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Penny Whistle

penny whistleA simple 6 holed wind instrument which is diatonic and blown at the end. Also called a flageolet. The connection to beans has not been established but wind is suspected.

The fingering is similar to the simple wooden flute which predates it but the whistle is easier to play having a Fipple.The range is two octaves.

Made in wood, plastic and metal they can be relatively cheap or quite expensive depending on the quality and material. Whistles are named after the lowest major key they will play and a whistle will typically play in two keys and their relative minors. D whistles (D and G, Bm and Em) are common, as are C whistles (C and F, Am and Dm).

Some whistles are tunable to bring them into pitch with other instruments. This is normally achieved by a part of the whistle being able to slide and make the overall length longer or shorter.