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Author Topic: Keyboard layout - upper octave  (Read 643 times)

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Willh

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Re: Keyboard layout - upper octave
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 09:11:24 AM »

Honestly, I'm not making this up. It's standard music theory. :)
;D

Yes. I’m not shure if the I-V dichotomy on push and pull is the only reason for this note layout. I tend to think that it is a consequence of the problem how to squeeze as many notes into as few reeds as possible. That pushes out a solution where on push and pull you have the same note, because that doubles the number of reeds (and buttons) you would need.

The note layout is derived from the harmonica, where in the beginning it was important to get the most of music out for the cheapest price. For playing with your mouth (where you cover two or three adjactent holes) it is convenient that the blow notes are the same in every octave and the draw notes are also the same in every octave. (There exist different tunings, e. g. 'spiral tuning'.)

So 1-3-5 on blow and the rest on draw is convenient and you don't need extra reeds, but the draw notes drift away from the blow notes.

blow: 1-3-5-1'-3'-5'-1''-3''
draw: 2-4-6-7-2'-4'-6'-7'

If you want to prevent the 'wandering' of draw and blow notes you could add a blow note repetition. You could for example double every 1. That was later called 'solo tuning' (and is regularly used in chromatic harmonicas): Every octave plays the same, but it needs one additional hole (+ one reed) to fill in the blow note repetition:

blow: 1-3-5-1'--1'-3'-5'-1''
draw: 2-4-6-7--2'-4'-6'-7'

But this did not catch on in melodeons.

(There are diatonic accordions which use different note layouts, e. g. the russian Garmoshka, which is 'unisonoric'.)

Sounds very reasonable. I've read a bit about the Garmoshka, but not to the extent this topic is covered in your link. Thanks for posting.
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Will

Willh

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Re: Keyboard layout - upper octave
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 09:21:30 AM »

If you want to prevent the 'wandering' of draw and blow notes you could add a blow note repetition. You could for example double every 1. That was later called 'solo tuning' (and is regularly used in chromatic harmonicas): Every octave plays the same, but it needs one additional hole (+ one reed) to fill in the blow note repetition:

blow: 1-3-5-1'--1'-3'-5'-1''
draw: 2-4-6-7--2'-4'-6'-7'

I've fairly recently converted a pokerwork to play like this. Although the customer is always right I couldn't see any benefit but I've played the 'normal' layout 40 odd years.

Perhaps the customer is a life-long chromatic harmonica player and just thinks of fingerings in this way?

I can see this more with a harmonica as it gives you quicker options sometimes when moving through a melody (either written or improvised), but not sure the same would be true with a melodeon, but as I'm a melodeon newbie, I of course don't know.

It would be interesting to hear/see someone play a box with that setup so as to get a feel for how they negotiate tunes.
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