Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

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!
Gerhard62
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Gerhard62 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:54 pm

triona wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:01 pm

That means "Eb Major" and "C Minor" ?


dear greetings
triona
Yes :roll:
I have been getting it right.
Thanks

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Brendan
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:00 pm

Thanks for the Phrase Maps Edvin - they are really helpful.

I suggest you should post your new info and diagrams to chromatic harmonica forums like Slidemeister and the various ones on Facebook. It will expose the Wedin Chromatic news to a wider range of people interested in this stuff :-)

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Brendan
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:10 pm

The only issue I intuit with the Wedin Chromatic is that one of the main things you consider a strength, could in practice be tricky to play.

I'm referring to the fact that there are lots of same-breath moves in the scales. Theoretically this is good: it gives a smoother transition between notes than blow/draw alteration.

However, in my experience, it's harder to maintain good rhythm when you have a sequence of blow or draw notes all together. When it happens in an Irish tune for example, I have to concentrate much harder to maintain the groove than if the notes are in a blow/draw alternating sequence. I often need to use tonguening articulation to separate out the notes and emphasize the ones I want - otherwise it can sound like a rather bland glissando which doesn't sit well in the groove.

Without trying the Wedin Chromatic and comparing similar phrases, I couldn't be sure how it would 'feel'. When I get some time I'll make one and give it a test, just to see how it compares with more conventional tuning I'm used to.

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triona
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by triona » Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:22 pm

Brendan wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:10 pm
However, in my experience, it's harder to maintain good rhythm when you have a sequence of blow or draw notes all together. When it happens in an Irish tune for example, I have to concentrate much harder to maintain the groove than if the notes are in a blow/draw alternating sequence. I often need to use tonguening articulation to separate out the notes and emphasize the ones I want - otherwise it can sound like a rather bland glissando which doesn't sit well in the groove.
I guess this is actually a fact - both, that this is a strength and difficulty. (I just argue from my experience with any other harmocas.) We must consider, that this is intended as a tuning for melody orientated playing. Larger passages of consecutive blow or draw notes are good, if they should sound as a glissando. If a more rhythmic phrasing is intended, rhythmical or at least "regular" changes from blow to draw are better - what you described as "keeping the groove".

If you are playing mainly dance tunes (especially reels, jigs, polkas and similar, as well as R0ck&Roll, Ska, Reggae etc) a faster change between blow and draw is making it easier. For polskas and most waltzes and similar (as often played in Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish folkmusic, as well as for ballads, hymnes, fado, elgical blues etc) some degree of glissando often is wished. The latter can be applicable to a large part of Russian, other Slavonic and Middle Eastern, Indian and Far Eastern etc styles as well.

To shortcut: Whether this is a strength or a difficulty might depend on the style of music intended to play.

Brendan wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:10 pm
Without trying the Wedin Chromatic and comparing similar phrases, I couldn't be sure how it would 'feel'. When I get some time I'll make one and give it a test, just to see how it compares with more conventional tuning I'm used to.
If you would build one and play, certainly would give a nice experience worthwhile to hear and read about - acoustically and in literal words.


dear greetings
triona
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yI3H ... 9ktgzTR2qg

EdvinW
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by EdvinW » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:09 pm

Brendan wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:00 pm
Thanks for the Phrase Maps Edvin - they are really helpful.
Good to know! I made some more :D These are blow-on-top charts, but swapping them is easy if you would like them reversed.
basic-phrase-map-pentatonic.png
basic-phrase-map-pentatonic.png (26.31 KiB) Viewed 3623 times
I suggest you should post your new info and diagrams to chromatic harmonica forums like Slidemeister and the various ones on Facebook. It will expose the Wedin Chromatic news to a wider range of people interested in this stuff :-)
Thanks for the advice! I've not been a member of either SlideMeister or Facebook.

I won't go into details lest this should turn into pages of rant, but I'll just say I find the Facebook agreement revolting, and I wouldn't support something I think is that detrimental to society by signing their agreement. I don't blame or look down on those who do, but it's not for me. Ideological considerations aside, I'm sure your right that it could be beneficial though, and I do appreciate the advice.

I joined SlideMeister today though! I'll use what I've learned here and make a post there when I've got time.
Brendan wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:10 pm
Without trying the Wedin Chromatic and comparing similar phrases, I couldn't be sure how it would 'feel'. When I get some time I'll make one and give it a test, just to see how it compares with more conventional tuning I'm used to.
It would be very interesting to hear what you think if you do that!

---

The effects of having long streaks of blow or draw notes is an interesting topic, and both Brendan and Triona make good points. I've been a bit busy, but I have things to say and will try to come back to it tomorrow!
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:45 pm

Edvin: what you say about Facebook resonates with me. I was very reluctant to sign up myself, and still feel conflicted about the platform in general. However, I was persuaded by a friend who is a guitar maker. He said it was very effective as a free promotional tool for his guitars, and urged me to join for that reason.

I have found he was right. So many harmonica players are on the platform that it simply makes sense, if you are wanting to let relevant people know what new stuff you have on offer, quickly and easily.

If you ever decide to market the Wedin Chromatic as a product for sale, I would suggest to put your scruples aside, hold your nose and sign up.

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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by EdvinW » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:23 pm

Concerning the issues Brendan intuited...

Making sure all notes in an all-blow or all-draw sequence have the right lengths is something I do struggle with sometimes, especially if you want that kind of pumping groove that's appropriate for many kinds of Irish tunes. Less pumping (in lack of a better word) styles are easier, and Triona explains it pretty well. Tunes with a "smoother" flow are a pleasure to play.

You could also note how intervals are treated compared to other tunings. Most tunings change breath typically when you move in seconds or fourths, and maintain it when you move in thirds or fifths. Mine maintains breath for major seconds and major thirds, and changes it for minor seconds, minor thirds, fourths and fifths.

It IS very possible to improve the groove though. I've not been playing the chrom for incredibly long, and I note I'm getting better over time. Using my tongue to articulate notes isn't a problem for me.¹

If this is a drawback, which I guess it is to some extent, it has to be weighed against the advantages. If someone wants something that can comfortably handle the kinds of ornaments I've shown in a broad range of folk tunes which don't follow a simple 7 note scale, I don't know where else to point them. Add to this the fact that it has a large number of keys which are intuitive once you learn a few patterns, and it checks many of the boxes of reasons why I think people use a chromatic. If I want to play a bouncy hornpipe in strict D major, a (slide) diatonic harmonica will likely do a better job.

There's also a big BUT: The drawback can to some extent be remedied by using the enharmonics! The notes D, E, G and A are available both as draw and blow notes, and they are very common in many keys. This adds many major seconds to the list above of intervals that can be played with a change of breath! Lately I've found that I sometimes switch between blow and draw when it wouldn't be strictly necessary.

Example: Let's say you want to go up and down the first five notes of an Em scale. Using capital letters for draw notes, and apostrophes to indicate slide-in notes, the simplest way to simply play these notes is to start at 6 draw, slide in, and play E' F#' g' a' b' a' g' F#' E'. If you want to play this as a reel, and put emphasis on all the E's, G's and B's but let the F#'s and A's be short and just sort of lead up to the next note, you could instead start on 7 blow and play it like e F#' G A b' a' G F#' e.

The first way can be played rhythmically too, but it's nice to have the option. Of course, if you do this too much you could say you loose the point of the tuning, so I guess there's a balance to find. I realise this is an area I should explore more :)

¹) When I tried playing some tunes with blow-streaks I noticed my tongue is flapping around like a fish on land. This appears to be something I've been doing subconsciously, but I know I have a very active tongue playing the diatonic as well so I'm not too surprised.
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:17 am

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating". That old saying is particularly apt here, because it's all about what happens in the mouth!

Theory is one thing, and practice another. I can certainly see the advantages of your new approach Edvin, logically speaking and from your impressively modulating demo clips. I'm in the middle of a job right now which needs finishing; after that's done I look forward to making and playing a Wedin Chromatic myself 🙂

One extra point I'm interested to test is how the thirds in most major keys are two holes away from the tonic, unless you use the button. That's quite a big change from other harmonica tunings, where they're usually on adjacent holes, whether starting on blow or draw. I'm curious to see how it affects the flow of musical phrases in actual use, because the third/tonic interval happens a lot.

I'll have to suck it and see!

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Brendan
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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:12 am

It's been a while for this interesting thread...

I finally got around to trying Edvin's tuning myself (sorry for the delay). I programmed the default scale into one of the tuning slots in my DM48 Midi harmonica.

(BTW that's one of the many excellent features of this instrument: you can test alternate tunings easily without having to physically raise or lower reed pitches. And note changes are quickly and infinitely reversible, so you don't damage the instrument in any way by repeated grinding etc).

Another advantage of the DM48 is that you have two extra 'slider buttons' on top which can alter notes up or down as much as you wish. Thus both the scale options Edvin showed us can be used at the same time, without having to swap harmonicas.

The slider-down version Edvin prefers for Swedish music is programmed into the tuning editor, activated by the right slider. The slider-up version which he says is better for Irish music can be chosen by programming one of the top buttons to give a semitone up interval. That will cover all the holes except the blow notes on holes 4 & 8, where the slider drops the note 3 semitones. No problem: the second DM48 top button can be programmed to do this shift.

Alternatively, if you choose one or other of Edvin's versions (slide-down or slide-up), you are then free to program the DM48 top buttons to whatever intervals you prefer, to enhance playability of that tuning. (This goes for all tunings, of course: another great feature of the DM48).

Ok, that's the preamble... Now I have it available to try, it will take a little time to get used to it. I'll report back shortly.

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Re: Introducing the Wedin Chromatic – folk music ornaments in many keys

Post by Brendan » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:16 am

While I'm doing that Edvin, did you post the Wedin Chromatic info etc on Slidemeister? I'm interested to hear their reactions.

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