The favourite instrument of distinguished Tinwhistle players ever since 1843, this Clarke Tinwhistle can be considered the Stradivarius of Tinwhistles. The instrument is still made of tin-plate with a wooden mouthpiece.
Delicate operations still continue to be done by hand and, most importantly, Robert Clarke’s traditional conical bore has been retained to give the instrument its unique sound, called ‘chiff ’. No other Tinwhistle has the same degree of ‘chiff ’ as a Clarke.
The tone of the Clarke Tinwhistle is clear and fl ute-like, but it is also described as ‘crisp and responsive’ by Bill Ochs, and ‘husky and sensual’ by Mary Bergin. All these descriptions add up to ‘chiff ’ – what Tommy Makem calls ‘The great Clarke tone’. This is what makes a Clarke Tinwhistle unique.