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About harpomatic

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    Chatty concertinist

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  1. Wolf, i am one of those "multi-instrumentalists, and understanding your remark, simply want to tell you that time after time your understanding and vision of EC and the way you express your observations are just spot-on. I particularly enjoyed your "piano" comparison in this post, as well as guitar parallels that you expressed in the past.
  2. Tom, exactly what Pat says - you didn't pull enough air to activate the opposing reed. What you did is a single reeded bend, in both cases, with and without the finger blocking off the opposite reed. In this case, indeed, valves are even helpful, as that single reed will bend even easier. Double reeded bends are a technique that once conquered, seems to be hard to avoid using, it's such a staple of blues playing that one tends to overdo it. However it is not easy to develop this technique at first, and you're simply not doing it right (yet). Its not just the force of the airflow, but a chang
  3. Alex knew I wasn't kidding.. I have chord harmonica with plastic reeds, works great. Last night I made a reed out of a plastic cup - it gives a bass note so loud and low, that it rattles my teeth if I blow it.
  4. Wolf, this confirms my thinking of EC, in this case (nonET-tuned), as an instrument in C, piano- like. Don, yes, and pedal steel guitar is tuned to A442 -443, and going into various tempered tunings from there(mainly elders are still at it), or tuning Et. But that's the origin of the pitch creep, that took us up to 454 once before... Greg, very informative, thank you for further clarification of this curious topic, you are among the very few who have hands on experience with so many instruments - that's a unique vantage point you got there, much appreciated! On your points about tuning reed
  5. Thank you, excellent material! So, as I understand, in case of EC (and not necessarily other systems), it is rather tuned to middle C of whatever frequency it happens to be. Will check tomorrow to see how close it really is to modern pitch..
  6. What I don't completely understand yet, is the "zero" note vs the "home" note, to which the whole thing is tuned. Based on what I read thus far, the "zero" note may be, say, A (440 or whatever else), while the "home" note to which the entire instrument is tuned may be some other note, G or C, or D for example. As if an instrument is in a particular key, which with ET, it isn't (talking about EC here)... So, I get the concept, but how to determine my "home" key - a bit confused there. Ps. My guess it's C, red buttons and all, but is it, really?
  7. Steve, based on my understanding of a current situation, 1/5 is preferable, its a bit closer to Et, sweetened chords, but still not too clashing with ET tuned playing partners (given that you're tuned to the same concert pitch.) The genius of EC is that you get both enharmonics, this way the layout makes so much more sence... (correct me if I am wrong, I just started my excursion into this meantone territory)
  8. Thank you fellas, seems like Greg zeroed in on the answer here - upon closer inspection and after reading up on the 1/5 mean tone here on Cnet, it does sound like the correct identification. I was checking with a "better" tuner, but not the best, cents read in increments of 5, so (very) few cents here and there probably can account for "not exact", as Greg put it, but still very convincing temperament identification. Fascinating stuff!
  9. John, thanks for pointing out lack of relevant info (though I know that concert pitch isn't any temperament:), I was hoping that perhaps a given "modern" pitch + just a mere fact of different enharmonics may lead to a quick guess. Wrong assumption on my part, but your advice lead to a good session of more precise measuring on a better tuner (though, who knows, really), and I get a pretty consistent read out for the first time: First, my A is 443 (not 442). All my Ab, Eb, Bb are +15 cents sharp, throughout the instrument. All F#, C#, G# and D# are -15 cents flat. All B's are -5, F's an
  10. Just curious, how did they stamp those "letter" names on bone buttons? Nice feature, btw, even though I know them by heart..
  11. Friends, what's the tuning temperament in this EC: A442 and doubling as it should throughout the range on those "A"s, while my doubled enharmonics are clearly differently tuned? It's clearly not ET, but not one of those antiquated A 452 or 436, or such, either. Produces nice chords, as expected, seems to work with modern stuff, too - A442 is close to modern concert pitch, currently in use by about half of all tunable instruments, as the modern concert pitch. ?.
  12. I'd surely try a Wheatstone hybrid before any other, they surely knew a thing or two about making these things....
  13. Now, the single reeded bends do exist, as well - you do get them on a chromatic harp, where reeds are isolated from each other via a different construction method, including valves, like in concertinas and accordions. Yes, the single reed can bend down, almost a whole tone, but not much more than that. It sounds very similar, but not entirely the same (not as deep and raunchy), and it doesn't feel the same (in the player's mouth). You can, however, remove valves on an airtight harp (most of them, though not all, you have to know what you're doing there), and those deep, raunchy, dirty bluesy
  14. Tom, greetings! Well, there are two sources of proof, one is my personal one that I will describe shortly, another is out there in the world in form of a harmonica, built around this principle. The first one, the original designed by Rick Epping for Hohner(also a concertina player, if I am not mistaken), called XB40, no longer being produced, and currently the only other that's in production is Suzuki S30 or something like that. The XB stands for "extra bending", and it does that, indeed. That includes bends in holes (reeds) that normally do not bend, all 40 of them. The ones that do not bend
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