Gypsy - Flamenco - Arabic - Klezmer - Blues Whistles

for easier playing music in harmonic minor and related scales

Low D Gypsy whistle
Low D Gypsy whistle with in-line holes

Some sound samples from various Gypsy whistles:

Low D-Gypsy sound sample:
Low F-Gypsy sound sample:
Low G-Gypsy sound sample:
Low G-Gypsy sound sample (bluesy):
A-Gypsy sound sample:
High C-Gypsy sound sample:

My Gypsy whistles are designed for playing fluently in various Gypsy and Middle Eastern scales, and are custom built in many different keys, from high to low. Available as solo Gypsy whistles or as combo sets with additional standard (diatonic) whistle bodies. See Pricelist.

On a Gypsy whistle in the key of (select key)
we get these notes:  C# - D - E - F - G# - A - (Bb) - B - C

The notes Eb/D# and G can be played half-holing R2 or L3
( ◘  on the fingering chart).
The note played with five fingers down (●●●  ●●○) is the nominal key of the Gypsy whistle and the base note for some minor Gypsy scales. The bottom note (●●●  ●●●) is a semi-tone below that.
Opening the large L3 hole (●●●  ○○○ → ●●○  ○○○) produces a one-and-a half tone interval (FG#), which is an important characteristic of various Gypsy and Middle Eastern scales. See the scale examples below.
Opening the top thumb hole (○●○  ○○○ or ○○○  ○○○) produces an extra note (C) a semi-tone above the note with L1 open (○○○  ○○○) (B). This is important for many of the scales outlined, as is the C#, which is produced with all fingers down. Thus we can play easily any of the semi-tones between G# and D.

D Gypsy fingering chart

C# ● ● ●    ● ● ●
D ● ● ●    ● ● ○
D# ● ● ●    ● ◘ ○
E ● ● ●    ● ○ ○
F ● ● ●    ○ ○ ○
G ● ● ◘    ○ ○ ○
G# ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○
A ● ○ ○    ○ ○ ○
Bb ○ ● ●    ○ ○ ○
B ○ ○ ○    ○ ○ ○
(B ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○ )
C ○ ● ○    ○ ○ ○
(C ○ ○ ○    ○ ○ ○ )

The second octave is fingered the same as the first octave, apart from

Bb    ○ ● ○    ○ ○ ○

Scale examples

We can play in the following main scales (with semi-tone pattern and some of their more common names):

NotesPatternScale or mode names
D E F G# A Bb C D213 1 122Aeolian #4, Hungarian Gypsy
D E F G# A B C D213 1 212Dorian #4 (Harmonic Dorian), Spanish Phrygian, Romanian
D E F G# A Bb C# D213 1 131Double Harmonic Minor, Minor Gypsy, Nawa Athar, Niavent
E F G# A B C D E131 2 122Phrygian Dominant, Dorico Flamenco, Ahava Rabboh/Freygish, Hijaz
A B C D E F G# A212 2 131Harmonic Minor, Spanish Gypsy, Nahawand
A Bb C D E F G# A122 2 131Neapolitan Minor
A Bb C# D E F G# A131 2 131Double Harmonic Major, Major Gypsy, Hijaz Kar, Bhairav
A B C# D E F G# A221 2 131Harmonic Major, Ionian b6
 
By half-holing R2 we can play in these scales:
A B C D# E F G# A213 1 131Double Harmonic Minor, Minor Gypsy, Nawa Athar, Niavent
E F G# A B C D# E131 2 131Double Harmonic Major, Major Gypsy, Hijaz Kar, Bhairav
F G# A B C D Eb F312 1 212Hungarian Major
 
By half-holing L3 we can play in these scales:
D E F G A B C D212 2 212Dorian
D E F G A Bb C D212 2 122Natural Minor (Aeolian)
D E F G A Bb C# D212 2 131Harmonic Minor, Spanish Gypsy, Nahawand
D F G G# A C D321 132Blues
E F G A B C D E'122 2 122Phrygian
A Bb C# D E F G A'131 2 122Phrygian Dominant, Dorico Flamenco, Ahava Rabboh/Freygish, Hijaz
A B C D E F G A'212 2 122Natural Minor (Aeolian)

Note: although the scale patterns are given, as intervals between notes in semi-tones, the Gypsy whistles are not tuned in equal temperament, but for a good sounding intonation, especially for the harmonic and double harmonic scales.

PVC Gypsy Flutes

Simple PVC Gypsy flutes are also available in the keys of low E, Eb, D (double harmonic minor)

low D Gypsy flute alongside low D Gypsy whistle
low D Gypsy flute alongside low D Gypsy whistle, both with offset holes for easier fingering

Listen to Gypsy D flute sample:

See also:


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