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Topic: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

  1. #1

    Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Hi Everyone

    Well how's this for an orchestration idea. I play the tinwhistle's (in C, D and Eb) and Uilleann pipes. It would really be wonderful if someone would be to be able to wright some works for these instruments (for free). I know there is a lot of talent on this forum; and I'm sure some would have fun experimenting with unusual instruments. The work however may never be performed, yet it'd be a bit of fun to collaborate and say that it is 'at least doable.'

    The quality of the whistle (pitch wise) is somewhere between the flute and piccalo. Listen to the live recordings of Aaron Copland's "Scene from a Frontier Town: from Billy the Kid" as an example of how the whistle can be used in orchestration. From what I can tell in this work the whistle is pitched in Eb. At present however I do not know of any sound library too which the whistles are native though. Which could be a bit of a problem; if you want to compose for the sake of hearing your work in GPO.

    You may like to note that the whistles are not transposing instruments, and they are all pitched to concert pitch. The C whistle plays from middle C to two octaves above (all whistles can only play two octaves). You can achieve the third by overblowing but it is unreliable. The Eb is a tone and a half above middle C. The D is a complete tone below middle C. Semitones are achievable through crossfingering. However it is advised not to do so in faster sections such as runs. It is almost impossible to do in those situations. Because this is an ancient instrument you must forget that dynamics (in the modern form) are not possible. Although on some instruments you can get colour variations through breath control.

    So what do you say? It could even be a team effort between multiple members on this forum. If it is decided to be performed, maybe Garry Garritan could sponsor the event, capture the sound and release the tinwhistle in future versions of GPO.

    Cheers L42B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle


    Thanks for teling us about the whistle.

    I had many ocassion to play Irish traditional music on my harps with a tin wistler.It's a wonderful little instrument. And the Uilleann pipes are such an expressive instrument.

    There are many talented people here who I am sure can write for tin wistle and other instruments. I hope members of the forum will rise to the challenge.

    It would be a good idea to sample more whistles and pipes and if you are interested in doing so, please email me.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    What a fascinating proposal, L42B

    After your appreciated explanation of the Tinwhistle's unique limitations, the idea of writing specifically for it sounds a bit daunting.

    The idea you had at the end of your post, for it to be a team Forum makes the challenge sound less daunting.

    And look at Gary's enthusiastic response--Maybe you can work with him on the samples idea you had.

    Meanwhile, I can be rather facile with ideas, so would enjoy trying some ideas out for your instrument. Others could join in--especially I would need assistance with the notation side of things, since I don't work with Notation programs at all.

    I'll be contacting you. Thanks for the very interesting post!

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Hi Gary see your email account. Meanwhile here is a sample of me playing the Uilleann Pipes, the piece is called the Fox Chase and it is Seamus Enniss' version http://tinwhistletunes.com/clipssnip...ox%20Chase.mp3.

    Cheers L42B

  5. #5

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle


    I've played the tin whistle part in Billy the Kid (the ballet suite). It's actually scored in the percussion part and keyed in Ab, but I was able to use a richer-sounding Db pipe because there weren't any G's in the melody.

    I've always admired Celtic music, and find the tin whistle extremely pretty, even haunting in the right setting. What kind of "backing" are you looking for? And style-wise, would you prefer Celtic, or something more adventurous?

  6. #6

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Hi DarwinKopp and Tom

    DarwinKopp if you where willing, it'd be wonderful. I was thinking a sort of film score/romantic idea. Much like some of the Braveheart and The Brendan Voyage tracks. Don't feel frightened to score in drones and regulator accompinament as well. On that note you may whish to set the score up so that these instruments are miced. They'd be overpowered next to a full orchestra; if you where not carefull.

    Tom does the Bela D's Anthology #1 allow for regulator accompaniment (the backing chords in The Fox Chase)? Me and Gary where thinking of doing a set (i.e. flat pitch as well as concert pitched pipes and whistles) and realesing it in GPO and perhapse Finale and Sibelius at a later stage. That way you don't have two seperate sound libraries.

    Cheers L42B

  7. #7

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Hi Gary

    Did you recieve my email? \

    On that note David and Tom, you may like to right in a Harp Solo for Gary as well. Don't feel frightened to use different instruments in the orchestra either; to maintane interest. That way there is something for everyone in the work. Let us know what you come up with.

    Cheers L42B

  8. #8

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    The tin whistle idea is amazing. One could envision an entire Garritan Ethnic Library including Irish instruments, the African, the Latin, the Indian, the Appalachian, etc. I love playing the tin whistle. The Chieftains (Paddy Moloney) were one of my favorites (until the death of the gifted harpist Derek Bell). Please add my name to the request list!

  9. #9

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Bela D Media has a cool Celtic sample library - http://www.beladmedia.com/celtic-wind.htm - that I believe is discussed elsewhere on this Northern Sounds site. At least the demos sound authentic and cool - I dunno how easy it is to work with. Price is very reasonable also.

    I am a whistler too - just got back from the weekly pub session here in Dallas. Would love to see more original music written for it.

  10. #10

    Re: Idea for composition: The Tinwhistle

    Hi Everyone

    If you a willing to be involved in this project (that may go ahead). Please leve a message here so that myself and Garry can get in contact with you; to discuss ideas etc. All I can say at present is that things are moving in a positive direction. However I do not want to say any more details about the project until Garry makes a formal announcement. As the project is in its very early stages.

    Cheers L42B

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