Comets and Preciosas
- Subject: Comets and Preciosas
- From: "Alan Mayne" <mayne_alan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 00:38:20 -0500
I have a C/g Comet and a Preciosa in A. I don't use them a whole lot but
I got the Comet after I bought an instructional, "Traditional Mouth Organ,
Irish, English and Scottish tunes" by Tony Sullivan. I ordered it thru Lark
in the Morning wanting a book of Celtic/Brit tunes for my ten hole then
found out it was specifically for tremolo/octave harps. Not a big problem
though. the tunes were good and easily adaptable to ten hole for the most
part. But it inspired me to try a Double sided Comet like Sullivan prefers.
I have used it now and again, but it languished when I was learning and
playing a lot of cross harp with bends. At SPAH, Phil Duncan did a nice
workshop on the octave/tremolo harp and has a new instructional out
specifically for it. His is the only other instructional I've ever seen for
this kind of harp. Inspired by Phil, I've been getting the Comet out daily
trying to play it like Sullivan does on his instructional. (thanks,Phil!!)
I got the Preciosa second hand from a friend who hardly used it. I live on
the Tex/Mex border and the Preciosa has come in handy for some Mexican
tunes. At music shops across the border, I never see the 10 hole diatonic.
I see only tremolos and octaves. Hohner makes an inexpensive wood combed
tremolo called a Centenario thats fun to play. There aren't a lot of harp
players in this area, but every once in awhile I meet an old timer who talks
about how he used to play and when I show him my Lee Oskar or Special 20,
he'll say "no, the big longer kind" refering to the tremolos. So I think
back in the 30's and 40's harp was big in this area only the tremolo/octave
A consistent performer at the South Texas Music Festival in Mercedes, Texas,
has been Pantaleon Benavides. He plays great Tex/Mex polkas and Tejano on an
octave with a rack while accompanying himself on the bajo sexto. He used to
play bajo sexto along with the legendary accordion player, Chucho Martinez,
and sez after Chucho died, Chucho came to him in dream and inspired him to
play polkas with the harp. Cool old guy!! Great harp player!
So anyways, If anyone out there knows more about this more traditional style
of harp and what they use it for, please speak up. I have heard of but not
yet seen or heard octave/tremolos being used in Cajun Zydeco.
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