecadre wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:55 pm If you make a fipple, internal duct, flute that has a Recorder style fingering then it is by definition a Recorder. It's as simple as that really.

References to Saxophones. Boehm flutes and Venmos are just deliberately misunderstanding what was being said.

Also, when was a fipple flute ever a bagpipe? The question doesn't arise at all, in any way, whatever the fingering.
The basic distinctive criteria seem to me to be three: the absence of a slow air chamber, the presence of the open whistle (i.e. windway, labium and its open window) in the headboard, the tonal holes (i.e. that can be closed by the fingertips). This criterion should suffice to identify straight whistle flutes but perhaps not a British Isles whistle. I have a rigid view of this classification: if the upper tonal holes are 7, then the instrument is an Italian whistle (zufolo), if there are 6 upper tonal holes in the same zone, then it is a British whistle, if there are tonal holesat the bottom of the instrument, in number of one for octave jumps, then it is a recorder, for tone adjustment, then it is an experimental (non-traditional) whistle; think, for example, of the Clover whistles: they have a side vent hole that is not used.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by Peter Duggan »

CPA wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:46 am I have a rigid view of this classification
And I think that's a mistake!
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by CPA »

Peter Duggan wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:49 am
CPA wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:46 am I have a rigid view of this classification
And I think that's a mistake!
You're probably right but I'd like you to motivate it.
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Re: Thumb hole in Burke whistles

Post by CPA »

pancelticpiper wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 5:27 am Personally I think the popularity of the C natural thumbhole is driven by Boehm flute people taking up the whistle, rather than a Recorder connexion.

Really the Boehm flute has only two fundamental changes vis-a-vis the whistle, having C natural worked by the thumb, and having

xxx xoo

sound F natural.

This being the case I'm a bit surprised that there's not a demand for whistles with

xxx xoo

giving F natural, and F# being sounded by a lower-hand thumb-hole, or by crossfingering

xx oxx

as is encountered with Baroque fluteplaying.
Probably this fact is produced by a kind of traditionalist purism (reverence for history and traditions rather than for technological experimentation outside the box) present in Europe even in lovers of folk music.
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