Re: [Harp-L] History of harp tuning
Why are you concerned with popularity of the "standard" tuning? Playing
well is a concern is not?
On Tue, May 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Rick Dempster <rickdempster33@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:
> I'd argue that the harmonica's popularity through it's existence can be
> attributed to a fair extant
> to the fact that you can hear a recording, go out and buy a stock harp
> and imitate what you heard without to much bother.
> Custom tunings amount to a Tower of Babel.
> The harp will always have its base following as a simple 'folk' instrument,
> despite the existence of virtuosos and professionals.
> Dylan's playing (shudder!) probably resulted in far more harp sales than
> just about anyone
> else you care to mention.
> I don't care what you do to it; it still sounds like a mouth organ!
> On 13 May 2014 04:42, Robert Hale <robert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > (Pretentious topic, huh?)
> > Each of us who teach develop efficient ways to "tell the story" to a new
> > harp student. (Please don't bother to nit pick details with me here, cuz
> > new students just want to get rockin' on their new harp!)
> > About 1850, a clockmaker from Germany started mass-producing harmonicas.
> > The tuning he chose offered a nice one-octave scale in the middle, two
> > major chords at the low end, and different pattern of scales tones at the
> > high end.
> > The two chords were intended to be the Tonic (blow) and Dominant Seventh
> > (draw). When the instrument migrated to America, some players reversed
> > two, using the Tonic chord (draw) and the Subdominant (blow). When
> > was added to individual notes, this tuning became the foundation of
> > American blues, folk, and rock and roll.
> > THE INSTRUMENT HELPED TO SHAPE THE MUSIC. Had another tuning been in use
> > this point, Blues would have sounded much different, and so would the
> > that imitated and followed it.
> > I think Lee Oskar took a brilliant position in the market by offering two
> > tunings (Natural Minor and Melody Maker) that altered the historical and
> > "familiar" arrangement, each by only 3 notes. Players could comprehend
> > changes, and build upon their previously learned 2nd position habits.
> > (Using a C harp for key of G songs.) It became an accessible "bridge."
> > (Fast-forward to the Spiral tuning)
> > Step right up, friends and neighbors, Spiral tuning is how the harmonica
> > SHOULD have been invented in 1850. <grin> Truly!
> > Spiral does what Lee's two alternate tunings (above) do, and does them
> > well!. Come on over into the LIGHT, my friends. (But it's NOT the sound
> > our American blues catalog, so I keep both!)
> > My respect goes to the archivists of our passion - Winslow Yerxa and Pat
> > Missin.
> > Robert Hale
> > Spiral Advocate (Fanatic!)
> > Learn Harmonica by Webcam
> > http://www.youtube.com/DUKEofWAIL
> > http://www.dukeofwail.com
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