Multi-Modal Whistles

Multi-modal low E whistle
Multi-modal low E whistle (wider bore design)

Listen to low E wider bore (Spanish Gypsy theme)

The 9-hole Multi-Modal whistles are for playing fluently over two octaves in many modes or scales.
Starting from the bottom (bell) note:

Various other Gypsy and Middle Eastern scales as well as other modes of the common diatonic scale are possible, starting on other notes than the bell note. For instance:

Starting three semi-tones up,

both without cross-fingerings:

The Multi-Modal whistles can be custom built in many different keys, from high C to low C, either as solo whistles or as part of combo sets with additional standard (diatonic) whistle bodies. Tuning to A=432Hz or some other pitch is possible on request (A=440Hz is standard tuning pitch). For individual prices see Pricelist.

Fingering Chart

Select whistle key: Selected key of
Finger notes:  C Db D Eb E F G Ab A Bb C'
Interval pattern*: (1 1 1 1 1) 2 (1 2 2)

 C – Fingering Chart

C ● ● ●    ● ● ● ●
Db ● ● ●    ● ● ● ○
D ● ● ●    ● ● ○ ○
Eb ● ● ●    ● ○ ○ ○
E ● ● ●    ○ ○ ○ ○
F ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○
F# ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○   (half-holed)
G ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○
Ab ● ○ ○    ○ ○ ○ ○
A ○ ● ●    ○ ○ ○ ○   (forked)
Bb ○ ○ ○    ○ ○ ○ ○
 ( ○ ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○)
B ● ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○   (forked)
C' ○ ○ ○    ○ ○ ○ ○
 ( ○ ● ○    ○ ○ ○ ○)
  • With the right hand all semitones from the base note to the fourth can be played.
  • Opening the left hand thumb hole will produce the octave above the bell note.
  • The major sixth and major seventh can be played with forked fingerings.
  • The augmented fourth can be played half-holing L3 (symbol  ◘  on the fingering chart).
  • The fingerings for the second octave are basically the same as for the first octave, except the forked notes:
    • Major 6th: ●●● ●●○○ (double overblow)
    • Major 7th: ●●● ○○○○ (double overblow)

Notes on some scales / modes

  • All of the modes described below do not use the half-holed note (the augmented fourth above the bell note), even though it is a perfectly usable note, when partly covering the large L3 hole.
  • Some modes require use of one or both of the forked finger notes.
  • Select a whistle key (its base note) to see the scale notes for each mode described.
  • Click on any mode/scale name to see description, notes and semi-tone pattern.

Starting on the bell note C (●●● ●●●●)

Natural Minor

notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C'  –  pattern*: (212)2(122)
The Natural Minor mode is played by first lifting R3 and R4 simultaneously (a whole tone up), then R2 (a semi-tone up), then R1 and L4 simultaneously (another whole tone up), then the left hand fingers up one at a time.

Phrygian

notes: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C'  –  pattern*: (122)2(122)
The Phrygian mode is played by first lifting the R4 finger (a semi tone up from base), then R2 and R3 (a whole tone up), then L4 and R1 simultaneously (another whole tone up), then the left hand fingers up one at a time.

Spanish Gypsy - Freygish - Hijaz

notes: C Db E F G Ab B C'  –  pattern*: (131)2(122)
The Spanish Gypsy/Freygish/Hijaz mode is played by first lifting right hand third finger (R4) (a semi tone up from base), then R1, R2 and R3 simultaneously (an augmented tone up), then L4 (another semi tone up), then the left hand fingers up one at a time. Using the three fingers at once is easy with a little practise.

Dorian

notes: C D Eb F G A Bb C'  –  pattern*: (212)2(212)
Playing in the Dorian mode is like the Natural Minor mode, but it uses a major sixth (○●○ ○○○○).

Harmonic Minor

notes: C D Eb F G Ab B C'  –  pattern*: (212)2(131)
The Harmonic Minor mode is played like the Natural Minor, but it uses a forked-fingered major seventh (●●○ ○○○○).

Neapolitan Minor

notes: C Db Eb F G Ab B C'  –  pattern*: (122)2(131)
The Neapolitan Minor mode is played like the Phrygian mode to the fifth, followed like the Major Gypsy - Hijaz Kar mode to the octave. It requires forked fingering for the major seventh (●●○ ○○○○).

Major Gypsy - Hijaz Kar

notes: C Db E F G Ab B C' E  –  pattern*: (131)2(131)
The Major Gypsy/Hijaz Kar mode is played the same as Spanish Gypsy/Freygish/Hijaz, but uses a major seventh (●●○ ○○○○).

Harmonic Major

notes: C D E F G Ab B C'  –  pattern*: (221)2(131)
The Harmonic Major mode is played as the Major Gypsy - Hijaz Kar mode, but with a major second.

Melodic Major

notes: C D E F G Ab Bb C'  –  pattern*: (221)2(122)
The Melodic Major mode is played as a major mode up to the fifth, followed like the phrygian or minor mode up to the octave.

Mixolydian

notes: C D E F G A Bb C'  –  pattern*: (221)2(212)
The Mixolydian mode requires forked fingering for the major sixth (○●● ○○○○).

Major - Ionian

notes: C D E F G A B' C'  –  pattern*: (221)2(221)
The Major/Ionian mode requires forked fingering for the major sixth (○●● ○○○○) and major seventh (●●○ ○○○○).

Starting a semi-tone up on Db (●●● ●●●○)

Lydian

notes: Db Eb F G Ab Bb C Db'  –  pattern*: (222)1(221)
Play the Lydian scale starting with R4 open, then lift R2+R3, then L4+R1, L3, L2, L1. This mode has an augmented fourth.

Minor Gypsy - Niavent

notes: C# D# E G Ab A C C#'  –  pattern*: (213)1(131)
The Minor Gypsy - Niavent mode is like the Harmonic Minor mode, but uses a raised (augmented) fourth, instead of the pure fourth. Lift L3+L4 to go to the augmented fourth.

Hungarian Gypsy

notes: C# D# E G Ab A B C#'  –  pattern*: (213)1(122)
The Hungarian Gypsy mode is like the Natural Minor mode, but uses a raised (augmented) fourth, instead of the pure fourth. Lift L3+L4 to go to the augmented fourth.

Romanian Minor

notes: C# D# E G Ab Bb B C#'  –  pattern*: (213)1(212)
The Romanian Minor mode is like the Dorian (Minor) mode, but uses a raised (augmented) fourth, instead of the pure fourth. Lift L3+L4 to go to the augmented fourth.

Starting a whole tone up on D (●●● ●●○○)

Blues

notes: D F G G# A Bb C# D#'  –  pattern*: (32)1(131)
Starting two semi-tones up from the bell note (R3 and R4 open) we can play in a nice Blues mode. First lift L4, R1 and R2, followed by R3, then R2 for the bluesy note (the augmented fourth), then the fifth of the scale as the forked major sixth from the bell (○●○ ○○○○), followed by the octave (left thumb open, or bell note overblown).

  • Note: Blues can also be played starting from the bell note, by using a half-holed L3 for the augmented fourth.

Phrygian

notes: D Eb F G A Bb C D#'  –  pattern*: (122)2(122)
Another Phrygian mode is played using as fifth the forked major sixth from the bell note (○●○ ○○○○)

Starting a minor third up on Eb (●●● ●○○○)

Major - Ionian

notes: Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb'  –  pattern*: (221)2(221)
To play in this Major - Ionian mode first lift L4 and R1 simultaneously, then one finger at the time. Use as major seventh (●●● ●●○○) in the second octave.

Mixolydian

notes: Eb F G Ab Bb C Db Eb'  –  pattern*: (221)2(212)
To play in this Mixolydian mode first lift L4 and R1 simultaneously, then one finger at the time. Use as minor seventh (●●● ●●●○) in the second octave.

Spanish Gypsy - Freygish - Hijaz

notes: Eb E G Ab Bb Cb Db Eb'  –  pattern*: (131)2(122)
To play in this Spanish Gypsy/Freygish/Hijaz mode first lift R1, then L3+L4, then R2, then R1, to reach the fifth. Continue with a minor sixth using the forked major seventh from the bell note (●●○ ○○○○). Then go in the second octave with R4 open, and up to the octave lifting R2+R3.

Major Gypsy - Hijaz Kar

notes: Eb E G Ab Bb Cb D Eb'  –  pattern*: (131)2(131)
To play in this Major Gypsy/Hijaz Kar mode first lift R1, then L3+L4, then R2, then R1, to reach the fifth. Continue with a minor sixth using the forked major seventh from the bell note (●●○ ○○○○). Then go in the second octave with R3+R4 open, and up to the octave lifting R2.

Starting a fourth up on F (●●○ ○○○○)

Harmonic Minor

notes: F G Ab Bb C Db E F'  –  pattern*: (212)2(131)
We can play in the Harmonic Minor mode going up from the three finger note by lifting one finger each time to the fifth, which is the octave of the bell note, then play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave with the right hand by using the same fingering as for the Major Gypsy lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 131).

Natural Minor

notes: F G Ab Bb C Db Eb F'  –  pattern*: (212)2(122)
We can play in the Natural Minor mode going up from the three finger note by lifting one finger each time to the fifth, which is the octave of the bell note, then play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave with the right hand by using the same fingering same as for the Phrygian lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 122).

Melodic Minor

notes: F G Ab Bb C D Eb F'  –  pattern*: (212)2(221)
We can play in the Melodic Minor mode going up from the three finger note by lifting one finger each time to the fifth, which is the octave of the bell note, then play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave with the right hand by using the same fingering same as for the Major/Ionian lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 221).

Dorian

notes: F G Ab Bb C D Eb F'  –  pattern*: (212)2(212)
We can play in the Dorian (Minor) mode going up from the three finger note by lifting one finger each time to the fifth, which is the octave of the bell note, then play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave with the right hand by using the same fingering same as for the Natural Minor lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 212).

Major - Ionian

notes: F G A Bb C D E F'  –  pattern*: (221)2(221)
To play in this Major mode use for the major third the forked the major sixth from the bell note (○●○ ○○○○) and from the fifth (octave of the bell note) play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave by using the same fingering same as for the Major lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 221).

Mixolydian

notes: F G A Bb C D Eb F'  –  pattern*: (221)2(212)
To play in this Mixolydian mode use for the major third the forked the major sixth from the bell note (○●○ ○○○○) and from the fifth (octave of the bell note) play the upper tetrachord notes in the whistle's second octave by using the same fingering same as for the Natural Minor lower tetrachord (semi-tone pattern 212).

Starting a fifth up on G (●●○ ○○○○)

Phrygian

notes: G Ab Bb C D Eb F G'  –  pattern*: (122)2(122)
We can play in this Phrygian mode going up finger by finger to the fourth, which is the octave of the bell note, then continuing up in the whistle's second octave the same as playing the Natural Minor mode.

Starting a sixth up on Ab (●○○ ○○○○)

Major - Ionian

notes: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab'  –  pattern*: (221)2(221)
We can play in this Major mode by first going to the whistle's octave, then continuing in the second octave as for playing in Phrygian mode.

Harmonic Major

notes: Ab Bb C Db Eb E G Ab'  –  pattern*: (221)2(131)
We can play in this Harmonic Major mode by first going to the whistle's octave, then continuing in the second octave first lifting R4, then R2+R3, then R1, then L3+L4, then L2.

Differences to my 7-hole Gypsy whistles

  • The addition of the L4 hole (fourth hole), which adds a pure Fourth to the base (bell) note, and thus transforms the instrument to be played with scales starting on the bell note.
  • The addition of the R4 hole, which provides all semi-tone steps from the bell note to the fourth, thus allowing all kinds of lower octave interval patterns without the need to half-hole. The four right hand fingers are evenly spaced and thus quite comfortable.
  • This changes the fingerings for the scales, and two or three adjacent fingers will be used simultaneously to play the scales outlined. Once the new fingering patterns are learned the whistle can be played quite fluently, since no complex cross-fingering patterns are needed.
  • The left thumb hole is moved up to give the octave note above the bottom bell note, when open, and the major seventh note when open and L1, L2 and L3 are down.

Note:

pattern means the pattern of semi-tone steps going from note to note up the scale. The brackets denote the patterns for the lower and upper tetrachords (four notes). The first bracket describes the steps from the base note to the fourth, the second bracket the steps from the fifth to the octave. Lots more scale patterns are listed on the page Musical Modes.

See also:


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