Saturday, September 09, 2006

Just learning to play this little jewel. I can thank Kate Johnson for the inspiration to get one.

This is called the Mellow Dog, which is a tweaked version of the Walton Mellow D Irish Whistle. It's in the key of D. Also have one in the key of C. This one is tweaked (made better) by Jerry Freeman who is the only professional whistle tweaker in the world. I also have a Walton Sweetone whistle tweaked by Jerry. The Mellow Dog, so far, is my favorite.

The penny whistle (tin whistle) of modern era got renewed about 25 years ago with the interest in folk music. The first one dates back some 25,000 years with a bone made flute. Around 1875 the penny whistle as we know it today came into being. The instrument is well known in England, Scotland, Ireland and beginning in America.

Did they ever cost a penny? The first ones sold were 1/4 cents each (two pence each) by Whistling Billing (another interesting story). He paid 3 pence for 12 of them! In some places it was custom to give a penny to a child playing them in the street. Thus the name stuck.

Today, pennywhistles sell for as little as $3.00 up to over $400, depending on the make.