Showing posts with label Celtic Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celtic Music. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CELTIC Music - The Tin Whistle

Tin Whistle - Irish Trad Music
Photo  by 
The Tin Whistle (sometimes called a pennywhistle) is a simple and cheap instrument. It's simply a metal tube with six finger holes and a mouthpiece (much like a recorder); it has a range of about two octaves. Costs range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars -- although some of the best players play only the cheaper brands.

The tin whistle is a simple instrument -- and it's simple to play, and simple to play easy tunes. But -- it's not simple to master! The instrument may be cheap, but you'll have to pay for mastery ... by practicing! The haunting whistle tunes from the movie "Titanic" illustrate the deep soul found in this instrument.

This instrument is commonly made from metal (usually brass) with a molded whistle mouthpiece. By playing it open (not covering any of the six fingerholes), then by covering each finger hole, in turn, you can play the 7 notes in a diatonic (a simple Do-Re-Mi scale -- essentially the white keys on a piano) scale. Blow a little bit harder and you'll play the same note, but an octave higher. While it is a diatonic instrument, you can achieve sharps and flats by half-covering fingerholes.

Since there are essentially only two open notes -- a note, then the note an octave higher when you blow harder -- each tin whistle is said to represent a certain Key signature. For instance, if the open note sounds a "D", then the whistle is considered to be in the key of D. Many players carry a small set of whistles in the most commonly used keys.

Some people don't realize you can actually tune a tin whistle! You do so by sliding the metal barrel of the whistle in and out of the mouthpiece head. Some whistles have the head glues securely to the barrel. You can usually loosen the glue by holding the joined portion under hot running water. Don't use boiling water -- this may melt the plastic whistle head!

Key signatures commonly found in Celtic Music are "D Major" and "G Major". By default, all tin whistles are in a Major key (since they play a diatonic scale). However, if you begin your scale with all the finger holes covered (instead of all fingerholes open), then you're beginning one step higher than a diatonic scale -- which results in a minor key signature! For instance, a tin whistle in "D" can play in E Minor if you begin your scale by covering all the fingerholes. Interestingly enough, the chord sequence "E Minor" and "D Major" is commonly found in Celtic Music. (This is the same chord sequence used in "What Would You Do with A Drunken Sailor".) A whistle in "G Major" could easily play in A Minor (A Minor and G being another commonly found chord sequence).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Elegance Of CELTIC HARPS

Celtic harp
Celtic harp 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The harp is a musical instrument that has a lot of strings wherein the strings of this instrument are in a perpendicularly positioned to its soundboard. There are various types of harps and they also have varying characteristics but they all basically have a neck, strings and a resonator. There is this one called a frame harp that has a pillar, while those that do not have pillars are known as open harps. This musical instrument also comes in different sizes which also varies how it can be played.

One specific example of a small harp is the famously called Celtic harp or also referred to as lever harp, folk harp or even Irish harp. Lever harps are so called because the levers are used as a mechanism to change keys. These levers are attached to the harp and they are pushed against the strings so that they will become shorter and it will also cause the string to sharpen. These Celtic harps are usually the ones used for training before advancing to a Concert Harp. However they are also a very beautiful instrument to play with and they are also used by professional harpists all over the world.

When I think of harps, only one thing comes to my mind and that is an angel, a cupid or a beautiful lady that looks so pure and pristine playing this instrument. It creates such a beautiful music and it especially evokes beautiful imagery and deep emotions. This heavenly made instrument however, comes with a very expensive price that sometimes you just think that you would rather enjoy listening to it being played rather than than playing it yourself. Harps with time tested brands and are synonymous with top quality craftsmanship and high performance can range from ten thousand dollars for beginner or student type harps to sixty thousand dollars for the limited, custom built harp models.

For every problem, they say, is a solution; and for our expensive harp problems there are used Celtic harps widely available in your local store or if not in the Internet. You have a wide variety of used Celtic harps to choose from, you will have no problem at all picking out the perfect set that will suit your taste and preference. With these instruments already available to people with different budgets, playing a Celtic harp will no longer be exclusive to the cupid.