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Lesson Plans


Re: clay whistles

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Robert Alexander Fromme (rfromme)
Thu, 09 Apr 1998 20:38:49 -0500


At 03:55 PM 4/9/98 -0400, you wrote:
>We were wondering.whilst working in clay..,how to work a
whistle......clip...snip....parts deleted.

One finds it a bit hard to try to coach a whistle maker over the net, but
here goes..........

I will resist the temptation to kid you a bit about "not being worth a
toot," so lets get to the basics.

Think of a guitar...with sound box, opening over the volume and strings
which vibrate over the opening. Now think of what the physics of the musical
sound must require with that instrument. The strings are made to vibrate
over the opening and they cause a flutter of air which tries to push some of
the air down into the sound box. The flutter of air becomes amplified into
an audible sound when it causes the larger volume to vibrate and send waves
of air (compacted and then thinned) out to all that would hear the sound.

Now think of the whistle you are trying to make. It will require you to
create a flutter of air over a sound box, but on a much smaller scale. The
basic requirements are (1) a wind flue or languid which will shape your
breath into a compacted thin sheet of pressure, (2) a vent located over a
sound box, (3) the sound box (or air space) and (4) the critical sharp edge
at the back of the vent space where the air from the languid is aimed and
made to tear and flutter (creating the same effect of amplified musical
sound by the air vibrating within the sound box). Here is an ascii sketch
of a cut away of a whistle showing the relationship of the parts. That
relationship is critical. The air from your lips must be perfectly aimed
and aligned to flow out from the languid, across the vent opening over the
resonating chamber and then tear against or flutter at the back sharp edge
of the vent. (hope the emailer doesn't distort this sketch too much!)

I......_______________________________... vent ....____________
I......I______________________________I............. /
\
I languid or wind flue
/____________ \
I......._________------------'''''''''''''''''''''''''''\ sharp^
\ \
I.....I_________________________ \ edge
\ \
I........................................................\ \
\ \
I.........................................................\ \
sound box | |.
I..........................................................\ . \
/ /
I............................................................\ \.
/ /
I..............................................................\
.\_______________/ /
I................................................................\
/
I...................................................................\_______
___________/
Robert Fromme <rfromme> or <rfromme>