Re: [Harp-L] Chords

Robert Hale wrote:

>Tom Richardson wrote:
><How do Spirals compare to Country-tuned?  In avoidance of overblows?  In
My comments here refer to Spiral with the fundamental Major scale rooted
on draw 2 and Blow 6.
(Other placements, shifted left or right, are possible and available.)
This layout is most relatable for diatonic players with some experience in
second position (2P) and for those who work with Melody Maker and Natural
Minor from Lee Oskar.

I have 6 short videos on youtube introducing Spiral and why I think it is
SO effective... <clippage>

Spiral offers 6 full triads (chords), 3 Major and 3 minor. (See video link)
Think Bill Withers' Lean On Me.
Add fourth hole to triads for Maj7th and minor 7th. Very tasty! <...more clippage>

Thanks for that informative post and accompanying set of videos, Robert. I'm a bit relieved knowing your explorations of alternate tunings didn't make you "forget" how to play standard Richter layout. I share that same fear.

I play mostly blues and old-timey so the venerable Richter layout is fine for me. I prefer compromised tunings of one temperament or another for their gorgeous chords. But I also like to play bluegrass and traditional Irish where I play single notes in synchrony with other instruments that are equal tuned (fiddles, guitars, mandolins, etc.) so I have a full set of equal-tuned Suzuki Promasters that I've half-valved. (I found out the hard way that 7-limit Just tuning doesn't fly in those situations.)

And that brings me to my question. I eschew playing chords on those Suzukis, though I love them in every other respect. That's because, to my ear, chords on an equal-tuned harp sound ah, well, annoyingly sour. I've avoided Lee Oskar harps largely for that reason, though it's painful since the two I have have lasted 15 years.

I was anxious to hear you demonstrate chords with spiral tuning but it sounds, again to my ear, that you've tuned your harps with no compromise to their temperament -- in other words, equally. I say that because, and I am being blunt here only because I am genuinely curious, all those chords that you showed us are so conveniently available with spiral tuning sounded "equally" sour to my ear.

So, I wonder if you've ever tried applying some sort of compromised temperament to spiral tuning to make those chords sound more harmonious?

Or maybe the question is, why do you not do so?



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