[Harp-L] EDHarmonica v Spiral

Robert Hale robert@xxxxx
Fri Sep 7 16:45:17 EDT 2018

I have not got an EDHarmonica in my mouth yet. According to Rockin Ron and
the US Seydel rep, they will be 2-3 weeks out yet for order.

I am a long time Spiral player, so I'm naturally curious about anything
that attempts to top it. Ultimately, it will be the player's decision about
the trade-offs for each tuning.
(I plan to tool up an EDHarp in key of C (Blow 2) from Db diatonic plates
and some solder.)


Here's what I notice so far:

   1. The EDHarp tuning is regular, every 3 holes, repeated. Cool.
   2. 3 draw bends (semitone) and 1 double-bend (whole step) per octave.
   3. It does call for 2 overblow (OB) notes per octave, which will limit
   SOME players, and owners of Lee Oskar harps that do not support OB as well
   as Hohner.
   4. But on the C harp in the key of C, the OB notes are the flat 3rd
   (Eb), and the sharp 5 (G#). The flat 3rd is easily addressed by player
   utilizing the relative minor mode from Blow 1 instead.

In perspective, EDHarp is clear about the need for notes in this way:

   - the most frequently used notes do not require any special skills
   - notes that are used less often are played with the additional draw
   bend technique
   - and only the most infrequent notes require overblowing

Without the use of OB, EDHarp delivers 10 out of 12 chromatic tones per
octave. Awesome!

- - -


Spiral (Circular, Zirk) delivers 10 out of 12 chromatic tones per octave,
too, AND....
offers the sharp Five (#5 / b6) in the second octave WITHOUT OB. Yay!
(Spiral consumes 4 holes per octave AND reverses breathing in each
alternate octave. Sounds gruesome, but it is cake)

Listing the draw bends (semitone)
First octave: b3, b5, b7
Second octave: b2, b6 (#5)

If you have not already invested time in learning Spiral tuning, this is a
good place to compare the two.
I will explore the EDHarp to help my student. But I have no incentive to
drop Spiral for EDHarp.


Robert Hale
Serious Honkage in Arizona

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