Idea for slideless chromatic harp

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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Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by IaNerd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:42 pm

I’ve been pondering how to make a harp which is:

1. primarily Ionian (including all the naturals, and only the naturals, in the blow and draw layers), and
2. fully chromatic (just in case any accidentals are needed), and
3. slideless (to keep costs low and reliability high).


So far, I think we’re describing Pentabender. But what if I add a fourth criterion …

4. Accessing the accidentals involves something easier than draw-bending.

Where would those five “black notes” come from--if not from draw-bending? Well, perhaps from Brendan Power’s Overblow Booster.

At this time, Brendan makes OBs suited for harps with the breath pattern of standard Richter tuning. For my idea to work, he would need to make an OB suited for tunings that have a “regular” breath pattern (i.e. each blow reed pitched lower than its corresponding draw reed) across all ten holes.

The layouts below show “Regular” Pentabender, which creates the accidentals by draw-bending, and “PentaOverBlower”, which would create the accidentals using a full-length “regular-breath” version of Brendan's Overblow Booster.

Would this system play well? Would it sound good? Until there is a prototype in the hands of a capable player, we cannot know. I asked Brendan about this concept, and he said that it is "mechanically viable".

download/file.php?mode=view&id=492
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ROBERT TEMPLE
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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by ROBERT TEMPLE » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:40 pm

I like your idea here. I have approached the harp with an open mind re: alt-tunings and new inventions, it is a marvelous time for the harp, for sure. My only experiences with anything mechanical regarding harp have been limited to chromatics and the Dr. Henry T. Bahnson overblow invention, in F, Golden Melody. I now play ob/ods, having learned that in just the past year, been playing since 1973. So, the newest ideas are really quite interesting.

I am wondering if maybe this same idea that Brendan employs for the overblow-assist might be applicable to make a model so that it plays like a half-valved diatonic, a blow-bend assist bar. It would block the DRAW reeds instead, thus allowing for the sweet flattening likened to that of the half-valved diatonic. The harp would still be able to overblow 1 and 4-6, if preferred. What think, am I maybe missing a key element or is this idea feasible? I think it would be a great harp-thing-gizmo to have in one's kit. Anyone?
Last edited by ROBERT TEMPLE on Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by IaNerd » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:54 pm

Robert Temple:

I am intrigued by your thoughts--thank you. Alas, I lack the knowledge and experience needed to either agree or disagree that what you propose is mechanically viable. I hope that the real experts will weigh in on your ideas.

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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by ROBERT TEMPLE » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:14 pm

Yes, I, too, hope that we will hear more about our various, new ideas. The answer is always no, or know, unless you ask.

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Brendan
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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by Brendan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:27 pm

Another approach is to adopt a design like the Tombo S50. Pat Missin has written a good article on it and other slideless chromatics here:

https://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q24.html

This requires no bending or overblowing to get a chromatic scale, though they are possible. Quite an interesting harmonica, though I don't know of any virtuoso players of it.

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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by IaNerd » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:52 pm

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Brendan
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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by Brendan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:31 am

Robert: the Suzuki Overdrive gives the option to have both overblow assist and isolated-reed expression (as with valves).

The SlipSlider gives isolated-reed expression on the blow notes if you slide the draw reedplate only halfway. Doing that stops the draw reeds from vibrating, because they are above the comb tines.

However holding isolated-reed bends at pitch is not easy: overblows and interactive-reed bends are superior in that respect.

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triona
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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by triona » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:07 pm

Brendan wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:27 pm
Another approach is to adopt a design like the Tombo S50. Pat Missin has written a good article on it and other slideless chromatics here:

https://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q24.html

This requires no bending or overblowing to get a chromatic scale, though they are possible. Quite an interesting harmonica, though I don't know of any virtuoso players of it.
I don't know whether you consider me a virtuoso player :lol:, but anyway, I play it - and the similar Tombo 1577 "Violin Scale" as well. And I like both of them. :D
Look here for more about: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=317
And a wider review in German, including a sound sample: https://www.harpforum.de/phpbb/viewtopi ... 25&t=13621


dear greetings
triona
Last edited by triona on Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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


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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by IaNerd » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:52 pm

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triona
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Re: Idea for slideless chromatic harp

Post by triona » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:19 pm

IaNerd wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:52 pm
notes-tombo-s50-3b45b5d.jpg
It's funny. The French does the display of the layout of harps with alternating aspiration pattern the same way like me. I've never seen anyone else do it like this before. :D

Image


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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