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

Post by EdvinW » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:31 pm

[Waffle alert! The following post contains mostly opinions and thoughts, and can be skipped if you don't feel like reading that ;) ]

Triona: Take your time. I understand this might take some time to get your head around :)

Brendan: Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad to hear you like it :D

And yes, I agree it's pretty unorthodox. I'm convinced our habit of thinking of harmonica scales as being naturally alternating between blow and draw notes is based on the diatonic harmonica's history as a chord instrument. Chords tend to contain roughly every other note, so if you want the instrument to also be able to play a scale it's a very natural solution. Richter tuning makes a lot of melody-playing sacrifices to keep the large blow chord and the large major fifth in the bottom, including the inverted breathing pattern at the top and the missing notes at the bottom, but it's for the good cause of keeping the chords. When solo tuned chromatics was being invented, someone simply made the smallest possible adjustment to this chord-centric instrument to allow it to play every note: Take the melodically least awkward octave of the chord instrument, repeat it, and add the remaining notes with a button without worrying too much about playability. The design stuck, especially once Toots and the others had showed that it's possible to play complex music with it. What we ended up with was an instrument that's supposedly focused on playing melodies in any key (purists still vigorously maintain that a C-tuned chromatic is the only one you need!), but which really is a hacked version of an instrument still burdened by the sacrifices made to make it a better chord instrument. All this while really only having one usable major chord.

The point I'm trying to make is this: if we are not prioritising the chords anyway, why not go all the way? I'm not so arrogant as to claim I've found the most logical solution, I simply suggest a philosophy of trying to determine what qualities one wants in a tuning and then try to maximise those qualities by any means necessary.

Just before I found this tuning, was trying to maximise the number of notes where one could make a trill in a single extended minor scale. For a Dm harp, I wanted quick changes between adjacent notes in the sequence D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D, but also between notes in the sequence A-B-C#-D, and somewhere I needed the notes F# and G# since they appear frequently as accidentals. I had spent years trying to think up an alternate design of the slide diatonic, and had just discovered that in my latest design (one of the few that was actually realised) I could save space by using more jaw flicks to make trills. I woke up early one morning 2018 and sat down with pen and paper to draw the graphs of relationships between notes, as I had been doing for a long time, when I realised I could just put the notes on a row! This would solve the problem, which as this point was pretty much abstracted to mathematics, and my key specific tuning suddenly worked in many keys!

It required hard work and some luck, as I also had the implicit assumptions of "how a harmonica tuning should look like" in my head, but I don't think I would have found this solution without being very clear about exactly what I was looking for.

Anyhow. Enough waffling. I'll make another post that's more to the point.
Edvin Wedin

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

Post by EdvinW » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:59 pm

Brendan: Do you mean something like this?
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basic-phrase-maps-brendan-style.png (38.18 KiB) Viewed 3404 times
Scales involving the slide are somewhat more involved to map out, but I'll see what I can do.

Gerhard: I think the scale you mention should work OK, the only question mark is the transition between Eb and F# which requires a simultaneous two space jump and a slide change. It's too late to play here in the apartment, but I'll try it tomorrow. If it works I might try to record it. The tuning can of course be transposed, just note that the circle of fifth is split down the middle into good keys and non-good keys. You can choose any 6 consecutive keys you want to be good.

---

Question to anyone: Should I try to emphasise the sharp slide version more over the flat slide version?

I use the flat slide, but I've started wondering if this might just add to the weirdness of the tuning and scare people of. Or is it so strange already that a flat slide doesn't matter? I do think the sharp slide version might actually be a better match for many people, for the reasons given in the post about that variation, but for the Swedish minor tunes I play I like it flat. Any thoughts?
Edvin Wedin

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

Post by triona » Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:15 am

EdvinW wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:59 pm
Question to anyone: Should I try to emphasise the sharp slide version more over the flat slide version?

I use the flat slide, but I've started wondering if this might just add to the weirdness of the tuning and scare people of. Or is it so strange already that a flat slide doesn't matter? I do think the sharp slide version might actually be a better match for many people, for the reasons given in the post about that variation, but for the Swedish minor tunes I play I like it flat. Any thoughts?

Isn't this only a question of turning around the slide - provided its construction does allow this?

And do not some harmonica manufacturers (e.g. Seydel) offer the flat slide version of the ordinary chrom as especially suitable for playing Irish folk music as well?


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 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:58 pm

Gerhard62 wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:23 pm
Thanks for your great work :-) It is very interesting, but I must longer think about it. And perhaps I must try an harmonica to see, if I can master this tuning. But I'm afraid it seems for me in this tuning not so good, because a scale I often use is D Eb F# G A Bb C D. And this is, if I have recognised it, for the ornamentation just in this tuning not easy. Perhaps it is possible to make a modification, so that the key of Eb (?) is also among the "good keys" and the key of A not. But now I'm not able to change your tuning in the circle of keys. So I play my diminished chrome with the downward use of the slider, but I must meditate about it ;) Thanks again for your work.
Though I'm not sure what to play with it, I think the scale works quite ok. Here is some doodling I recorded just now.
https://cloud.fripost.org/s/pb9kizTrZPcSd5q

Is there something particular you wonder whether or not it can do or some tune you want me to try when I find the time?

It also works similarly well based on A, and though more slidework is often useful the scale A Bb C# D E F G A can be played slide out except for the C#.
triona wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:15 am
Isn't this only a question of turning around the slide - provided its construction does allow this?

And do not some harmonica manufacturers (e.g. Seydel) offer the flat slide version of the ordinary chrom as especially suitable for playing Irish folk music as well?
Even if physically turning the slide is easy, trying to keep various configurations in mind while looking at something already different can be challenging. I know I struggle and need to focus to keep track of the sharp slide version, and I'm already pretty comfortable with my original!

You are right about the flat slide being used for Irish music, but I think that has more to do with the sharp keys being more accessible with a solo chrom tuned to C/B rather than C/C#. I doubt taking an ordinary C/C# and turning the slide will make it easier to play Irish music in sharp keys with it.
Edvin Wedin

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

Post by Gerhard62 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:52 pm

EdvinW wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:58 pm
Though I'm not sure what to play with it, I think the scale works quite ok. Here is some doodling I recorded just now.
https://cloud.fripost.org/s/pb9kizTrZPcSd5q

Is there something particular you wonder whether or not it can do or some tune you want me to try when I find the time?

It also works similarly well based on A, and though more slidework is often useful the scale A Bb C# D E F G A can be played slide out except for the C#.
That sounds very nice. You are a wizzard. Thanks again. But what do you think about this key? Is this tuning correct?
Image
b=blow, z=draw, obere Stimmplatte=slide out, untere Stimmplatte=slide in
I think if I used C minor scale i.e. Eb major, this must fit a little bit better or not? Many klezmer and balkan style tunes looks almost like Eb major.
Perhaps I let produce Seydel some plates for my Deluxe chromatic, so I can test it.
What do you think? Useful? Or is your original better?

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

Post by triona » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:42 pm

Gerhard62 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:52 pm
I think if I used C minor scale i.e. Eb major, this must fit a little bit better or not? Many klezmer and balkan style tunes looks almost like Eb major.
I did not yet thoroughly study all this stuff and maybe did not yet understand everything so far. But Cm / Eb is a key that certainly will be suitable for klezmer better than a lot of others. This is due to the more predominant use of brass and woodwind in klezmer. Those are more likely to prefer the flat keys. And as far as I have understood up till now, Edvin's tuning can easily be turned around the circle of fifths by simple transposition.

Btw: Since new I sucessfully use Brendan's Diminished Lucky13 in the keys of A+C+Eb+F# on blow, B+D+F+Ab on draw and Bb+Db+E+G on drawbend (he calls it "C") for Balkanic and Gipsy tunes. It should be suitable for klezmer as well. You have it too, and you also could compare practically. Do you already have one with a slide as well?


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

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

Post by triona » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:18 pm

EdvinW wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:58 pm
Even if physically turning the slide is easy, trying to keep various configurations in mind while looking at something already different can be challenging. I know I struggle and need to focus to keep track of the sharp slide version, and I'm already pretty comfortable with my original!
That was, what my question was aiming on.
I nearly expected, that it would not be that easy.

EdvinW wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:58 pm
You are right about the flat slide being used for Irish music, but I think that has more to do with the sharp keys being more accessible with a solo chrom tuned to C/B rather than C/C#. I doubt taking an ordinary C/C# and turning the slide will make it easier to play Irish music in sharp keys with it.
Thanks for the clarification. I did not consider, that Seydel's "Irish Chrom" was not just a regular C+C# turned into a C#+C by simple turning around the slider or changing the position of the reed plates from top to bottom and v/v. Actually it is a C+B instead, what I had not kept in mind.


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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Location: Sweden

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

Post by EdvinW » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:49 pm

Gerhard62 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:52 pm
That sounds very nice. You are a wizzard. Thanks again. But what do you think about this key? Is this tuning correct?
Image
b=blow, z=draw, obere Stimmplatte=slide out, untere Stimmplatte=slide in
I think if I used C minor scale i.e. Eb major, this must fit a little bit better or not? Many klezmer and balkan style tunes looks almost like Eb major.
Perhaps I let produce Seydel some plates for my Deluxe chromatic, so I can test it.
What do you think? Useful? Or is your original better?
That's so cool you're thinking of buying one :D

That looks right: It's shifted one step in the circle of fifths, and the good major keys are Eb, Bb, F, C, G and D.

Good major keys are not necessarily good Hijaz keys though, and I could not play ornaments like those I demonstrated in scales based on Eb or C with this transposed tuning. I'm not entirely sure which scales you are talking about though. The scales I mean to say would be difficult (which I think you are talking about?) are Eb Fb G Ab Bb Cb Db Eb (almost as scary as the equivalent D# E F## G# A# B C# D#! :P) and C Db E F G Ab Bb C.

The scale I played in the clip today on my instrument was D Eb F# G A Bb C D, and I refer to this as a D Hijaz scale. The A and E Hijaz scales also work well on mine (A Bb C# D E F G A and E F G# A B C D E). These are the scales where I can move back and forth between every pair of neighbouring notes using the slide or a jaw flick, except for at the one-and-a-half-step jump between the second and the third. These are the ones I would call obviously good, but of course it's possible there's some other place with a nice scale.

Which three scales would you like? The most obviously good Hijaz scales on your transposed instrument would start at G, D and A. (The same as the last two good major scales + one more!) If you want the two scales Eb and C I described above, that would mean my original should be shifted 6 steps up or down so that 1 blow is a Gb.
Edvin Wedin

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

Post by Gerhard62 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am

triona wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:42 pm
I did not yet thoroughly study all this stuff and maybe did not yet understand everything so far. But Cm / Eb is a key that certainly will be suitable for klezmer better than a lot of others. This is due to the more predominant use of brass and woodwind in klezmer. Those are more likely to prefer the flat keys. And as far as I have understood up till now, Edvin's tuning can easily be turned around the circle of fifths by simple transposition.
Yes, that's it. Many pieces in Klezmer have 3 flats although they are not Eb Major nor C Minor, but D some Klezmer mode. But perhaps that's not so important. I need to think hard again. :)
triona wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:42 pm
Btw: Since new I sucessfully use Brendan's Diminished Lucky13 in the keys of A+C+Eb+F# on blow, B+D+F+Ab on draw and Bb+Db+E+G on drawbend (he calls it "C") for Balkanic and Gipsy tunes. It should be suitable for klezmer as well. You have it too, and you also could compare practically. Do you already have one with a slide as well?
Yes, again ;) With the Lucky 13 Klezmer, Balkan, Gipsy, Greek ... tunes are good to play, so I I had a chromatic harmonica made for myself in this mood. Blow and draw like the diminished diatonic and with the use of the slider always a half-tone lower.
Last edited by Gerhard62 on Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by triona » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:01 pm

Gerhard62 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am
Danke.
... Many pieces in Klezmer have 3 flats although they are not E Major nor C Minor, but D some Klezmer mode. ...
That means "Eb Major" and "C Minor" ?


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

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