A Conversation for How to Play the Tin Whistle

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Post 1

Ariadni (Keeper of Dolphins and Cinnamon Incense)

I started playing the recorder when I was 5 and by the age of 12 I was quite good at it. We had a school orchestra of mainly recorders and we were playing some quite complicated pieces of music (mainly arias from operas and such). Since I left school of course I have not played so much but I have quite a 'good ear' so I can pick up a melody and usually manage to reproduce it reasonably well smiley - smiley
[My boyfriend challenged me once and was subsequently shocked when I managed to come up with the BlackAdder theme tune on my first attempt]. I am not always that successful though smiley - smiley

I always liked the sound of the tin whistle and since I went to a Corrs concert last month I was wondering how difficult it would be form me to learn the tin whistle.

I have not read your entry in detail yet, but I think with your help I can make it happen smiley - smiley Can I come back for pointers if I get stuck?

Thanks a lot,
Ariadni


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Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

Post your questions here, but to be sure I see them, leave me a message on my "Personal Space" as well. Things can be quite busy and I might not see your message before it gets buried in other messages.


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Post 3

Ariadni (Keeper of Dolphins and Cinnamon Incense)

Thanks a lot for that. I have not started my attempts yet,
but I guess the first two hurdles that I would have to overcome would be:

a) naming conventions, you see in Greece where I come from we call the notes differently to what you do in England (we use things like Do, Re, Mi, Fa etc.) and not C, G, D, E and the rest. So I will have to find out which is which.

b) the different key issue. As you mentioned most tin whisles are D based and this is not the key I learned to play recorder in (I don't know for sure - because of a) whether my recorder was C or G based)

c) it is been so long since I did any music, that I don't even think I can read the notes anymore smiley - sadface

So hey, it might take me a bit longer than it should normally, but I should be able to get there smiley - smiley


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Post 4

Gnomon - time to move on

The names of the notes:

do = C
re = D
mi = E
fa = F
so = G
la = A
ti = B

I think this is right. It certainly is the system that is used in Italy.

Recorders are based on C (do) or F (fa). The normal one for children to learn on has C as the bottom note. It is about 30cm long and is called a Soprano Recorder. The bigger Alto recorder is about 48cm long and has F as the lowest note.

It shouldn't matter if the recorder you learnt on before is in a different key to the tin whistle. What is important is what type of music you are going to play and who you will play it with. If you want to play Irish Traditional music, it will almost always be suitable for playing on a D Tin Whistle. If you want to play Greek Traditional Music, it will probably be in some other key. I don't know anything about Greek music.


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Post 5

Ariadni (Keeper of Dolphins and Cinnamon Incense)

Thanks for the translation. It looks 100% correct to me.
The recorder I was playing was a Soprano (C based one) our orchestra had some alto's as well, but usually older boys were playing them (just because it required people with bigger fingers since they are longer and the gaps between the wholes are greater).

As for the change in the key what I meant is that I would probably have to 'retrain' my ear to recognise the notes in the differnet - D based - scale since I am going to have a go in Irish music.

Hey Tin Whisle and Irish music go hand in hand smiley - smiley so better start within the compounds of the correct music environment and then experiment with new ones (if I feel very brave).

Thanks a lot for your help so far,
Kind Regards,
Ariadni


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Post 6

typolifi

Thanks for the entry. I really like the tin whistle because I can take it almost everywhere.
BTW The original name for G is not so but sol, and for B it's not ti but si. They're still used as such in France.
And Germans have an additional H for Bb.

The names ut re mi fa sol la si come from a latin prayer, they were the first words of each verse. Ut was later replaced by do ( first syllabe of domine, which was the first word of the last verse ) because it was rather simpler to have a word beginning with a consoun for the singers.


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Post 7

Gnomon - time to move on

France still uses Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si

Italy changed Ut to Do. I'm not sure whether they use Sol and Si?

In England, Curwen invented the movable do tonic solfa system he changed Sol to So and Si to Ti. (in order that they were all
the same length and started with different letters).


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Post 8

typolifi

Kepz!
Thanks! I didn't know about Curwen... Same lenght and same composition: 1 consoun to let the sound out, and 1 vowel to hold it.
typo


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Post 9

Gnomon - time to move on

By the way, H in Germany is not Bb.

German H = English B
German B = English Bb

Bach spelt out his name in notes as a theme in one of his compositions. Legend has it that about three bars after introducing the them B-A-C-H, he felt so unwell that he stopped composing. The next day, he worked on a different composition. The following day he died.


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Post 10

typolifi

In the region were the bach family lives, people say "bach" for musician. Wonder what they say for little river.


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