App o’ the Morning: LilyPond


The tin whistle is a folk instrument; and the wonder and glory of folk music is that although it consists mostly of old standards, the old standards aren't particularly standard. For any well-known tune there will be any number of versions extant, with different words, slightly different melodies, different arrangements, and so on. And then, when you learn to play the tune, you're not expected to simply play it just like everyone else—instead, you're expected to take it and make it your own, a … [Read more...]

App Review: ForScore


As I noted last week, I'm learning to play the penny whistle with the aid of the book "The Clarke Tin Whistle", which in size is your typical book of sheet music: about 9"x12" opening up to about 18" wide. Now me, I was trying to use it while sitting at my ease in my recliner. And I'm here to tell you, there's no way to position the book in your lap so that you can see the pages comfortably while sitting in a recliner holding a penny whistle.(Yes, I could use a music stand. I have a music … [Read more...]

Penny Whistles and Me (UPDATED)

I've been listening to a lot of Irish Traditional music recently, and a lot of Irish traditional songs are played on the penny whistle, also known as the tin whistle. (That wind instrument you hear on records by the Chieftains or the Dubliners? Probably a penny whistle.) The penny whistle, a cousin of the recorder and the flageolet, is one of the simplest wind instruments: a whistle, or fipple flute, with six finger holes, capable of playing two full octaves on a diatonic scale (i.e., without … [Read more...]