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 Post subject: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:30 pm 
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So as to not derail the thread in which this appeared:

pancelticpiper wrote:
Geebawn wrote:

Richard, have you seen this?

http://www.open-whistle.com/


I think I tried one of those when it was on tour.

I have a couple nice-playing Bolivian cane Quenas in G, and a Quenacho in low D, so I'm familiar with how to play those.

What puzzled me about the aluminum Quenacho/Low D Whistle thing I tried was how wide the notch was made, much wider than on my Low D Quenacho. It made the aluminum thing harder to play, for me anyhow.

I'd made a thing like that out of PVC pipe, copying the notch of my Quenacho but putting Irish Low Whistle style holes on it. I couldn't get the octaves right, don't know why.

In any case I should buy one of those "open whistles". I've sent an Email to that guy. Thanks for the link!


Anyone played one of these things?
Anyone know of a similar hybrid in a high D like a standard whistle?
Is this within the realm of a Celtic instrument and/or session-appropriate?


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:27 pm 
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I don't know why this was moved here, because those 'open flutes" made by that guy in Brittany are expressly for playing Irish traditional music, not a "world" instrument per se.

Yes he's taking the top of a Quenacho (or Kenakena) which is a big Quena (or Kena) in Low D, as played in Peru and Bolivia, and sticking on the body of an Irish Low D whistle, more or less.

I play Kena, and I have a very nice Kenakena in Low D. When hand cramping forced me to quit playing transverse flute I immediately thought of doing just what that Breton guy did, because it gives you the tone and performance of a transverse flute, but vertically.

I carefully copied the the notch of my Kenakena on a piece of PVC pipe, then cut fingerholes just like those on an Irish Low D whistle. The thing played great, but the 2nd octave was out of tune. I don't know enough about wind instrument design to know why.

I played an "open whistle" when it was on tour, here's the thread

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=86398

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Richard Cook Long Beach Pipe Band
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Richard, theorizing here but on a transverse flute there is space to the side of the the embouchure hole that is used to control the relationships between the octaves. If you blow from the end, the octave relationship would have to be controlled by embouchure and blowing. unless I'm way off base....


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:39 pm 
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I ended up ordering a D. I'll let you all know how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:39 pm 
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All I know is that with Quenas and Quenachos I can play them and they're in tune, but with my home-made Quenacho/Low Whistle ting the octaves were way off.

I very carefully copied the notch of my Quenacho, and got a very similar tone. I can only guess that the ID of the tubing was too wide or too narrow. Quenas and Quenachos, at least the ones I have, have a conical bore like an Irish flute, big at the top end, narrowing towards the bell end.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:23 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Quenas and Quenachos, at least the ones I have, have a conical bore like an Irish flute, big at the top end, narrowing towards the bell end.
That explains it. The conical bore makes all the difference to the tuning of the octaves.

Hmmm, I wonder if we could do something with a Fajardo-style wedge...


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:45 am 
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Speculating wildly here, but is there any kind of PVC-like material which could be shaped by heating, and getting a conical bore that way?


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:39 am 
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Yes put in a Fajardo Wedge

Image

but put it in the bottom of the thing rather than the top.

Could make a long one that simulates the conical bore of my cane Quenas, and recorders and Irish flutes.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:57 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
put it in the bottom of the thing rather than the top.
That would have to be an awfully long wedge to be effective. A real challenge to construct. The advantage of putting a wedge at the top is that it doesn't need to be nearly as long to make a difference.

Do you still have your attempt at a PVC open whistle? If you're willing to take some detailed measurements from it, I could let you know what might be possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:17 am 
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I appreciate it, I have to find that thing.

It was annoying because I got the cut of the notch just right, got a great tone. ("Just right" being a good duplicate of the notch on my Low D Quenacho.)

BTW the top hole, Hole 1, on Quenas is very large.

I tend to dislike Irish whistles and flutes made like that. There's a "classic" position and size of Hole 1 as seen on 19th century wooden orchestral flutes and the vast majority of whistles, which results in the typical small/medium/small hole sizes for the index/middle/ring fingers of the upper hand.

This usually results in an open C# that's a tad flat (to ET anyhow) and a lovely in-tune crossfingered C natural oxx ooo.

Some makers want to get that open C# fully up to pitch and make Hole 1 huge. That of course spoils crossfingered C natural and can also spoil Hole 1's third role as a vent for Middle D. (Boehm speaks to the multiple duties of that hole which caused him to make it smaller and higher than he considered ideal.)

These last two considerations don't enter into the Quenacho which has a thumb hole for Middle D, and chromatic notes which are half-holed.

From the photos of the Open Whistle is seems that Hole 1 is Quena-like and far too large for playing Irish flute and whistle in the normal way.

Here's the typical hole layout on Quenachos

Image

Here's a Goldie Low D with normal holes, and Davy Spillane's Low D with unusually big holes

Image

Note that the lower-hand hole configuration is similar, giving the same scale and notes on both Quenacho and Low D whistle. However the Quenacho has that huge Hole 1, in fact all three upperhand holes tend to be large as you can see.

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Richard Cook Long Beach Pipe Band
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:35 am 
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Well, mine should be shipped ca. January 25th and then we should know.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:03 am 
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Hole 1 looks big in the Open Whistle photos, and his fingering chart gives oxx xxo for C natural, which indicates a Hole 1 larger than is normal in Irish woodwinds.

I look forward to hearing about your findings.

I've written him about this issue, sadly my French is practically nonexistent. I do have, happily, a family member who works as a French translator, and I hope this will help me communicate my desire to have an Irish-style Hole 1.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:41 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
All I know is that with Quenas and Quenachos I can play them and they're in tune, but with my home-made Quenacho/Low Whistle ting the octaves were way off.

I very carefully copied the notch of my Quenacho, and got a very similar tone. I can only guess that the ID of the tubing was too wide or too narrow. Quenas and Quenachos, at least the ones I have, have a conical bore like an Irish flute, big at the top end, narrowing towards the bell end.


This could explain it. The taper in a flute is designed to help control the octave tuning. That was one of the great advancements of the baroque era flute as I understand it.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:29 pm 
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I am horrible at playing any of these, but this is my opinion.

The holes are dependent on the key and range and the instrument. Narrow bore forces you up the scale, but then you have to deal with odd sized holes that are hard to half finger. Narrow bore has a weaker octave and you need to let loose, upper octave is loud and you need to be sweet.

I have found that the fife and flute allows me to expand the force and pitch of those limits. Notch flutes are great for expanding range power and flexibility. I mostly like the traverse flutes.

Made an end blown willow flute from PVC. Fun, hard, doesn't make music yet just run the scales.

Enjoyable but different. Just like every instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: Open Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:11 am 
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My new project is based on my recent discovery of the Nuvo flute with curved headjoint, the white flutes on the right side

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDNT2Os3x4A

I measured the ID of a length of Schedule 40 white PVC pipe I have, and it's 19mm which is the standard bore for the Boehm flute AFAIK.

I ordered one of those white plastic curved Nuvo headjoints for $35. My plan is to stick the Nuvo Boehm headjoint on a 19mm ID PVC body with fingerholes placed like a Low D Whistle and see what happens. What I hope happens is a thing that plays sort of like a flute but is played vertically like a whistle.

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


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