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 Post subject: Tounging?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Hi all,
I come from a fife and whistle back round and I am now learning to play flute. I play ITM.
My question is should I be tounging every note, like on the fife, or, blowing like on the whistle?
Or should I be using a combination of the two? I seem to have the best success when I use a combination of the two. Any thoughts? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:21 pm 
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The combination of the two.
There are a lot of players who
don't tongue at all. See what works
but definitely not fife tonguing.

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Last edited by oleorezinator on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:07 pm 
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There's a lot to be said about this, and also some controversy, or at least, different techniques. I virtually never tongue. I use glottal stops, something I learned from Catherine McEvoy in a workshop. If you don't know about it, it's like what you do when you separate notes in mouthwhistling. You stop the breath and then start it, quickly.

On the other hand one well-known Irish flute teacher advised me to tongue, though I think that is a minority view (which of course doesn't make it wrong).

Either way one doesn't articulate every note with one's breath. Often (mostly, for me) the tune flows along note to note--punctuated occasionally by finger ornaments.

I favor glottals, anyhow--your mileage may differ.


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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Someone once asked Matt Molloy what he did with his tongue. He replied that he tried to keep it out of his way. . . . :lol:

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:09 am 
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Having enjoyed this vintage (1981) RTE doc on the playing of Josie McDermott, I was startled to see a couple of tunes played on a Clarke Black & Diamond D whistle. He got a lovely sound, but it was startling to see that unlike his fluting, he played whistle much more stacatto, with a lot of tongued triplets that weren't present in his fluting. Am I imagining it, or do others see the same?

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Last edited by s1m0n on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:27 am 
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Re Josie McDermott; I was intrigued by the same thing. He did mention that he played the trumpet early on so perhaps that's where the tonguing (especially the triple tonguing) came from. Much of the flute playing in the video was laments/airs where one wouldn't expect as much staccato playing but I didn't hear much in the short dance music clips either.

Best wishes.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:31 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
Having enjoyed this vintage (1981) RTE doc on the playing of Josie McDermott, I was startled to see a couple of tunes played on a Clarke Black & Diamond D whistle. He got a lovely sound, but it was startling to see that unlike his fluting, he played whistle much more stacatto, with a lot of tongued triplets that weren't present in my fluting. Am I imagining it, or do others see the same?


I remember that as well, and you can hear it in his recordings where he plays whistle. A lot of people who play whistle and flute have different styles on the two instruments. Catherine McEvoy, for example, is an excellent whistle player (and piano player!) in addition to playing the flute, and her whistle playing is quite different from her flute style (and she tongues on the whistle but almost never uses her tongue when playing the flute).

I think it's good to separate the concept of articulation (separating notes) from the technique used for articulation. Sure, you could say "don't use fife-style tonguing on the flute" where every note is cleanly separated from every other note, but in fact some great Irish flute players do this (albeit mostly with glottal stops, not tonguing). Conal O'Grada wrote in his flute tutor that he uses glottal stops on nearly every note, which means each note is clearly separated, not slurred or legato as you'd hear in the playing of someone like Matt Molloy or Mike McGoldrick.

A good approach to learning about the use of articulation is to listen to lots of flute players to get a sense of the diversity of styles. That will give you a sense of the range of possibilities, and you will naturally gravitate toward the styles that appeal to you most -- some people will tend to play more legato and others will use more separation; the approach can vary by tune as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 am 
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jim stone wrote:
it's like what you do when you separate notes in mouthwhistling. You stop the breath and then start it, quickly.

More precisely the second syllable of double tonguing (i.e. the kuh of tuh-kuh.) or coughing.
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On the other hand one well-known Irish flute teacher advised me to tongue, though I think that is a minority view (which of course doesn't make it wrong).
The well known teacher was absolutely correct as its another way to articulate with a definite start and stop with the breath. I've heard a very fine whistle player play slow airs without stopping the breath with the tongue resulting in the note dropping pitch every time. So at least stop the breath with a glottal stop or the tongue.

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:22 pm 
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The "kuh" sound comes from the tongue hitting the roof of the mouth (hence "triple tonguing"). Glottal stops/coughing come from the glottis, located in the throat near the Adam's apple. If you are doing glottal stops, you can feel the glottis working. If you say "uh-oh" in a medium voice, you will feel the glottis at the beginning of saying "-oh". You can get a sense of what multiple glottal stops feel like by saying uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh aloud quickly. From there it isn't hard to go from getting the feeling of your glottis opening and closing without vocalizing (too much).

Hugh

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:07 pm 
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flutefry wrote:
The "kuh" sound comes from the tongue hitting the roof of the mouth (hence "triple tonguing"). Glottal stops/coughing come from the glottis, located in the throat near the Adam's apple. If you are doing glottal stops, you can feel the glottis working. If you say "uh-oh" in a medium voice, you will feel the glottis at the beginning of saying "-oh". You can get a sense of what multiple glottal stops feel like by saying uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh aloud quickly. From there it isn't hard to go from getting the feeling of your glottis opening and closing without vocalizing (too much).

Hugh

Right. Either way it works. The kuh is closer to a glottal stop in the way that it sounds.

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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:12 am 
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Is there perhaps a middle way between the no-tongue-at-all approach ( articulating either with glottal stops or the fingers) and single tongueings using "t" and double tongueing based on "tk-tk-tk"? Modern wind pedagogy tends to be rather reductive, so these are the articulations (with a slighter softer “d” or “dg-dg” for legato) that are almost invariably taught. But in earlier times, a far subtler, more varied and usually softer range of tongueings was prescribed, in manuals such as Ganassi's recorder tutor published in 1535. The aim was to produce a vocal style on wind instruments, with pairs of notes that were strong-weak, strong-weak etc. Compound tongueings were not simply an aid to faster playing either. They were prescribed for slow passages too, in order to create a more eloquent line The closest modern equivalent to the range of articulation in Ganassi at al is probably "doodle tonguing" - ("ddl-ddl-ddl" ) as a fluent and smoother alternative to "tk=tk=tk". It has been widely adopted by jazz musicians and it works especially well on flutes and recorders and presumably whistles. Give it a try if you never have. It is surprisingly natural. Is it used at all in trad-style playing? And it could its serve as a compromise in the eternal debate over the use of the tongue?


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 Post subject: Re: Tounging?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:00 am 
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"Doodle tonguing" is moving us into Brian Finnegan territory, where tonguing is all-important. I sometimes "doodle-tongue" a triplet (often Bcd) to give it a bit more definition.

My philosophy is to add whatever I can to the armoury: glottalling as a general rule but subtle tonguing for variety and added emphasis, e.g. at the start of a rolled note.

On the subject of Josie McDermott, the notes to "Darby's Farewell" suggest he had a "lazy left hand" in his youth which hindered A and B rolls, so he developed tongued triplets as an alternative. He eventually learned the rolls but kept the tonguing as well.


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