Re: [Harp-L] "Richter" tuning (was Circle of Fifths, and different tunings)

Actually, Richter is a person who cannot be located in space or time; in short, he has the status of an unverified myth. Pat Missin has done considerable research on him:

As for the note layout, the identical layout is used in diatonic button accordions, and nobody knows whether this note layout appeared first on accordions or harmonicas.

I personally own 19th century harmonica instruction books that show "Richter" brand harmonicas with note layouts different from the "Richer" layout we know today.

A few years ago some folks on this list made a move to talk about "German Major" tuning rather than Richter tuning. A good idea, but like most efforts to get people to change their habits, it went pretty much nowhere.

Pat also states, with some authority, that Richter refers not to the note layout but the type of construction, it being one of three main construction types:

Richter construction: blow reeds and draw reeds on separate reedplates, with pairs of draw and blow reed sharing the same air channel in the comb.

Knittlinger construction: Blow and draw reeds side by side on the same reedplate, with upper and lower reedplates containing reed tuned either in octaves (like the Hohner Autovalve and the Seydel Concerto, in tremolo, or, in chromatic harmonicas, tuned a semitone apart. There is a horizontal divider separating the upper and lower half of each reed chamber, but both halves can be played at once (except in chromatics, where the mouthpiece and slide mechanism allow the player to separate upper and lower air channels, and in the XB-40, which makes several sopohisticated mods to the basic Knitlinger design). Named for the town on Knittlingen, where this type of construction either was developed or was the main type made.

Wiener (named for Vienna) construction: Blow and draw reeds side by side, with upper and lower reedplates tuned either in tremolo, in octaves, or even in harmonies (like the Seydel Hochslandklange). Each reed is in its own separate chamber, with horizontal dividers separating upper and lower chambers, and vertical dividers separating neighboring blow and draw reeds.

Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
            Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
            Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
Resident Harmonica Expert,
Instructor, Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance

 From: Buck Worley <boogalloo@xxxxxxx>
To: Robert Laughlin <harmonicaman1968@xxxxxxxxxxx>; "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:29 AM
Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Circle of Fifths, and different tunings

Richter is the name of the guy who came up with the layout or tuning

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