Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

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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Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by IaNerd » Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:08 am

Last edited by IaNerd on Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IaNerd
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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by IaNerd » Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:22 am

To get those lovely I and IV chords back:

3 blow +2; 1 draw +1; 2 draw +1; 3 draw +2

For i and iv chords:

3 blow +1; 2 draw +1; 3 draw +2
Last edited by IaNerd on Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EdvinW
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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a new alternate tuning)

Post by EdvinW » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:06 am

Thanks for the alert!

I think the tuning makes sense! It's actually a bit similar to stuff I've been playing myself lately, though this is more beginner friendly.

Note that, though the layout on the page is labelled as A, other keys look nice as well. The Cm penta, for instance, is all draws and full stable bends (FSBs!) and has a long tonic cord along the harp.
Edvin Wedin

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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by IaNerd » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:57 pm

I changed the title of this discussion because, according to Andrew Zajac:
In Pat Missin's Altered States list of altered tunings, this tuning is 11.15, "Blues Scale Tuning" which has been known since the 90s.

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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by IaNerd » Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:02 pm

Hohner says that the 2, 5 and 8 draws can give "semitone" bends. Does this make sense?
Hohner_Pentaharp_Notes_chart.jpg
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triona
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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by triona » Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:01 am

IaNerd wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:02 pm
Hohner says that the 2, 5 and 8 draws can give "semitone" bends. Does this make sense?
As far as I can understand, this can not really make any sense. (But my knowledge about these things is restricted.) As far as I can see, a draw bend between D and Eb (=D#) would be a quarter tone bend. This is something quite common e.g. in oriental music styles. But this harmonica seems to be aiming especially for blues guitarists. A slur (glissando) between D and Eb would be playable too by bending this holes.

As a matter of fact, I did not understand this either.


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triona
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triona
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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by triona » Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:13 am

IaNerd wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:57 pm
I changed the title of this discussion because, according to Andrew Zajac:
In Pat Missin's Altered States list of altered tunings, this tuning is 11.15, "Blues Scale Tuning" which has been known since the 90s.



And Hohner had a harmonica called "Penta" in about 1955. It was a harmonica with 10 notes on 1 reedplate. It was a try to enter the market for early musical education. It was not successful. It was discontinued quite soon. The layout of the 1955 Penta was different from the new Pentaharp.

For those who can read German, more about this here:
https://www.harpforum.de/phpbb/viewtopi ... 28&t=14250


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: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by triona » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:24 am

Brendan discovered new features of the Hohner Penta's tuning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=W_bVT-WHdlg

My first response to this is here, before I come to translate this for those who can read German:
https://www.harpforum.de/phpbb/viewtopi ... 60#p125860


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

rishio
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Re: Hohner PentaHarp (a 1990s alternate tuning)

Post by rishio » Mon May 02, 2022 6:31 pm

I’ve been using ED tuning exclusively for the past few years and I find striking similarity between ED and PentaHarp. That said, I much prefer the layout of ED. PentHarp and ED both start 3 octaves lower than standard richter, which is nice, but PentaHarp extends 1 semitone higher than ED, which is not a big deal for me because I rarely use the highest note. ED can bend every draw note by a semitone, but holes 3, 6, and 9 by two semitones. PentHarp cannot bend hole 2, 5, and 8 which would frustrate me, every other hole can bend 2 semitones, which can be tricky when playing in other positions. Hole 3, 6, and 9 is exactly the same on both tunings, and the other holes are very close. ED can play other nearby keys in Pentatonic scales with less bends than the PentaHarp. I really find the ED tuning to be a better general purpose tuning and more intuitive than PentaHarp. In fact, I’d call the ED tuning a better pentatonic tuning then the PentaHarp tuning. That said, I hope PentaHarp becomes popular because it should be pretty easy to convert a PentaHarp to ED since they are really close to each other with 3 reeds per octave tuned down 1 or 2 semitones. If harp designs become optimized around PentaHarp, my own ED tuning benefits as well! And I’d love to talk to other PentaHarp players about hole 6 bend because it’s an important note, and a tough one to get hold on ED (on certain keys) - and looking at the tuning layout - PentaHarp will have the same exact issue. I would say one more thing. ED has the worst name, PentaHarp is alright, but PowerBender has the coolest of all names. Dammit, why is my tuning called ED?
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