Willow Whistle
Contents of this Page
What is a Willow Whistle?
Making of a Willow Whistle
Poem: Die Weidenflöte 
Willow Whistle on the Internet.
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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 lock

Making of a Willow Whistle top
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 later. 

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 its length.

The bark becomes dry after some days and the whistle no longer works :-(. 

Poem: Die Weidenflöte 
Jacob, wenn du Weiden schneidest,
O so denk‘ an mich auch dann!
Schneid‘ mir eine Weidenflöte,
Daß ich mir was spielen kann.

Lieber Jacob, ja du tust es,
Weil du mir so gut doch bist.
Hab‘ ich keine Weidenflöte,
Weiß ich kaum, daß Frühling ist.

In der stillen Zeit am Abend
Geh‘ ich auf und ab am Tor,
Spiel‘ auf meiner Weidenflöte
Jedermann ein Stückchen vor.

Mutter kommet mit dem Vater,
Und die Schwestern alle drei:
Jedem spiel‘ ich dann ein Stückchen,
Aber meiner Mutter zwei.

Autor: August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798-1874)

Willow Whistle on the Internet     top


Alois Mauthofer
Bauanleitung Weidenpfeifchen  (.pdf-Datei)

Labbé (zzzebra, das Web-Magazin für Kinder)


Youtube (Johannes Pöhlmann)
Bau einer Weidenflöte mit Deuschlandhymne


Kim Fulton-Bennett
Instructions for making a copper pennywhistle in the key of D

The Willow Whistle

How To Make a Willow Whistle (Video at youtube)

Willow flute


Jan Harm ter Brugge
Wilgenfluitjes maken!

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