Clarke Penny Whistle -
This whistle is made of tin-plate, and has a wooden fipple (mouthpiece), giving it a warm,
flute-like tone. Clarke has been making their Penny Whistles, basically unchanged, since
1843 (when something works, stick with it...). Look below for the Robert Clarke story, or
go to our Original
Clarke Tinwhistle page for more info on the Clarke Whistle.
Whistle Tutorial/Song Book- "The
Clarke Tinwhistle Handbook". This tutorial by world-renowned whistle player/teacher Bill Ochs has
been setting the standard for learning to play whistle since it was first introduced in
1988. It has just recently been re-released in full-size book form. This new release also includes a CD of the lessons and
tunes that are in the book, all written for the Soprano D whistle. The book starts out with a history of of the Clarke Tinwhistle Company,
then includes sections on The History of the Tinwhistle, The Story of "Whistlin'
Billy", an a few other notes concerning whistle and traditional music. The lessons start out assuming that the player knows nothing about
reading sheetmusic, then advance from there gradually. It's also a great first tutorial
for someone that can read sheetmusic, but has never played the whistle - later lessons get
more complex and include learning traditional ornamentation.
Follows the lessons and tunes from the book.
Note that we also offer this Set with a
"tweeked" version of the Clarke whistle. See our "Tweeked" Original
Clarke Page for more details about what we do to tweak this whistle.
The Robert Clarke Story:
In 1843, Robert Clarke a poor farm laborer left his
employer after having been unjustly accused of dishonesty. He was a talented amateur
musician and played a wooden whistle. He developed the idea of copying his whistle but
used tinplate to do so. He made the block in the mouthpiece out of wood which he cut into
shape using a homemade saw. This saw started life as one of his wife's corset stays! Then
he decided to mass produce his new style of whistle. He loaded the necessary materials and
his simple tools onto a handbarrow and, together with his son, walked all the way from
Suffolk to Manchester. On the way he would set up his workshop barrow in market places,
showing how the whistles were made and selling them. He would also play for the
entertainment of the crowds that gathered round. His most popular piece was "Danny
Boy". It is said that the whole busy market would stop and listen when he played this
If you're new to playing whistle, we recommend that you start with a
whistle in the key of D. See our Beginner's
Section for more info on the issue of keys.
the Tweeked Clarke Whistle Set: ~ Due to increased demand for our Tweeked Clarkes, shipment of your order may be delayed
when it includes a "Tweeked" Clarke Whistle.
This delay should never be over one week.