Improve Tin Whistle instrument name by adding key

• Aug 4, 2019 - 20:11

(note - my focus is on the "Tin Whistle" instrument that does not make its key explicit, at the top of the output but I list D and Bb for comparison purposes)

Current entries for the Tin Whistle

1) in the MusicXML instrument definition MusicXML sounds file

<sound id="wind.flutes.whistle.tin"/>
<sound id="wind.flutes.whistle.tin.bflat />
<sound id="wind.flutes.whistle.tin.d"/>

2) Which filters down to our instruments.xml

egrep -i "whistle|tin wh" instruments.xml | egrep -v -i "program|slide"
<Instrument id="tin-whistle">
<longName>Tin Whistle</longName>
<shortName>Tin Wh.</shortName>
<Instrument id="bflat-tin-whistle">
<longName>B♭ Tin Whistle</longName>
<shortName>B♭ Tin Wh.</shortName>
<Instrument id="d-tin-whistle">
<longName>D Tin Whistle</longName>
<shortName>D Tin Wh.</shortName>

In my opinion, the name for the C instrument
musicXMLid: wind.flutes.whistle.tin
is misleading. It omits the “.c”. My guess was ("was", see aside at the bottom for comparison with "C trumpet") it assumes C is the default or natural key for this instrument since Concert C is the default for most classical western pitched instruments. The C is not the most common tin whistle, D is:
and there is no context within which omitting the "C" would be acceptable from a scoring perspective, since there is no standard / default key, "D" being the closest.

My suggestion, change the above
longName: Tin Whistle -> C Tin Whistle
shortName: Tin Wh. -> C Tin Wh.

And if changing the Instrument ID will not interfere with other parts,
<Instrument id="tin-whistle">
<Instrument id="tin-whistle.c">

(for obvious reasons, the musicXMLid should remain as is)

Aside - for comparison, I looked at trumpet on the MusicXML instrument definition

<sound id="brass.trumpet.bflat"/>
<sound id="brass.trumpet.c"/>
<sound id="brass.trumpet.d"/>

And both bflat (the “default/standard” pitch) and c (the concert pitch instrument, equivalent to our C Tin Whistle without the C) are explicitly stated. Not having the ".c" in the sound ID makes even less sense since Tin whistle does not have a default/standard pitch.



Nice to see someone else with a tin whistle interest!

I've been helping out on improving the Tin Whistle Tablature generation experience. You can find the current plugin here:

The same author also has an enhanced list of whistle instruments here:

I currently working layout issues of the TAB plugin:

It would be great if a greater selection of keys were baked into MuseScore and not make assumptions. That C whistle assumption is kinda bad as the D is probably considered the 'default' key.

Anyhoo... I just wanted to provide additional info.


In reply to by DLLarson

Hi Dale

Thanks, I don't mind the PMJI at all. I am sure it will be useful to others.

I have been using the TAB plugin, very useful!

Based on
a) your comment, and
b) jgadsden's instrument list, which omits an unqualified / generic / keyless Tin Whistle,
I am convinced that the current name is wrong (and not just an alternate), and can justify it to any push-back. I will open an issue and try my hand at a first PR.

We should have a Tin Whiste article/note that is the entry level to the plugin, external instruments list and other related Tin Whistle info.

ps: I am new to it but very passionate about it. "Kwela (music genre from South Africa in the 50s) is the only music genre created around the sound of the tin whistle" (my wikipedia quote for the day) There are some other improvements I want to suggest to improve the built-in instruments


In reply to by Riaan van Niekerk

Hello Riaan - many thanks for looking into this.

I agree that the current default (keyless) tin whistle is wrongly assumed to be tuned to C, and should actually be a D whistle.
The generic Tin Whistle in… with id common-tin-whistle is a whistle tuned to D.
It would be great to get the full whistle list into MuseScore without the need for an external instrument list ... I guess I created the list just to get by for now.

Thanks again, Jon

Hello Riaan

Yes, agreed, the common tin whistle is tuned to D for sure. In MuseScore the generic (keyless) Tin Whistle instrument is assumed to be in C, very likely because of the assumptions you highlight about concert pitch being generally in C.

It would be great to sort this out. Perhaps keeping the generic Tin Whistle, but tuned to D, and having another Tin Whistle instrument explicitly tuned to C as you describe.

Thanks for looking into this, Jon

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