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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:14 am 
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If you look again at the picture I posted from the 1897 Sears catalog you can see what looks to me to be the wing of an eagle stamped on it.



They're branded Nightingale flageolets. Would the eagle be the likely choice of bird to display on them ?


:P

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:17 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
fatmac wrote:
Those letters designate the key that they are tuned to, they are diatonic, meaning that not all notes are present on any one instrument.


Penny whistles are actually chromatic.

Keyless (so-called "Irish") flutes are also chromatic.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatonic_scale
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_scale

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:05 pm 
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Tin whistles are certainly not designed to be chromatic instruments, even though they can be played chromatically with a lot of practice. Similar to a diatonic blues harp which can also be played chromatically but it is really hard. Examples of a chromatically played whistle:
https://youtu.be/eOmba730e0A
And chromatically played blues harp (music starts at around 3:40):
https://youtu.be/cSn17Uzr85M


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:59 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Tin whistles are certainly not designed to be chromatic instruments, even though they can be played chromatically with a lot of practice.


Well, whistles are designed to play music!

I find it's more a matter of musicians (whistle players in particular) are seemingly not designed to play their instruments beyond the two major / two minor tradition.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
If you look again at the picture I posted from the 1897 Sears catalog you can see what looks to me to be the wing of an eagle stamped on it.



They're branded Nightingale flageolets. Would the eagle be the likely choice of bird to display on them ?


:P


Americans gave daft names to all kinds of products in those days. Still do, as evidenced by car model names.

I have the catalog in question and under magnification am not convinced that the whistle depicted in the advert is the same as the whistle under consideration. The decoration below the putative eagle wing is quite different and there's no "U". Nor am I convinced it is nòt the whistle under consideration. I am convinced that the woodcut artist at least had a good idea what a penny whistle looks like in general terms and may have had a whistle to model his engraving after.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:55 pm 
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Geez there's no doubt whistles are intended as diatonic instruments. I mean generations have a label on them: "D, Bb, Eb, C etc." That's because the company that makes them thinks they're diatonic.

You can get more out of them--even I can, and I'm not very good. But insisting they are "really" chromatic is kind of like insisting an airplane is "really" a bird. A mountain dulcimer, for example, is intended as a diatonic instrument. You can get more out of it but you pretty quickly just get into "why not just play a guitar."

Also in the 19th century Americans slathered eagle images all over the place.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:10 pm 
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Wow! You guys are great. I am definitely getting an education. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:36 pm 
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What1cand0 wrote:
Wow! You guys are great. I am definitely getting an education. Thanks!

Oh, geez... Don't encourage them :shock:

Best wishes,

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:40 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
Geez there's no doubt whistles are intended as diatonic instruments. I mean generations have a label on them: "D, Bb, Eb, C etc." That's because the company that makes them thinks they're diatonic.


All that means is the instrument is in a certain key.

Quote:
You can get more out of them--even I can, and I'm not very good. But insisting they are "really" chromatic is kind of like insisting an airplane is "really" a bird. A mountain dulcimer, for example, is intended as a diatonic instrument. You can get more out of it but you pretty quickly just get into "why not just play a guitar."


Poor analogy: woodwind instruments, and in particular the simple system instruments, are not built that way. I get where you're coming from, but I read the claim that "whistles can only play in two keys" or "whistles can't play accidentals" or "whistles are diatonic" often enough that the response by now is automatic. I'm not "insisting" that they're chromatic. They are chromatic by nature.

(Sorry Steve, too late!)

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:31 pm 
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I told you this should have its own thread.

Can I play a chromatic scale on a whistle? Yeah. Though some do not lend themselves to this as well as others. That said.... If I'm playing a piece with others, and that piece is in C... I'm like as not to grab a C whistle.

Does the fact that a chromatic scale can be played on a whistle make it a chromatic instrument? I don't think so. The scale can be played but not easily or cleanly. Some notes will be weak. Some a wee bit off. Unlike an instrument designed from the gate that will play the notes clear, strong and on... Consistently.

A clarinet is a chromatic instrument. A Boehm system flute is a chromatic instrument. A whistle is designed to be used as a diatonic instrument. A keyless flute is a diatonic instrument. If the maker had intended it to be chromatic, there would be some accommodation to facilitate a chromatic scale. There isn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:48 am 
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It's not really a turn in the discussion I want to get in too much but I can't help noticing some late 19th century French whistles seem to have been designed to enable a near full range of accidentals using forked fingerings (you still have half hole the 'e flat').

The tapered Mathieus and the one pictured below seem to share that facility. But you can't do it on a cylindrical Mathieu.

Image

And while recycling old snaps, here's the usual odd one out:

Image

I'll leave it at that.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:04 am 
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I just came across this: a very early recording (1903) of tin whistle with singer Dan Quinn, a popular vaudeville performer and "stage irishman" in the late 19th and early 20th century.

http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/detail.php?query_type=mms_id&query=990026249540203776&r=4&of=6 It's the earliest recording of time whistle I've come across. Not especially interesting playing, just interesting as an artifact.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:19 am 
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There few early recordings of whistleplayers, and even fewer we'd consider any good.

Here is one little bit from 1905-ish, tacked onto the end of one of the Henebry cylinders. One of the earliest from Ireland I can think of.

The whole Henebry collection used to be up at UCC after an extensive digitising and editing project, but unfortunately that has been taken down. A lot of material RH recorded himself, including the singers but also the Touheys and McFadden and the rest he exchanged with O'Neill. Should have downloaded while they were there I suppose.

This thread is going all over the place by now but I suppose the original topic has dried up a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:34 am 
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Rare-Vinta ... 2599119904

I dont know if you can get this picture, but this button shows the insignia of the Union enlisted men in the Civil War. The eagle is exactly the same as on the whistle. So, i decided to make an offer on the whistle i was looking at with the rough soldering job. I offered a lot less thn he was asking (thanks to your advice) and he accepted. So my first whistle for mt Civil War display is on it's way. I am sure when I get it, i will have a lot more questions. Thanks to all of you for sharing,

Jane


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 Post subject: Re: Tin penny whistle
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:46 am 
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Original Civil War Union Eagle Coat Size Button Non-Excavated 1861-1865 Certified By The Gettysburg Museum Of History

https://www.gettysburgmuseumofhistory.c ... history-2/


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