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Whistling

Andy7 25 Mar 17 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 17 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Modette 25 Mar 17 - 03:43 PM
Gutcher 25 Mar 17 - 03:46 PM
Newport Boy 25 Mar 17 - 04:26 PM
Johnny J 25 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 25 Mar 17 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Modette 25 Mar 17 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Mar 17 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Grishka 25 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM
Thompson 25 Mar 17 - 07:23 PM
The Sandman 25 Mar 17 - 08:24 PM
Acorn4 26 Mar 17 - 03:35 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 17 - 05:46 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 17 - 07:27 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 17 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Mar 17 - 07:43 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 17 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 26 Mar 17 - 08:35 AM
Gutcher 26 Mar 17 - 09:02 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 17 - 09:14 AM
Gutcher 26 Mar 17 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 26 Mar 17 - 10:46 AM
Elmore 26 Mar 17 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Jim Bainbridge 26 Mar 17 - 04:34 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 17 - 04:51 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 17 - 05:42 PM
Bugsy 27 Mar 17 - 01:10 AM
Thompson 27 Mar 17 - 03:39 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Mar 17 - 05:28 AM
Thompson 27 Mar 17 - 09:45 AM
leeneia 27 Mar 17 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 27 Mar 17 - 01:24 PM
Thompson 27 Mar 17 - 09:24 PM
michaelr 27 Mar 17 - 11:38 PM
Andy7 28 Mar 17 - 07:34 AM
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Subject: Whistling
From: Andy7
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 03:06 PM

Why is whistling so ignored as a musical instrument?

There are a few recordings of whistled tunes, e.g. by Roger Whittaker. And there are a few songs with whistled sections. But these are few and far between.

You can't whistle words, of course - but a lack of words never harmed the violin, the flute, the piano, etc. etc.

Whistling really is the poor relation of singing! There are just 2 ways that we humans can create melodic music without outside help. Why is one of them so ignored?


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 03:17 PM

Perhaps the flute, the flageolet and the recorder just do a far better job!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 03:43 PM

Only two ways, Andy7? You've clearly lead a very sheltered, and odour-free, life. My aunt Fionnuala was a great whistler, but not a patch on this guy. Seán White


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Gutcher
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 03:46 PM

The chap I bought my business from served during WW11 with a soldier named Ronnie Ronaldo who I believe made a number of records of solo whistling.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Newport Boy
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 04:26 PM

I listened a lot to Ronnie Ronalde in the 50s & 60s. One of his good ones was
Mocking Bird Hill

Strictly Ronnie - no sound effects, etc.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Johnny J
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zQQ5sEOhbjQ 


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 04:39 PM

the bridge over the river kwai


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 05:26 PM

Actually, I can think of at least six ways the human body can create melodies (and I've led a sheltered life).


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 06:29 PM

Dear Modette,

Please expand upon your comment.

I know the lips, and the peculiar French performer, "Le Pete Mane" (sic) and also I hve witnessed, the arm-pits.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Expand


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM

Although there are plenty of counter-examples, the point still holds: whistling has come out of fashion, I think, since the 1950s. The same can be said of many other activities that have become too closely associated with that petit-bourgeois lifestyle - regardless of their objective usefulness or quality.

Whistling opens several octaves to unaccompanied music that are not covered by human voices; for this reason alone, musicians should cherish the idea. Furthermore, there are many things a mouth whistler can do that are impossible on a tin whistle or flute.

Those who remember the fifties (and were later attended to by Roger Whittacker and the like) are slowly retiring from the scene; so here's a new chance. Go for it!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Thompson
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 07:23 PM

Whistling is a victim of the carefree fashion - which lasted from the Neolithic until the 1970s - of men singing and whistling while at their work. The mere idea of this would now astonish the young, but I remember printers stopping working to join in a chorus - operatic, sean-nós, Orange ballads, current hits - when one man started to sing. I remember the milkman delivering milk while whistling with many ornamentations and trills and warbles. I remember newsboys tunefully shouting the names of the papers (in earlier years they shouted the headlines too). Boys whistled and played as they ran or cycled to school. Men working on the streets whistled. Delivery boys whistled or sang on their bikes.

All this has fallen silent and now there's a dour and doleful lack of tune. How can you expect a child being carried in the back of his parents' car, with the radio playing, to sing or whistle. And adults now regard it as an undignified exposure to sing or to whistle. And so another skill goes down the drain.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 08:24 PM

interesting


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Acorn4
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 03:35 AM

Most modern stuff is just so tuneless there's nothing to whistle!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 05:46 AM

If I'm pushing my wagon around Tesco and a man near me happens to be whistling (it's always a man...), I feel like grabbing him by the lapels and giving him a damn good eyeballing. We're in Tesco, dammit, and there's nothing to be cheerful about (unless there's 25% off six bottles, of course). Don't ask me why. Whistling that falls short of virtuosic can be so bloody annoying.

I can whistle equally well on the inhale and the exhale. Which is not to say that my whistling is good. It isn't. It's best if I refrain from whistling near people.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 07:27 AM

Steve you are whistling in the wind


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 07:36 AM

At least I'm not whistling in the dark!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 07:43 AM

I whistle all the time, and don't realise that l'm doing it.
The other day I was in cafe, and on the way out, a fellow customer asked me the name of the tune that I was whistling when I entered the cafe.
I couldn't remember, of course.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 07:44 AM

When you're determined not to let someone have what they want, you say, "he can whistle for that." Odd!

A good old film, made around Pendle, was Whistle Down The Wind. I think the best ghost story ever was Whistle And I'll Come To You. You can't laugh and whistle at the same time, so it's a good job The Laughing Cavalier wasn't painted by Whistler.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 08:35 AM

Not sure it has all gone away completely, still come across a bit of this sort of thing


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Gutcher
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 09:02 AM

"Whistle An I"ll Come Tae Ye Ma Lad" one of our Rabbies if my memory serves.

Does the modern Miss still answer the call?


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 09:14 AM

Ah, I was thinking of the title of the 1968 BBC drama.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Gutcher
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 10:46 AM

Not having a TV then or now I could not comment


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 10:46 AM

No one mentioned kaiser bills batman yet !               I whistle as a closing section on one of my songs , though it' would probably be sufficiently poor to upset Steve lol!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 10:50 AM

I find whistling, especially as the bridge to a really good song, quite annoying.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,Jim Bainbridge
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 04:34 PM

I was asked to judge the 'whistling' competition at the TMSA festival in Kinross, about 1974?? I was a little surprised to find this was not for tin-whistling, but for the kind discussed here.
The rules were the same as for instruments, ie a jig a reel, strathspey etc.
All went well until, a local man, who had misread the nature of the competition in a different way, proceeded to do the most amazing series of bird impressions.
His supporters (they were several and large and full of drink) roared their approval so I was in a quandary, to say the least!
Now I'm not keen on competitions in the first place & will probably face trouble from the TMSA, but there was only one decent entry and several lesser attempts.
So 'yer man' got the second place & all were happy enough...


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 04:51 PM

Whistle while you work!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 17 - 05:42 PM

Pte. Pike: [Singing] Whistle while you work, Hitler is a twerp, he's half-barmy, so's his army, whistle while you work!


U-boat Captain: Your name will also go on the list! What is it?


Mainwaring: Don't tell him Pike!


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Bugsy
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 01:10 AM

My dad whistled all the time. He had a particular tune that he'd whistle if he wanted to find us in a large store, like Woolworths or Littlewoods.

My brother and I both whistle constantly. Our wives hate it, but.... Ne'er mine eh?

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 03:39 AM

I would like to boast here. My mother, in common with many of her generation, saw life in a world of predatory men as a constant danger for girls. She told me that all women should, at all times, carry a whistle.
So… a few centuries later and there's a huge demo in Dublin. Unlike the normal scruffs who march against injustice, this one was run mainly by civil servants, so naturally there were corporate gifts - they gave out whistles so the marchers could whistle along with "One two three - End Austerity! Three, four five six-y - Shove the IMF up your jacksie!" or whatever we were shouting.
In memory of my mother I put the green whistle and its green string in my bag, and carried it around ever since, along with all the other urgent necessities her upbringing mandated in case one needed to flee from whatever - cash, a passport, a measuring tape (centimetres and inches), a map of the city with main attractions marked (helpful for tourists), and so on.
So I go for my normal morning cycle along the river and decide, since it's a particularly beautiful day, to follow the river out to the strand.
The tide is waaaaay out, and in the far distance are three people, who can distantly be heard shouting. Now, on this beach, when the tide turns it does it with a vengeance, and while (thank heaven) there have been no recent fatalities, there have been emergencies. So I stop and dither, staring out at them.
A woman joins me, and we both stare out, shading our eyes. Then she exclaims, "It's a dog! Look, their dog's over there and it can't see them!"
Dogs, you see, can't see for a long way above the waves if they're swimming or in the sea; it's why emergency services are regularly called out to rescue dogs that have swum out to collect a ball that's flung too far, and are swimming bravely towards what they think is shore but is in fact the next country across the way.
So I remember my mother's thoughts, and fish in my bag and pull out the whistle and start blasting on it, while the unfortunate woman reels back covering her ears. Next thing, the dog suddenly orients, and goes racing towards his people, and the four of them start walking in towards the other end of the strand.
Of course, if I'd ever succeeded in learning how to blast a whistle with two fingers stuck in my mouth - a skill my father tried and failed to teach me - "You have to make your mouth like the inside of a whistle, with your tongue like the pea!" - I wouldn't need mechanical aids. There are some things that should be taught in school, and should be part of the Leaving Cert, A Levels, SATs, etc, and this is definitely one of them.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 05:28 AM

I wish I could do that. Never managed to be taught it. Any tips? I can make a massive, shrieking, high-pitched noise with a blade of grass stretched between my thumbs and blown, and I can do that thing where you make your hands into a hollow ball with a gap between your thumbs into which you blow and make a sound like a ghostly owl. I can even make it do a vibrato. But that two-finger whistle is a skill I lust after.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 09:45 AM

Since I've almost never succeeded, take my advice under advisement, but my da said you should curl your tongue back so the very tip was on the ridge behind your teeth. There's a guide
here; still can't do it.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 11:02 AM

I have suffered hearing damage from loud noise, and my ears are sensitive. That loud, two-finger whistle is painful to me and others like me.

If you are outside with your dog or kids and need to round them up, that whistle is appropriate. But in a theater - please don't!

As for musical whistling, I produced my first, faint whistling noise at the age of four. I was thrilled. Now, some years later, I enjoy whistling tunes and bird sounds.

Sometimes I whistle little snippets while hardly aware of it, and after church a certain woman has repeatedly said, "Don't you know that a whistling girl and crowing hen - both will come to no good end?" Finally I said to her, "I whistle because I'm happy. Do you dislike it that I'm happy?" That shut her up.

Bugsy, my husband and I find each other in large stores or the library by whistling. Few people notice, and nobody seems to mind.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 01:24 PM

"Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad"

I read it in an anthology of short stories, never saw a dramatic adaptation. Trust me, it is plenty spooky as ink on paper. Can't remember the name of the author.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 09:24 PM

In a theatre? When does that happen?
In Ireland, by the way, it's "A whistling woman and a crowing hen/ Will bring the Devil from his den." Crowing hens are common, especially if you don't have a cock in the flock, but also just generally. I wonder was the rhyme a general disapproval of feisty girls, or did witches whistle to bring Himself around.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Mar 17 - 11:38 PM

Why is whistling not more popular? Because few people can do it in a musically pleasing way.

I work with a guy who insists on whistling painfully shrill birdlike sounds (can't call them tunes) all day long. It irritates me to no end.


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Subject: RE: Whistling
From: Andy7
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 07:34 AM

I learned another version of that saying as a child: "A whistling woman and a crowing hen, are neither good for beasts nor men."

Very strange that whistling should once have been thought a male preserve! To paraphrase John Ball: When Adam delved and Eve span, was whistling just done by the man?


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