Re: Whammer-Jammer Tablature

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That tab was written for a friend a long time ago and was never meant for public consumption. You absolutely have to know the song well for the tab to be useful. It was written before we could dump a song from CD to our computer and play it back at half speed or slower to learn it.

It was emailed privately to a couple of harp-ler's several years ago and now it's showing up on web sites and in print. It is not in the public domain and Coast to Coast Music are the only folks that have permission to post it and that's because they asked.

Well y'all, I'm off to Kazaa to heist some copyrighted intellectual property.


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I have previously opined that tablature should be abandoned after the =
second page of the beginner's harmonica method. This is because it is =
more arcane and more difficult to read than standard notation when you =
get past "Lightly Row" and "Oh Susannah" to real music. I understand =
that tab describes the operation of the instrument and standard notation =
describes the music produced.

The perfect example is the tab for Whammer-Jammer on page 56 of the =
Spring/Summer 03 Harmonica Happenings. (I'll overlook the blurring and =
pixellation that was apparently caused by scanning it at too low a =
resolution.)  I don't see how anyone can look at this and with a =
straight face criticize standard notation as being difficult or =

It seems to me to fail as a means of communicating music because it =
would make sense only to a person who already knows the piece.  In that =
case it is mostly useless or redundant.   I find the following problems =
with it:

* Because it is not separated into measures, one has no idea where the =
beat lies.
* Because the notes don't have time values, the phrasing is not =
* It is very difficult to get a feel for rising or falling musical lines =
from numbers and arrows.
* It communicates almost no sense of pitch intervals.

The writer apparently had to make up a lot of his notation ad hoc.  =
Through numerous footnotes, he makes an attempt at suggesting the timing =
of certain repeated phrases.  Example: (2) =3D "wa-da-la-da-da-da-duh"  =
These syllables probably make perfect sense to the writer who already =
knows the phrasing but are gibberish to the reader who does not. Maybe =
if we knew that a "duh" =3D 2 "la" =3D 4 "da" =3D 1.5 "wa", then we =
could dope it out.

Is there anyone who could play the piece from that tablature who was not =
already familiar with it from some other source?


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