[Harp-L] Irish Reel with Jianpu Notation

On my travels I’ve been out to Asia several times, where there is a
thriving organised harmonica scene based around competitions at the big
festivals, notably the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival. 


Most players there read music well, but not Western dots - they read Jianpu
notation (简谱). It’s a brilliant system, and especially good for harmonica
players, because it’s effective regardless of the key of the score or of
the harmonica. Similar to Nashville numbered chords in concept, this goes
much further and applies the numerical system to the melody notes, with all
the attendant supplementary information: stresses, note lengths, pitch etc


It’s a simple idea, relating all notes to their scale degrees relative to
the home or key note. So if you’re in C, then D is 2, E is 3, F is 4, G is
5 and so on. Lower octave notes have a dot below the number, and higher
octave ones have a dot above the number. More info on Jianpu notation at




I’ve done a short series of instructional videos for Irish Harmonica, and
decided to incorporate Jianpu along with Western dot and harmonica TAB. Here
is the first of the videos, a catchy reel called The Maid Behind the Bar:





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