Determining key - Thanks

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    Ask a question from Ohio and get anwswers from California and the 
    Netherlands - and Kieth at AOL somewhere.
    		Jeez I love this list. Thanks Winslow, Goobs & Keith.
                                              and Joe & Charlie from ???
    Winslow writes...
    >From Jack's description of his difficulty, the problem may not be
    >one of key but of position.
    >Can you determine for sure if this is a tape fluctution or not?
    >Is the note halfway between pitches when the others aren't, or is
    >it dead on, just not the note you expect it to be?
    Tape seems to be consistent, I couldn't detect any fluctuation.
    >Does the internal evidence - the tonal structure of the
    >accompanying chords and the scales used elsewhere in the piece -
    >indicate which way the note should go?
    Hmmm. Listening to another part of the song may be where the real clues as 
    to key, position are. Thanks for the eye opener.
    >If you're having to bend to get the note, and it's being played
    >on diatonic, then maybe the original was played in:
    >     - Another position on a different key harp (different mode)
    >     - the same position but a different tuning - minor tuning,
    >       melody maker, "country" tuning, etc.
    Yes, there was one point where I thought a "country" tuned harp was 
    working - I'll check that out further.
    >Again, internal evidence is available from the instruments you're
    >hearing. There are characteristic things that happen in each
    >position on both chromatic and diatonic, and don't happen in any
    >other, and you can hear them if you listen closely.
    Good point - maybe a few listens without trying to play along are in 
    >For instance, on chromatic, some slide trills that work in F are
    >impossible transposed down to E. And if the two side-by-side C's
    >(or Db's) are played together, that's a real giveaway. All-blow
    >or all-draw gliss-type arpeggi can also give away a position.
    >Some of these can be raised a semitone with the slide, others
    >(like most slide trills) can't. You have to tote up the evidence
    >and sift through for a position that accomodates all of them.
    I wasn't even thinking chromatic with my question but these are great tips 
    on what to listen for. 
    >With diatonic, because Asian players traditionally don't bend
    >notes, you can immediately discount any key/position/tuning that
    >requires it. Again, find a combination that can account for all
    >the notes. And be aware that there are semi-solo tunings used for
    >diatonics in Asia that you're unlikely to find in North America.
    These Asians were playing blues harps and bending (We probably saw some of 
    them in Trossingen last year) but the minor and or special tunings are 
    very possible. In fact the two tunes "Summertime and "House.." are both 
    written in minor keys if I'm not mistaken.
    >Is it possible to communicate with the original recording artists
    >and ask them?
    Yes, but that's not near as much fun as this list.  :-)
    All good stuff! Thanks again.
    Goobs wites...
    >Just thought I'd get my oar in about the problem of playing along with 
    >pre-recorded music.
    >According to my sadly tiny knowledge of music-making, concert-pitch is 
    >one semi-tone higher than normal, and is used to get a better "cleaner" 
    >sound, especially for live performances.
    >...del... the recording may have been done in concert pitch. ...del...
    Thanks Goobs - I wasn't aware of this but it is something to consider. 
    I've heard the term concert-pitch before but thought it referred to A440.
    Keith writes...
    >As far as key determination (for blues players), what I find works
    >is to wait for the turn around and play the 1 draw as the band
    >hits the 5 chord. It seems to be easier to find the 5 chord. You
    >can tell right away if you have to try a lower or higher harp.
    >Also the 1 draw is low and quiet and no one knows that you
    >don't know the key.
    Thanks Keith. This says a lot for knowing music theory, especially 12 bar 
    progressions, blues scales, modes, etc. I also liked the tip (..deleted..) 
    on watching other musicians in a group. Like the thumbs of the piano 
    player and what the bass player is doing. So it helps to know other 
    instruments too. I don't know all this stuff but I'm learning - and find 
    new reasons every day why I should learn more.
    And while writing this thanks I get still more help.
    from Joe Terrasi - Thanks I think I finally realized these were minor 
    tunes while writing this reply.
    and Charlie Sawyer - I agree the Marantz deck is great. We almost selected 
    one for our recent club purchase but we also had need for dubbing - so we 
    went with the JVC. I might mention that there are different models of the 
    Marantz portable. Some have two speeds (normal and half) - half speed 
    maintains the original key except an octave lower. Some models have 
    variable speed - I don't know if any have both features I.e. variable and 
    half speed. The variable speed decks are usually capable of + or - 10% and 
    consequently will not slow pitch down an octave.
    Thanks again to all - gotta post this before it gets any longer.
                      Jack Ely      ely.j@xxxxxxxxxxxxx@pmdf

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