[Harp-L] RE: Scottish/Irish tunes

Some alternative tunings for "Celtic' music that I have tried..

The 3 pack :

Fits into a redundant kingsize filter cigarette leather belt pack

 The litte pocket for the lighter on the side will hold a piccolo (if you still have one)

1 Spiral D Dorian

C major scale

D Dorian (as It's name indicates )

G Mixolydian

A natural minor


To build - 

Take a C Richter harmonica, 

carefully file the weight off the 1 hole blow till it sounds the same as the 1 hole draw. = D

Now file weight off the 1 hole draw till it sounds the same as the 2 hole blow. = E

File the blow reed in hole 2 up a semi-tone. = F

Raise the 3 blow a whole step = A


2 Spiral D Mixolydian

G major scale

A dorien

D mixolydian

E natural minor 

To build - take another C harmonica follow the same procedure as the D Dorian

 Raise Hole 2 blow up to F#

Similarly Holes 5 & 9 draw raise 1 semitone = F# 


3 Spiral D Major

D major scale

E Dorian

A Mixolydian

B natural minor


To Build - (you guessed it !) take another C harmonica

Repeat the process as in harmonica 2

Now raise all C 's, that's blow holes 4, 7, & 10 up a semi-tone = C#


Up until now this system is based on Tony Ayres Major Ctoss concept.

To complete the full spiral on each harmonica swap the blow & draw reeds from holes 7 through 10 


Another more recent model I've built combines the G & the D major scales 

12 holes covering 3 octaves - simple to build. 2 raised notes & a 1 hole reed swap per octave.

Resulting scales:

G major scale

A Dorian

D Mixolydian

E natural minor 

D major scale

E Dorian

A Mixolydian

B natural minor

Gives all of the above scales with out bending


With 1 bend add

C major scale

D Dorian 

G Mixolydian

A natural minor

A major

B Dorian

E Mixolydian

F# natural minor


(There are more possibilities but they go beyond what is considered to be polite in Gaelic speaking circles)


I first wanted to call this tuning 'the culchie' but soon realised that it would only be funny in Dublin.

Second choice wa ' the celtic be-bop scale '

I finally chose 'the Mulcahy' after my Mother.


All that's left for me to do is learn some Irish tunes.




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