Re: Lee Oskar Meoldy Maker Harps

Eric Brown wrote:
> Can anyone recommend a list of tunes and keys suitable
> for the Melody Maker harps? 

The Melody Maker tuning makes it possible to play the major scale in 
second position in the second octave without bends or overbends.  
This means that just about any tune based on the major scale will 
work nicely in that layout, and give you those juicy draw bends that 
make the diatonic so expressive.  

I first was turned on to the Melody Maker tuning when I was trying to 
work out "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for a holiday 
performance with our local harp club.  In second position on a normal 
Richter harp I would have to hit that 5OB to get the F# in the major 
G scale on a C harp, but with the Melody Maker it was there on the 5 
draw in place of the F (you can still get the F by bending down a 
half step).  In addition, the lower A in the scale is available on 
the 3 blow (instead of a duplicated G), rather than having to bend 
the 3 draw down a whole step, which means you can hit it faster and 
cleaner (see the recent discussion of the "Paddy Richter" tuning).  

Since then I've found that just about any tune that lays out on the 
major scale plays well in second position on a Melody Maker 
(try "Somewhere Over the Rainbow").  I don't use them most of the 
time because the chords and octaves are awkward for me playing 
regular I-IV-V stuff, and I've also got the 5OB down well enough to 
cover most tunes.  Still, it's a nice tuning when you need to play 
that melody note for note and it needs to be clean as a whistle.  


- -tim

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