[Harp-L] SBS / Extended Richter Tuning

Steve Baker steve@xxxxx
Mon May 29 05:39:56 EDT 2017

The original idea of the SBS tuning occurred to me in the early 1980s and after I began working for Hohner in 1987, I convinced them to start making the 14 hole version, which came on the market around 1990. As bad_hat rightly observes, that was the only existing diatonic comb which would accommodate all 10 holes of the standard Richter tuning plus the extra 3 holes for the bottom octave. We tried 10 and 12 hole versions (Marine Band 364 comb) but decided to stay with the full range.

I described the tuning in the Harp Handbook (1990) and subsequently played it extensively live and on record (all 4 of my CDs with the late great Chris Jones include titles played on SBS). In 1992, Winslow Yerxa kindly featured me on the cover of HIP #2, which contained a lengthy article on this tuning. So you could have heard of it from a variety of sources. Both Brendan Power and Pierre Beauregard (and maybe others too) also thought of it independently, but didn’t have access to the manufacturing facilities at the time.

The Easttop Lucky 13 is the first instrument to do full justice to the tuning, congratulations to Brendan for getting them to make it. As I pointed out in the Harp Handbook back then, that would be the ideal solution and it’s great that someone has finally made it happen. Seydel also brought out their first version of this tuning under the name Blues Solist Pro about 10 years ago.

Steve Baker

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