The Chiff & Fipple
Irish Traditional Music Forum

The FAQ:

Q: What's the matter? Don't you like the Poststructural Whistle Forum anymore?

A: We love the whistle forum. But it's about whistles, about people who play the whistle, and about people who don't; it's not about a specific type of music. It gets a bit busy and things move fast. The ITM forum moves slower and it is about a specific type of music, Irish Traditional Music, for all instruments.

Q: Can I post here, too?

A: Of course. Everyone is welcome.

Q: I have a question about rolls on the whistle, is this the right place?

A: That depends. This forum is about style in Irish Traditional Music, or ITM. If your question is about how to play a roll on the whistle, you should ask it on the main whistle board, because it will not be interesting to uilleann pipe players or fiddlers. If your question is about when or when not to play rolls in ITM, or about who plays or doesn't play rolls in ITM, or about this really wild roll-like thing you heard Willie Clancy do on an old record, then this is the right forum.

Q: I'm a beginner but I want to play ITM, is this the right place for me?

A: Certainly. You don't have to be an experienced player to browse or post here. All you need is the desire to learn about ITM. Just try to keep in mind that this is a forum about a style of music, and not about a specific instrument.

Q: What do you mean, "use the search function"?

A: Many topics have been discussed already in the past. Asking old questions over and over clutters up the forum and bores people. So, before you start a new thread here, click on the word "search" in brackets, in the upper right corner of the forum screen. You can search by forum, topic, author, and date. Quite handy, really. And don't hesitate to post if you still have a question after your search. You can try a search right now by clicking here.

Q: What's ITM?

A: Irish Traditional Music. We know it when we hear it.

Q: Oh, you mean Celtic music?

A: Ummm....

Q: Is Riverdance ITM?

A: Probably not. For one thing, it's not traditional, it's composed. But if you have something really interesting to say about Riverdance, or another type of music, by all means post it.

Q: Somebody told me my post doesn't belong here. What's up with that?

A: Everybody is welcome here. But not every post. The point of starting a new forum on chiff & fipple was to provide a space for focused and uncluttered discussion. There is always the Poststructural Whistle Board to post anything, on topic or off topic. The ITM forum is on-topic only. Don't worry, people who read the ITM forum read the Whistle forum, too, and your post will not get lost. Thanks for understanding.

Q: Aren't you guys just being snooty and elitist?

A: No.

Q: Why is it wrong to learn tunes from sheet music?

A: Because it's like trying to understand sex from a biology textbook. You may get some of the mechanics, but you are missing the main thing. That said, it's not "wrong" to learn tunes from sheet music, it's just not enough. Everybody agrees that in order to learn ITM, you have to listen to a lot of it. Here is a link to some previous discussion of this: those who use printed music, learning by ear.

Q: Can I discuss bluegrass, new age, baroque, or other styles of music here?

A: See "Is Riverdance ITM?"

Q: Which make of whistle, flute, pipes, fiddle, concertina, etc. is best for ITM?

A: This isn't the right forum for your question. The ITM forum is not about the best choice of instrument to play, but about the music that comes out of it.

Q: Which make of bodhran is best for ITM?

A: Well, acutally, n... nevermind. (Oh, you almost had us there.)

Q: What are all those letters for tune transcriptions?

A: It's called ABC and worth taking a look at: The ABC Hompage. This nifty tool will convert ABC notation into sheet music for you.

Q: What's the difference between a tinwhistle, a recorder and a Norelco Triple Rotary Head Electric Shaver ?

A: You might want to check here.

Q: I heard this really great tune, can I ask for the music here?

A: Yes, if you can't find it yourself. First try JC's Tunefinder, Fiddler's Companion, or The Session.

Q: Does Dale know you guys are doing this?

A: Yes.

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