[The Drunken Landlady]
(MP3, played on the old Sweet rosewood D)
[The Laurel Bush] (MP3, played
on the Sweet rosewood Killourhy model D)
I have three wooden whistles by Ralph Sweet. The first
is an old rosewood D bought in 1985, which plays very well, has a lot of chiff,
a lot of resistance, and really takes a stiff blow on the high end of the 2nd
octave. Also I have a rosewood conical "Killourhy" model, which has a few odd
Both of these whistles take a stiff blow and must be well supported to hit the
2nd octave cleanly. On both the 2nd octave is much louder than the first, and
has a fife-like shrillness. On both there is a certain sort of bitter edge to
Then I have a maple Sweet in D that I bought from Greg. It is a good whistle.
The octaves are nicely balanced. The tone is very pure--the "bitter edge" is
completely gone. It plays easily up into the 3rd octave. He has done some serious redesign work and it very much
shows. All design work is a compromise, however: this whistle
doesn't have the responsiveness or the "oomph" of his older work. It is a
good whistle, though, if it plays a bit "stuffy."
I also have an ebony fife from Ralph Sweet, which is a lovey thing, very
sweet-toned, easy player, and a black walnut tabor pipe, which I've never
learned to play well although it plays well enough, and a maple traverso
(Baroque flute) which plays well and has a very smooth, mellow sound.