Double Stops

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Ken Ficara asks about the term "Double stops."

It just means a two-note chord.

The term comes from violin playing. Any note that isn't an open
string on the violin is "stopped" somewhere on the fingerboard by
a finger of the player's left hand. A double stop would, quite
literally, be a two note chord in which neither string is played
open. In actual usage, however, it doesn't seem to matter if one
or both notes are stopped - it's just a two-note chord.

It sounds impressive and "legit," and harmonica players borrowed
it sometime earlier this century in order to dress up their

Someone may pipe up on the list and insist that on the harmonica
a double stop occurs only when the two notes are separated by a
tongue block, but I haven't heard it commonly used in this
limited fashion, and the term itself makes no literal sense when
applied to the harmonica.

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