Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

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!
Post Reply
User avatar
IaNerd
Posts: 453
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Location: Iowa, USA

Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

Post by IaNerd » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:32 pm

Before I re-tune a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor, I ask for your opinions on hole 7 ....

Here are two re-tunings. The former retains more of its Standard Richter character in terms of reversing the breath pattern in hole 7. The latter un-reverses the breath patterns; in other words, it continues the circular/spiral pattern right to the end.

From a melodic standpoint, these two approaches are equivalent. But harmonically, they are different.

Which would you choose, and why?

download/file.php?mode=view&id=618
Attachments
2019-12-14.png
2019-12-14.png (13.81 KiB) Viewed 657 times

User avatar
IaNerd
Posts: 453
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

Post by IaNerd » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:02 pm

Now I am wondering if a better re-tuning (from C Standard Richter to C Harmonic Minor) would be a simple spiral, starting with D in the 1 blow and ending with C in the 7 draw. Of course, the Es and As would be flatted.

Thoughts?

EdvinW
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

Post by EdvinW » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:24 pm

Of course it depends on what music you intend to play. I think I prefer your first options over the spiral, and out of those the version with a C at 7D, but it's not clear cut.

Considering the spiral is lacking the C in the bottom octave, hole 1 feels a bit redundant. For melodies to go that far down without getting to the tonic is uncommon, and hole 1 isn't part of any minor or minor triad, just one diminished and one augmented one. If you want a spiral harmonic minor, I'd say going from F to E instead on from D to C makes more sense. G to F would probably be even better, especially as you could then bend the notes in the tonic triad for ornamentation.

With the spiral, you also loose the low fifth of the Cm chord. The major Ab cord is actually sort of cool (I tried it out on my midi harp) but to having nothing below the root mote of the tonic chord feels a bit empty, at least if you are playing a lot of other chords and not mainly single note playing.

The spiral does also give you the low Fm chord, but both the spiral and the second version in your first post, the one with a C in 7D, you have a Fm chord at the top anyway. Seven holes aren't a lot of real estate, and having two different iv chords might be too expensive a luxury.

The only advantage of your first variant is the high tonic chord. Tonic chords are nice, but more often I would say having more harmonic options is nicer. Cm chords are everywhere anywhere, so I think trading the least useful one for an Fm makes sense.


If your retuning standard harps this might not be as practical, but another option would be to simply exclude hole 1 to make room for a "hole 8" at the top. It's a trade off between chords and melody, but probably if you wanted to play wide melodies you wouldn't be using a Baby Fat to start with :)
Edvin Wedin

EdvinW
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

Post by EdvinW » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:43 am

Another option would be to replace the high B with a Bb:

Code: Select all

C  Eb G  C  Eb G  Bb
D  G  B  D  F  Ab C
This forces you to bend the C to get the B so it might not work for all kinds of playing. There are some advantages thugh:
1. You can use the scale for natural minor as well, making the instrument more versatile. Even if you stay mainly within harmonic minor, the Bb could be a useful accidental.
2. You gain a major Eb chord which could be handy.
3. Bending down from the top C is a nice ornamentation.

But again, it depends on what you want to do.
Edvin Wedin

User avatar
IaNerd
Posts: 453
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Re-tuning a Kongsheng Baby Fat to Harmonic Minor

Post by IaNerd » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:43 am

Thanks, Edvin.

Also, here is a helpful site for chord progressions of particular keys: https://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/c-harm ... hords.html

Post Reply