Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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IaNerd
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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by IaNerd » Thu May 12, 2022 9:19 pm

Below we have the same as the two tunings in the post just above, except shifted to the right by one hole in order to get at least one full octave of easy blow-draw play in all church modes--in holes 1 through 7.

In holes 4 through 12 we have the repeating breath pattern for two full octaves--afforded by the rectifying Double Lead Tones.

Both tunings are fully chromatic with the use of the slider and without requiring any draw-bends.

I foresee that these tunings could be fantastic if extended on the high end in 14-hole and 16-hole harps.

Flat-slide version, chords:
Slide out:
CEGB Cmaj7, EGBD Em7, GBDF G7, BDFA Bdim7/A, DFAB Dm6, FAB F(b5)
DFAC Dm7, FACE Fmaj7, ACEG Am7, CEGB Cmaj7, EGB Em
Slide in:
CEbGbBb Cdim7; EbGbBbDb Ebm7, GbBbDbF Gbmaj7, BbDbFAb Bfm7
DbFAbC Dbmaj7, FAbCEb Fm7, AbCEbGb Ab7, CEbGbBb Cm7(b5), EbGbBbC Ebm6, GbBbC Gb(b5)

Sharp-slide version, chords:
Slide out:
CEGB Cmaj7, EGBD Em7, GBDF G7, BDFA Bm7(b5), DFAB Dm6,
DFAC Dm7, FACE Fmaj7, ACEG Am7, CEGB Cmaj7, EGB Em
Slide in:
C#EG#B C#m7, EG#BD# Emaj7, G#BD#F# G#m7, BD#F#A# Bmaj7, D#F#A# D#m
D#F#A# D#m, F#A#C#E F#7, A#C#EG# A#dim7, C#EG#B C#m7, EG#BC# E6

If I have misidentified any of these chords, please PM me.

ADDENDUM, May 28, 2022: In the flat-slide version (below), with the slide in, the 12 blow could instead be a Db, to complete its octave.

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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by IaNerd » Thu May 12, 2022 10:11 pm

I will point out--before anyone else does--that all of the tunings in the posts above lack some of the enharmonics that we would have in more typical chromatic tunings. And that these enharmonics can be useful. True. I acknowledge this as a fair point.

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winslowyerxa
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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by winslowyerxa » Mon May 16, 2022 6:09 pm

Not a comment directly on any of the tunings mentioned in this thread.

Rather, a comment on the way of diagramming them, which makes no logical sense. Why diagram the high notes *below* the low notes, and why put the second bank of *even higher* notes below that?

This stupid way of representing note layouts seems to proceed from the fact that diatonic harmonicas have all the draw reeds on the lower plate. Great if you need to locate a specific reed for tuning or adjustment. But it makes zero sense musically

Here's how I diagram chromatic harmonicas, which makes the actual layout of notes clear, both in terms of what notes are in which layer, and how the notes rise (or don't) through the chromatic scale:

Chromatic Note Layouts.png
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winslowyerxa
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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by winslowyerxa » Mon May 16, 2022 6:19 pm

On the spiral layout, essentially, you have all the diatonic "ladder of thirds" (triad, seventh, ninth, etc.) chords of the keys of C major and Db major. Which is a lot of chords, and far more than what you get in solo tuning. Many of them function in additional keys, but it's far from comprehensive.

You do give up intervals of the second, fourth, sixth, and octave, though.

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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by EdvinW » Mon May 16, 2022 7:36 pm

winslowyerxa wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:09 pm
Not a comment directly on any of the tunings mentioned in this thread.

Rather, a comment on the way of diagramming them, which makes no logical sense. Why diagram the high notes *below* the low notes, and why put the second bank of *even higher* notes below that?

This stupid way of representing note layouts seems to proceed from the fact that diatonic harmonicas have all the draw reeds on the lower plate. Great if you need to locate a specific reed for tuning or adjustment. But it makes zero sense musically
There are various competing ways to write harmonica tunings. Most people I've met prefer one of them, but can read the others with some varying degree of difficulty. Of course it would be easier if we would all use the same system, but to convince someone to use your system I've found you need better arguments than to simply state that it "makes more sense". Your idea of how things are suppose to be makes sense, as does Brendan's system of writing all the notes on a single line, Pat's system and even the one I use in personal notes, which is similar to Pat's. All have pros and cons, but you need a rather solid case to argue one is strictly better than another.

You seem to confuse the musical concept of "high" with the positional concept of "high". They share the same term in English, but they wouldn't necessarily have to. We could equally well have chosen to talk about tones as "bright" vs "dark", "sharp" vs "dull" or why not "blue" vs "red", to refer to the same quality. For people playing instruments like the cello, it might have actually made more sense to reverse our current nomenclature and refer to the notes produced by pushing strings at a point close to the ground as "low"!

In our society, and a few others, we typically read things from top to bottom and/or left to right, or some combination thereof. When going through the scale, it thus makes perfect sense to put the first note of the scale on top if we want to arrange the two tones in a hole vertically.

When drawing diagrams for guitar chords, higher notes are typically positioned lower than the low notes. Should we correct that practice as well?
Last edited by EdvinW on Mon May 16, 2022 8:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Exploring a "Spiral-Chromatic" concept. Is this new?

Post by IaNerd » Mon May 16, 2022 8:34 pm

Winslow, I understand your point. In fact, Brendan and I and others had a detailed discussion on this very topic about a year ago.

I have seen many tuning diagrams since I started learning such things fifty years ago. Most of the diagrams that I have seen, including the Configurator at Seydel, are structured in the "stupid" way. By now it is how I am wired. Thank goodness no one is obligated to diagram as I do.

One of the great twentieth-century philosophers said that it is easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.

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