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Should there be some reference to the saying "clean as a whistle" here? I think it would be appropriate, so here is a link I found on google:

number of octaves for a pennywhistle[edit]

Though the upper-most register is rarely used (it is quite shrill), pennywhistles have 3 octaves. I've never seen a fingering chart for a fourth octave, though perhaps it would be possible.

Wind whistles[edit]

I was wondering what the name of the wind powered whistles that are used in China are called as I was trying to find out about them.

Whistles have no reeds....[edit]

so how can they be classed as woodwind instruments? Whistles are cavity resonators, and generate sound without a freely vibrating solid surface, as is required for woodwinds (the reed) or brass instruments (the lips).

The pea in a pea whistle isn't part of the sound generation mechanism in the way a woodwind's reed is. In pea whistles the moving pea changes the shape of the resonant chamber, and that causes the characteristic warbling of the sound, but the pea has nothing to do with the generation of the sound. And of course most whistles in use (steam whistles etc) have no freely vibrating components at all.

Flutes also don't have reeds, and they are most definitely woodwind instruments.-- 09:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Recorders dont have reeds... - Zephyris Talk 10:16, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


Stevie Saint from Wolfstone played a 2-minute whistle solo at the end of "Crowfeathers". —Bill Conrad 15:11, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


I added one more image and re-arranged previous images because I believe mine to be of higher quality.N734LQ 03:14, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Explosive Whistle[edit]

I remember hearing about an exploding whistle in WW2? made by the Germans? The idea was to drop them behind lines and hope some child would blow them. The inside was coated in explosives, and the ball was a friction ball. Never used? I can't seem to find a reference but clearly remember seeing a picture of one. damn that was crazy are Germans that bad? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

The Whistles[edit]

go whoo whoo

Police whistles in India[edit]

I don't agree with ineffectiveness of whistles due to advent of cars. In India, police always use whistles to control traffic in urban areas. The whistles are very effective even with all the traffic, horns and other noises. In Pune (at least) all police constables and lower officers if not all officers invariably carry a whistle and many do not carry radio sets. It is attached to the lanyard looped around the left shoulder. All the privet security guards, gurkhas (not military gurkhas) and watchmen also always carry a whistle.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:12, 30 October 2008

In technologically advanced places like the United Kingdom, the amount of cars on the roads have made whistles useless. Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 13:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

In the UK, low-volume, high-pitched whistles are used as a matter of course by police officers in Specialist motorcycle units that precede protected motorcades b/c people have filtered out sirens but whistles cut through the noise and soften the environmental impact on the protected person(s) ad the general populace. (talk) 21:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

15th century whistle[edit]

French whistle ("Sifflet à moulin") 15th century.

French whistle ("Sifflet à moulin"), 15th century. From the Cluny Museum. Does anybody know about this contraption and how it works? PHG Per Honor et Gloria 04:52, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Query re: specific whistle[edit]

I wonder if anyone can help me find the name of a specific type of whistle. It's used in sound effects a lot (usually denoting something zooming past at high speed or someone getting trapped in a vortex Looney Tunes-style) but I've also noticed it appears in a couple of songs, particularly Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan and Heroes and Villains by the Beach Boys. Any help finding out what this is would be greatly appreciated. 16:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radicaladz (talkcontribs)

Query re: specific whistle[edit]

Please can I have some help tiying up this article if it truly is wrong, need some reliable sources. Ta. Old Bess (talk) 01:41, 25 July 2011 (UTC)


The windcutter is a labium (lip), not a fipple. The fipple article shows the fipple block in a recorder, it is quite different from the labium. On a metal whistle such as The Thunderer the fipple is replaced by the lower surface of the mouthpiece. the combination of the upper surface and fipple (or lower surface) form the windway or duct from which ducted flutes take their name. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 16:22, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

RMS Queen Mary[edit]

Construction began in December 1930 and was halted in December 1931 due to the Great Depression. Construction resumed in May 1934 and she was launched on 26 September 1934. Maiden voyage was 27 May 1936. The whistles could not therefore have been fitted in 1932, there was no work going on. They must have been in place prior to sea trials, and were probably added shortly after launch as part of the fitting out process. I've therefore changed the date to 1935 as a compromise, but if anyone has better details please correct and explain here. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 10:23, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Train to Ship whistle communication?[edit]

How do trains know they're communicating with ships? I live next to the Mississippi river and numerous train lines. Often at night I will hear a barge sound their whistle in response to a train sounding its whistle at a crossing. Once the train unexpectedly hears a reply from the ship's whistle, it seems like both of them panic and begin sounding their whistles repeatedly.

The exchange between the ship and train, are they communicating with each other, perhaps through morse code, or is it just random? To wit: how does the train and ship know the route is clear? NJB (talk) 04:03, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Whistles as percussion[edit]

In response to Martin's query on my wall. I've been briefly reviewing every unrated percussion tag today, while I update a mega list of instruments, so I haven't spent a lot of thought on each. I guess the percussion project tag is there partly as a place marker due to the fact that it's linked to from other pages, and because this page provides an overview for a subsection of the broader percussion category, namely selected aerophones, mostly the ones classed as whistles, especially those played in a percussive manner. I guess the more specialised percussion whistles are the Samba whistle, the Slide whistle, as well as a tri-tone train whistle, water filled bird whistle (although I'm not sure that has a page yet). These have all generally been considered part of the percussion section. As for the standard pea whistle, I've seen it used, so would consider it within the scope, as well as the fact that there is a percussive element to its action. The best way to make reference to all this I'm not sure, as this main whistle page is largely a technical overview, I'm not even sure if it's necessary to have more than a cursory note that whistles are used in music such as already exists here. I guess the TLDR is don't worry about it. Gudzwabofer (talk) 15:26, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. I would never class any whistle as percussion, including samba and slide (swanee). However, if your rationale is that they are played by percussion section in the orchestra then I would concede the point. BTW, whistle didn't have a percussion tag (rated or otherwise) before you added it. Just out of interest: would "played in a percussive manner" also include the violins in "Mars" from the Planets Suite? I'll agree that the article is predominantly about the technical aspects, specific instruments need to be classified and linked to it and that, I would suggest, is where the percussion section might come in. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 22:23, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Maybe it was a redirect, anyway, while violins in general might be a stretch as it's not their usual way of being played, there may be room for an article describing such examples if there isn't one already. There is also a such thing as Fiddlesticks, which thanks for reminding me I need to link in. In terms of percussion on strings Hammered dulcimers, for example are classed as both percussion and string instruments. Anyway, on the matter of a section here, I will give it some thought. There is certainly scope to expand the usage category here to provide a brief overview and link to other articles on specific whistles or whistle categories, not just for music. As for the rest of the article, the level of technical detail here is astounding. The article on Acoustic membranes could certainly benefit from such an expansion.Gudzwabofer (talk) 00:04, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Overly Academic[edit]

This article reads as if it is largely derived from someone's doctoral thesis on whistles! While the academic approach is great, the article needs some more basic information on different types of whistle and some more plain English explanation. Stub Mandrel (talk) 16:26, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

I can only agree. We have physical whistles (devices) and "the physics of whistles," and possibly "whistles as musical instrument" all combined into one article that does not properly serve the typical reader. However, before simply breaking the article apart a survey of the name-space should be done. I suspect overlap and redundancy has crept into these topics. --Charles Gaudette (talk) 18:26, 6 February 2017 (UTC)