[Harp-L] harp tuning

Hello Folks,

I have read some of the responses to my e-mail about the tuning of Marine Band Harmonicas--and I understand where everyone is coming from, but no one has really addressed my concern. All I know is that if I play a Marine Band out-of-the-box at the same time I play a piano tuned with standard temperament to A=440 , the harmonica is way out of tune with the piano. It not only is out of tune but the intervals are not adjusted to the same temperament. Hohner has told me they do indeed tune most of the diatonics sharp and use a temperament that suits the key of the harp so that all the chords played on it sound in tune. However, as I just said, this causes problems when played with a standard tuned piano.

I know that Golden Melodies are tuned to standard pitch--but I don't like playing them for several other reasons; the Marine Band is a much better harp for me. I play lots of chords, have been using over-blows on the low end of the harp since at least 1972, and play as hard as anybody I know---but I often play the note as it's tuned along with complex chord patterns on the piano. So, I want those notes to match, especially when I'm playing harmony with the melodies I'm playing on the piano.

I don't know if anyone else has this problem. Fortunately, Hohner will send me Marine Bands tuned to A-440 (for an extra fee), and tuned with a temperament that works much better with a tuned piano. The folks at Hohner told me there was only one other person who had the same complaint--a guy who plays harp along with mallet instruments (vibraharp and marimba) and he also gets specially tuned harps.

Prior to 1982, all Marine Bands were tuned to A-440. It would save some hassle (at least for me) if Hohner went back to that.

Thanks for your responses,

Patrick Hazell

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