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Encyclopedia > Tremolo harmonica
A tremolo harmonica.
A tremolo harmonica.

Tremolo harmonicas is a type of harmonica, distinct by having two reeds per note. In a tremolo harmonica the two reeds are tuned slightly off a reference pitch, one a bit sharp and the other a bit flat. This gives a unique wavering or warbling sound created by the two reeds being not exactly in tune with each other and difference in their subsequent waveforms acting against one another. The degree of beating can be varied depending on the desired effect. Instruments where the beating is faster due to the reeds being farther apart from the reference pitch are called "wet", whereas those where the beating is slower and less noticeable due to the reeds being more closely in tune are called "dry". Image File history File links Suzuki_Humming. ... Image File history File links Suzuki_Humming. ... Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Harmonica A harmonica is a free reed musical wind instrument (also known, among other things, as a mouth organ or mouth harp, Hobo Harp, French harp, tin sandwich, lickin stick, blues harp, simply harp, or Mississippi saxophone), having multiple, variably-tuned brass...


The tonal variation of the tremolo harmonica is not truly "tremolo". "Tremolo" is most often defined as a periodic change of volume (or, incorrectly, pitch), and the tremolo harmonica really exhibits something entirely different: a frequency interference pattern. This effect is fairly common amongst Western free-reed instruments and is found in accordions, harmoniums and reed organs under various names (celeste, vox jubilante, etc...). The article Beat (acoustics) contains more information on acoustical frequency interference patterns. Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... In acoustics, a beat is an interference between two sounds of slightly different frequencies, perceived as periodic variations in volume whose rate is the difference between the two frequencies. ...


Tremolo harmonicas are perhaps the most common form of harmonica in the world, being very popular in folk music as well as in much of East Asia. In the West, the tremolo harmonica is usually encountered in traditional folk music, being found throughout Europe and South America in this role. In China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other parts of Asia, however, tremolo harmonicas are found in nearly every area of music from folk to classical — in fact, there are specially manufactured tremolo harmonicas for ensemble playing. Players often use several different harmonicas at a time, holding them one atop the other, in order to play notes and chords not available on any single instrument. World map showing the location of Asia. ... World map showing Europe Political map (neighboring countries in Asia and Africa also shown) Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Korea (Korean: (ì¡°ì„  or 한국, see below) is a geographic area, civilization, and former state situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. ... Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and for the common people. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ...


Most tremolo harmonicas are built upon what is termed the "Wiener system", named after the city of Vienna (Wien in German) where they first emerged. In this design the two beating reeds are distributed one on each reed-plate (top and bottom) and these share a common chamber. In practice, however, it is common for each individual reed to have its own air chamber. Unlike the diatonic harmonica described above (built on the "Richter system") the blow and draw reeds do not share a common chamber, but are separated off from one another. This allows the player to isolate each reed. While normally the player simply plays both the tremolo reeds at once, it is possible to achieve a wide variety of bends and other effects through selecting certain reeds and chambers and not others. Similarly, it is possible to play without the tremolo effect by only choosing the top or bottom chambers and blocking off the others with the lips. In practice, though, these are primarily used for effects and mostly the instrument is played as if the two beating reeds shared a single chamber. Inhabitants according to official census figures: 1800 to 2005 Vienna in 1858 UN complex in Vienna, with the non-affiliated Austria Center Vienna in front - picture taken from Danube Tower in nearby Danube Park. ...


There are three commonly encountered tunings or note layouts used for tremolo harmonicas. The older layout is very similar to that used in the standard diatonic harmonica and also found in diatonic accordions and concertinas. This tuning has the major diatonic scale in the middle and top octaves of the harmonica with two chords in the lowest octave: the tonic in the blow and the dominant or fifth chord in the draw. This is very effective for chordal playing behind relatively simple folk melodies in either the tonic or the fifth of the key of the harmonica. In Asia, the fourths and the sixths are added back in, in order to play the melody; however, it is still unlike the scale tuning mentioned below, since the octaves are not repeated through out the layout. In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or 8va) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double the frequency. ...

 (capital letters indicate blow, non-capital letters denote draw) Common tuning in Europe and North America 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (Hohner's labeling) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ----------------------------------------------------------- |C |d |E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a | |C |d |E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a | ----------------------------------------------------------- 
Common tuning in East Asia 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- |G |d |C |f |E |a |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a |E |b | |G |d |C |f |E |a |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a |E |b | -----------------------------------------------------------------------

A more recently developed tuning is commonly found on tremolos manufactured in or designed for Asia. This layout is derived from the "solo" tuning found in chromatic harmonicas and is sometimes called "scale" tuning. Here the notes of the major scale are found throughout the range of the harmonica without a separate chord section in the bass octave. This helps to facilitate a common practice in Asia of playing both a C and C# harmonica stacked in order to achieve full chromaticity by having essentially the same notes available in each octave of the harmonica. This tuning is also applied to Tombo's S-50.

 (capital letters indicate blow, non-capital letters denote draw) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b | |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b | ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Note: Some manufacturers replace the repeated root note (7 and 15) with a spacer (See S-50), or just completely do away with it (eg: Hohner).


Recently, Hohner also released a scale-tuned tremolo, the "21 Tremolo De Luxe", which has three complete scale-tuned octaves.


An interesting recent development has been that of the chromatic tremolo harmonica. This combines the slider design of the chromatic harmonica with the dual reed beating sound of the tremolo harmonica. Harmonica technician John Infande has been manufacturing his own design in limited numbers for several years [1] while the Japanese harmonica company Suzuki has recently released its design [2]. Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ... Suzuki Motor Corporation (スズキ株式会社) TYO: 7269 is a Japanese manufacturing company producing a range of small automobiles (especially Keicars), a full range of motorcycles, outboard motors, and a variety of other small combustion-powered engine products. ...


For more info on tremolo and other double-reed tunings, see: http://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q15.html


 
 

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