Re: [Harp-L] comb material

B Boggs wrote:
> Tim Moyer and several other writers made reasonable comments 
> about bone conduction and how the brain fuses senses into a 
> perception. 

I haven't said anything up until now.  

Several years ago we were engaged in this very same debate.  At one 
point I was conversing offlist with Doug Tate (God, I miss Doug), 
and we shared the same thought: I don't care whether you can remove 
all the other factors than the comb material and prove or disprove 
that it makes a perceptible difference to the audience.  What I do 
care about is that I can use comb material, along with cover plate 
shape, reed plate thickness, reed thickness, reed slot tolerances, 
reed offset and shape, chamber size and shape, tuning, intonation, 
and a whole host of other subtly nuanced things to create an 
instrument that the player can use to communicate with their 
audiences through hand positions, amplification techniques, effects, 
volume, and dynamics.  

When I want to play pre-WWII era blues in a duo with accoustic 
guitar I'll choose one harp; when I want to play dinner club jazz 
standards I'll choose another; and when I want to rock out with my 
c*ck out I'll choose another.  In one case I might be vamping tongue 
blocked octaves and doing big wavy hand motions in front of a vocal 
mic.  In another I might be puckering single note scale runs full of 
overblows and precise bends, doubling another chromatic instrument.  
In another I might be doing lots of deep throat vibrato, switching 
between tongue blocking and puckering, single notes and chords.  
Does comb material make a differnce?  It does to me.  In combination 
with other factors, it changes the way I approach the instrument.  
Can the audience hear it?  They can certainly hear the differences 
in my style and approach.  Can they hear the difference in comb 
material?  Depends on how you look at it.  

Ya'll have fun now,


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