[Harp-L] Draw bend 5

Arthur Jennings arturojennings@xxxxx
Sat Feb 3 10:27:05 EST 2018

If 5 blow is 14 cents flat and 5 blow is 29 cents flat, then the interval between them is 85 cents, not 115 cents, the higher pitched reed has been flattened more than the lower pitch reed bringing them closer together.

> On Feb 2, 2018, at 7:31 AM, Tom Halchak <info at xxxxx> wrote:
> ​​The conversation about the 5-draw bend has me thinking about the various
> tunings available on our beloved 10-hole diatonic and how that affects
> everything.  Ask any Harp Tech, and they will tell you that the most
> commonly blown out reed is the 5-draw and many believe that it is due to
> the fact that players try to bend it down a full semitone.  As a player, it
> is enlightening to hear such prominent players and Michael Rubin and Steve
> Baker state their cases in favor of the use of the 5-draw bend.  And I like
> Iceman’s point about the ability to “humanize” or “color” a note using
> something less than a full semitone bend.  I must confess that I have
> probably allowed the Left Brain to suppress my Right Brain on this.
> But here are my thoughts about tunings.  We know that there are 100 cents
> between semitones.  On harmonicas that are tune to Equal Temperament, like
> a Golden Melody or a Lee Oskar, the 5-blow and the 5-draw are, in theory,
> tuned 100 cents apart.  But with other tunings, the two reeds are tuned
> slightly sharp or slightly flat, and in the case of 7-Limit Just
> Intonation, very flat.
> For example, with 7-Limit, the tuning chart calls for the 5-blow to be 14
> cents flat and the 5-draw to be 29 cents flat.  So, with 7-Limit, the
> interval between 5-blow and 5-draw is 115 cents.  One might think that
> would give us a little more room at the bottom when bending the 5-draw.
> And, it is worth pointing out, that an awful lot of the traditional blues
> music that is such a huge part of the harmonica heritage, was played and
> recorded on harps tuned to 7-Limit.
> Modern Compromise Temperament calls for both the 5-blow and the 5-draw to
> be 12 cents flat, it maintains the interval of 100 cents.
> 19-Limit Just Intonation calls for the 5-blow to be tuned 14 cents flat and
> the 5-draw to be tuned 3 cents sharp.  That reduces the interval to only 83
> cents between the 5-blow and 5-draw.  In theory, should that not affect the
> ability to flatten the 5-draw?
> I have noticed from my numerous conversations with other harp players, that
> many have a much better ear than I do and hear subtle differences in tone,
> etc. that I don’t.  I’m not tone deaf, but I am probably middle of the road
> relative to the fantastic ears pro players have.  Have any of you noticed a
> difference in the 5-draw bend from one tuning to the next?
> -- 
> *Tom Halchak*
> *Blue Moon Harmonicas LLC*
> *P.O. Box 14401 Clearwater, FL 33766*
> *www.BlueMoonHarmonicas.com <http://www.BlueMoonHarmonicas.com>**Blue Moon
> on Facebook* <http://www.facebook.com/BlueMoonHarmonicas>
> *(727) 366-2608*

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