What is a Willow Whistle (or Willow Flute)?
You can make a whistle from a fresh cut stick in spring time, when the
bark is juicy. If you strongly blow into the whistle, you produce a loud
sound, the height of which you can change a little bit.
The whistle has the mouth piece, the hollow
body from bark and the stick as holder and the lower
Making of a Willow Whistle
Look for a willow stick where the space between two branches (buds) is
as long as possible and with a constant diameter (1cm=0.4 inches or more).
Cut the willow branch perpendicularly to the direction of the stick with
a sharp knife (Cuts are always in red). Cut the stick on the left later,
when the whistle is finished.
Cut the end on the right obliquely.
Remove the bark, so a ring is formed. Cut a flat notch on the top, but
not too much on the right. Otherwise there is no place for the mouth piece.
Removing the bark is the most difficult part. Hold your right hand around
the bark and firmly grasp the stick with your left hand. Turn the bark
carefully.- If the bark doesn't move, lay the stick on your knees and tap
at every spot with the handle of the knife. Then you can usually
skin the stick and remove it to the right.
Cut the mouth piece perpendicular to the direction of the stick.
Cut a flat slice from the the mouth piece at the top, so that a stream
of air is possible later. - Don't cut too much. It is better to extend
Put the tube from bark on the stick and fit in the mouth piece. The willow
whistle is finished.
You see the airspace (yellow) in the following
drawing, which oscillates while blowing into the whistle. You can change
The bark becomes dry after some days and the whistle
no longer works :-(.
Willow Whistle on the
Johannes Spangenbergs Sammlung Deutscher Gedichte
Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben: Die Weidenflöte
Labbé (zzzebra, das Web-Magazin für Kinder)
Verlag Harri Deutsch
for making a copper pennywhistle in the key of D
The Willow Whistle
How To Make a
Willow Whistle (Video at youtube)
Jan Harm ter Brugge
Feedback: Email address on my main page
page is also available in German.
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