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Mel Bay The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle Paperback – December 3, 2003


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$32.38 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.; Pap/Com edition (December 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786649429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786649426
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
87%
4 star
7%
3 star
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2 star
7%
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See all 15 customer reviews
This is a better bang for your buck than The Essential Guide.
jed clampett
It's the second one that I've used, after first using the Clarke Tin Whistle Book which I found to be an excellent book as a beginner.
D. Edwards
These books have very good clear explanations and plenty of exercises to practise them.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
They are both very good books but not really aimed at a complete beginner. These are more for someone who is trying to build a better foundation to their basic playing. Especially if you are trying to undestand ornamentation. These books have very good clear explanations and plenty of exercises to practise them.

If you buy the Essential Guide then you do not really need to buy the Essential Toolbox as most of it is contained in the Essential Guide.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Havron on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the finest books of musical instruction for any instrument that I have ever read. Grey starts the book with the assumption that the reader knows next to nothing about the Irish style flute and its traditions. Layer by layer he inculcates you into the playing style and the musical heritage of Irish pipers and flutists. He has developed a logical, comprehensive notation system showing the learner how to accurately reproduce the rapid fluttering ornamentations used by Irish pipers/flutists/pennywhistlers. Virtually every aspect of making music with a wooden flute (or pennywhistle) is covered, including ergonomic hand and body positioning, musical breathing, fingering exercises, but mostly how to get THE SOUND of that gorgeous instrument, the Irish-style flute. Grey is a keen observer and analyst who apparently compiled notes for years in order to write this book. This is a labor of love from a great teacher and performer. It will be the foundation of instruction for Irish style flutists for many, many years to come.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Essential Guide To Irish Flute And Tin Whistle by master musician Grey Larsen is a combination history and instruction book which is enhanced with the inclusion of a set of two audio CDS intended to aid the reader in mastering both basics and advanced techniques to playing the Irish Flute, Tin Whistle/Pennywhistle, Boehm-System Flute, and/or Piccolo. Black-and-white photographs; meticulously detailed instructions concerning everything from rhythms to finger placement; a fascinating and informative body of history and tradition concerning the Irish Flute; a veritable wealth of musical transcripts; as well as the music playing of masters recorded and released from 1925 to 2001 on the CDS, mark The Essential Guide To Irish Flute And Tin Whistle as a "must-have" for dedicated musicians and performers determined to make the most of their talent with these tradition and folk music instruments.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arle Lommel on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't add a whole lot to what others have written other than to say that Grey's analytic and scholarly bent is tremendously useful for thinking about Irish music and how the ornaments function. For those familiar with structural analysis in ethnomusicology, Grey's book will strike the right chords and provide tremendous analytical (not just descriptive) insight into _how_ Irish music works, not just _what_ it does. Especially useful to those learning the articulations and ornaments that give a tune a particularly _Irish_ sound, his repetition of tunes showing different ways of ornamenting them helps prevent the book from being merely one about how to play like Grey. His notation technique is also very useful for providing a way to document Irish music clearly and unambiguously and offers a substantial advance over the alternatives he discusses in the book.

As mentioned by others, it may not be a beginners book, and is best used by those who know their way around the whistle but have been mystified about how to get that real Irish sound.

Now, my one major complaint has nothing to do Grey's work (which would merit five stars), and is responsible for this being four instead of five. Mel Bay's bindings are simply inexcusable for musical instruction books. It's not exaggerating to say that the binding on this book actively fights against you and turns it into a frustration. If you buy it, plan on taking it to a print shop to get the binding cut off and a useful coil binding put in its place (~$5) before you try to use it.

(If it says anything, when I took this into a copy shop to fix it, the worker told me that the majority of the rebinds they do are of Mel Bay music books. It's a shame that their choice of binding should do a disservice to their authors.)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
The first few chapters, in which Larsen covers the basics of Irish traditional music, are required reading for anyone wanting to participate in this musical culture, especially if not born into it. The rest of the book is a must have for fluters and whistlers, and will also prove extremely helpful to Uilleann pipers. There hasn't been as thorough an examination of how Irish music works, from any perspective. He introduces a new, clear way of notating tunes that will become the standard. As technical and scholarly as the content is, Larsen is never dry or academic. The two CDs are an added bonus.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By jed clampett on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...it probably isn't the book to start out with. That's not to say it doesn't have alot to teach because it does. There are lots of exercises and runs and they are on the 2 cds as well. I think you may want to have played a few months before getting this book. There's another book put out just after this one that seems the better one to start with. That is the Tin Whistle Toolbox book. This book here though, the Essential Guide..., has over 30 songs at the end, also on one of the cds, and these are great to learn and play. Some are played on the Irish Flute, which is an octave lower than the tin whistle and not easy to play. What is a little easier is the low whistle which is essentially an Irish flute with a whistle attachment so it's not hard to produce a tone but it is more difficult to play than the regular whistle. It's kind of funny because some of the tunes as I mentioned are played in this octave lower form and so are some of the exercises, and just at random. This is ok though if you have a hankering to play the Irish Flute or Low Whistle because you can get a feel for how they'll sound on these. Since they are an octave lower they are also easily relatable to the regular whistle. There are a couple of good chapters in the book on the Irish Flute specifically related to technique. There's hardly a mention of the Low Whistle so if you're thinking of getting into that check out another book just on the Low Whistle. There is one I see on Amazon if you type in Low Whistle. It also has a cd. Getting back to the Tinwhistle Toolbox book. It's supposed to have more exercises suited for beginners and although it has parts of tunes, for an extra $15.00 you can buy a third book with all 18 tunes complete that are only excerpted in the Toolbox book. Yikes!Read more ›
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