Feb 8, 2010

Penny Whistle

You just can't have Irish music without a whistle. The whistle is a very ancient instrument, first made of bone and wood. I found this instructional video of a circa 1900 whistle. I was interested in hearing it because the book I'm working on is set in 1900.

Where did penny whistle get its name? There are a couple of theories. In 1843 Robert Clarke of England made the first tin whistle and possibly sold them for a penny. Or the name may have come from the fact that people would through pennies to street performers.

One of the best flute players (and the penny whistle was once called a vertical flute) is Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies. She plays a variety of flutes and whistles during her performances.

I've been told the the penny whistle is easy to learn. Well, maybe someday....

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