Designed & produced by Eric Maclewis


... Then he heard that there were opportunities for manufacture in Lancashire : so he walked from Coney Weston to Manchester, pushing his tools and materials in a handbarrow.

He met Irish navigators on his way and sold them his tin whistles.
These Irishmen took them back to Ireland where the “English tin whistle” became Ireland's favourite folk instrument.
One can find it also called Penny Whistle because it costed one penny from the time.

Salley Gardens (trad.) - Low whistle D

Tin whistle D
(Sgt. Cahill's Favorite - trad.)

The first Tin Whistle

The Low Whistle

It was created in the seventies by Bernard Overton to find a low, wide and warm sound.
These whistles are longer than the tin whistles and play an octave below them. As for the tin whistle, you can find the low whistles in several keys.
The instrument is more difficult to play : the holes are bigger and therefore not easy to close properly at the beginning; the space between fingers is more important and will require a different grip of the instrument; the whistle needs more air to sound.

It was widely adopted in Irish traditional music and is now made in several metals or alloys (aluminium, copper, brass,…) and also in wood and plastic.

The Tin Whistle is a diatonic instrument, most of the time tuned in the key of D.
However, you can also find whistles in other keys.

It was made at first not in Ireland but in the village of Coney Weston, North-East London, in 1843.

Robert Clarke, a farm labourer, played a small wooden whistle.
He heard that a new material called tinplate (mild steel covered with tin) had been invented.
So he tried to reproduce his whistle with the help from his friend, the village blacksmith.

As his new whistle sounded very well, he decided to make a few more copies...

Irish Tin & Low Whistles


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