Mudcat Café message #524939 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37495   Message #524939
Posted By: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
10-Aug-01 - 04:46 AM
Thread Name: Chromatic Harp, Pedal Steel, diabolical!
Subject: RE: Chromatic Harp, Pedal Steel, diabolical!
Rick, I think the "philosophy" of a cromatic harmonica is different. As was mentioned, it is a melody instrument like the clarinette or flute. People who learn these instruments spend a lot more time on tone production and sight-reading practice as they learn. I get the urge to play one whenever I hear Toots Tielesmann (sp) records.

I just got myself a Lee Oscar "Melody Maker" in "G". It is essentially a "C" diatonic harp with the F tuned down to F-sharp and one of the two duplicate lower "G"s replaced by an "A". This makes a bends unnecessary for melody, but it bends easy and they can still be used for effect. It is designed to be played in second position (cross) and you have to do some bending to play it in "C" as a straight harp. One thing I have held against Lee Oscars is that they tune to 441 instead of 440 to make them brighter. I haven't tried to play with anyone else, but that one hz beat might be annoying.

Just to pick nits, I tend to use the term "harp" for the diatonic beasts and "harmonica" for the chromatic ones. That is probably my own pecularity, but a chromatic harp to me is the kind of harp that is a a stringed instrument that is strummed.

Murray