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The Silly and Sometimes Amusing Sound of the Slide Whistle

May 7, 2008
Most people are familiar with the slide whistle, but do not often view it as an instrument that is to be played for the same reasons that someone would pick up the saxophone or violin to play. It is a great little instrument that most will use as a sound effect, or to use in adding something into a piece of music they are playing. Also known as the swanee whistle or the piston flute, the slide whistle has a simple design. It is a tube with a fipple in it, like the recorder or the win whistle has, and has a piston that fits within the tube. By moving this piston up and down, the musician can create different sounds.

The slide whistle is a member of the woodwind instrument family and creates a different pitch as the musician blows into it and moves the piston to a different position within the tube. As mentioned before, it is most often used as a sound effect, either in different musical situations, or in a cartoon to emphasize something that is happening. What most people don't realize is that it is actually possible to play some tunes on the slide whistle. It can create different sounds after all.

It is not an exceptionally old form of whistle. In fact, it is a fairly new instrument that became extremely popular in the early twentieth century. It was a common instrument to be used in jazz and other popular music of the times. It even continues to find a place in today's music on occasion, though cartoons or comedies will tend to have it more often.

The slide whistle can be manipulated in such a way as to create different melodies, but it does take someone with a certain amount of talent and practice to do this. It can be difficult to create these melodies because there are no marks on where to have the piston in order to create the different notes, and there is no sheet music for the slide whistle in order to create music. It takes someone with an imagination and with the ability to create music in order to use the slide whistle in this manner. This is not to say that only a select number of special people through out the world are the only ones that can do this. Anyone can give it a try and might be successful at it.

While it is not an instrument that someone would choose to play as their main instrument throughout their musical career, it can be a great instrument to play for fun on free time. The different sounds that it can make do vary quite a bit and someone could easily come up with something unique that might interest others. It could easily be a great background instrument in different tunes, but it does depend on what is being played. It is certainly not limited to any specific genres and can be a versatile instrument if necessary.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. You can find the best marketplace for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments at these sites for used whistle CDs, autographed whistleCDs, and used slide whistles .
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