Tower chromatic harmonica...

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Tower chromatic harmonica... Empty Tower chromatic harmonica...

Post by Devender Singh Rana on Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:36 pm

We have started this channel for the sole purpose of "Learning & getting basics of tower chromatic harmonica"...since we didn't find any proper documentation abt it unlike other harmonicas on net. So its all about tower chromatic notes & playing here....and bout the way we trying learn it here. Smile

[Note: Aur bina bunaat piye yahaan kuch bhi bajane ka nahin ok? cooldude  ...Haan daaru bhi chal sakti par humaare gawn mein daaru pike drum bajaya jata yah kisiki bajayi jati only! knuppel2 ...melody instrument nahin....So in our band daaru is for drummer & bunaat for melody players. ...aur baaki ke sukey sant jus audiences only!  cooldude

So...Tower chromatic harmonica is a 24 slots based harmonica divided into 3 identical pattern based octaves of 8 notes each. Starting from left most reed slot...

Sa.......Re........Ga.......Ma...........Pa.........Dha..........Sa'..........Ni........& repeat

This lil odd arrangement is due to keep all three octave same playing pattern. Due to different nature or playing style of different instrument every instruments has its own limitation/plus points or own caveats. Harmonica is a unique instrument in itself owing to its blowing/drawing nature of note playing...due to it scaling become lil complicated unlike other musical instruments piano, flute & guitar etc in which all notes play same way. i.e. key press or note hole opening as in flute. Or even string press as in string based instrument like guitar or sitar.

Since there are only seven notes (odd) in a technically if you just make notes sequential blow/draw ...note Ni will fall into blow slot and next Sa will be draw note. Which makes the next octave reverse as far as blow/draw sequence of a octave is concern...which is a big problem...since various octave should play same way. So if you just skip the natural slot (7th) of Ni note and take note to next slot (8th) which is again draw slot...everything rest falls into place since next Sa note will again fall into blow slot. And both octaves will have identical playing pattern. So what to do with 7th slot?...Tower chromatic makers just duplicate this slot with next octave Sa note.  

Anyway if you just ignore the extra Sa note at 7th hole position...which is a blow hole then its just straight forward octave of 7 consecutive Sargam notes. A quite simple instrument in itself.

So starting from left most hole/slot there are 24 consecutive blow/draw slots ...12 blows & 12 draws. Now that when you don't touch the slider. But when you press the slider at any note covers the normal note of that hole & uncovers the sharper version of that notes (piano's black key) which is on other reed plate. Like if you play Sa then press slider'll cover org Sa note and opens up Sa# situated on bottom reed plate. Which is tuned to generate lil higher frequency then Sa note but lower than Re note of pure scale.

So to get to any sharper version of any note i.e. asudh just have to press slider at that note position without changing blow or draw...cause both org & sharper version falls on same blow/draw slot so blow/draw the same way.

Lil about piano octave & its analogy with Tower chromatic.
Piano octave consist of 7 white & 5 black keys ...a total of 12 notes in a octave.

7 white keys are sudh notes i.e. Sa  Re  Ga  Ma  Pa  Dha  Ni  or C  D  E  F  G  A  B

while 5 black keys are asudh notes or sharper/komal notes. The names of these key are derived from corresponding nearby sudh notes and adding sharper/diminish  suffix to it. So key 2 of octave which is a 1st black key can be called C# or Db i.e. diminishing D ...depending on from which direction u approaching it.

Same way in indian classical notation we use prefix teevra/komal to the nearby sudh swar to represent them. Like 1st black key can be Sa# or Re(komal)

Tone & semitone distance of piano notes

The difference between two consecutive keys of piano scale when including all 12 octave keys is said to be semitone distance...and two semitone distances makes up to make a tone distance. So distance between a C key & C#(black) key is of a semitone while between C & D note is of full tone since there is one key inbetween i.e. C# key.  

So pure scale key pattern is at following semitone distance apart on piano octave...

C -2- D -2- E -1- F --2-- G -2- A -2- B -1- C
---------------------       ----------------------
Sa    Re    Ga    Ma      Pa     Dha   Ni     Sa'

For simplicity reasons we call all black key notes sharp or asudh notes of previous sudh (pure) notes.

In tower harmonica we have here is 7 sudh notes (white keys) ..and 7 corresponding asudh/sharper notes i.e. supposed black keys of piano octave. And that too when ignoring the extra Sa note at 7th hole/slot position of octave. But sure you use that slot also to play C note depending which one easier to get during playing. So technically we have two extra sharper notes here than normal piano octave. i.e. Ga# & Ni# that u wont find in piano scale. 

So all in all tower chromatic got 22 different sounds (slider open position) & 22 sounds (slider pressed) all total 44 different sounds within instrument...since two Sa's of 2nd & 3rd octave repeat at 7th & 15th slot of instrument. In last octave's 7th hole i.e. 23rd slot of instrument you'll find just Sa of 4th octave which isn't there on instrument u get lil extra

in which one can play whole three octaves plus 4th octave Sa note...23th slot

Now about some scale playing...
In piano there are 12 keys in an octave, of them 7 are white keys while rest 5 black keys or notes....but only 7 out of them comes to play part in any major key music scale . Like if you just choose to play all white keys only it'll sound sargam consisting of all 7 pure notes. Which is also called C major scale

i.e. Sa  Re  Ga  Ma  Pa  Dha  Ni  or C  D  E  F  G  A  B notes.

To play it on tower chromatic you just need to blow & draw each slot in succession starting from left most slot which is Sa note & a blow slot. ...skipping 7th hole while traversing which is extra Sa note on tower chromatic harmonica of next coming octave. i.e. Sa of next octave. 

Sa major scale playing sequence can be...

1       2       3        4              5        6          8        7/9      (slot)
cooldude     alien     cooldude      alien            cooldude       alien        alien       cooldude       (blow/draw)
Sa     Re     Ga      Ma            Pa      Dha       Ni       Sa'      (note)

....Since you can use any slot 7th or 9th to play Sa note of next octave.

Sa# major key scale 

Now if you want to play C# major key scale...which is the next major key scale. All u got to do is to construct it know which 7 notes keys take part in that out of 12 of full octave. Now if you see the pattern of piano's keys of pure C scale is at distance  2 2 1 2 2 2 1 if we apply the same semitone distance pattern while assuming C# key to be pure C note of new scale we get C# major scale as...

Sa       Re                 Ga   Ma       Pa       Dha                  Ni    Sa'       (scale notes)
1        2          -         4 --- 4         5          6          -        7 --- 7         (slot)

-----------                        ----------------------                         ---
cooldude      alien                  alien    alien        cooldude        alien                  cooldude    cooldude      (blow/draw)
Sa#    Re#               Ma   Ma#     Pa#     Dha#               Sa'    Sa'#    (real notes)

note: --------- means u gotto keep slider pushed for those notes

Likewise you create all the rest of major scales assuming any key of piano octave to be C note of pure scale & traversing in pattern of 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 semitone distance of pure scale key pattern. 

Re major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha              Ni              Sa'      (scale notes)
2         3         4         5         6          8       -        9       -       10       (slot)
                    ---                                               ----
alien       cooldude       alien        cooldude       alien        alien                cooldude               alien      (blow/draw)
Re      Ga      Ma#      Pa        Dha      Ni                Sa'#            Re'     (real notes)

Caution:  Still editing below

Re# major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha      Ni     Sa'           (scale notes)
2         4         5         6         8         9        10 --- 10            (slot)
---                            -----------                          ---
alien       alien        cooldude       alien       alien       cooldude        alien     alien             (blow/draw)
Re#    Ma       Pa       Dha#    Ni#     Sa'       Re'    Re'#          (real notes)
          2         1         1         2        1          1       -              (notes difference)

Ga major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha      Ni       Sa'           (scale notes)
3         4         5         6         8         9        10       11            (slot)
           -----------                          -------------
cooldude      alien       cooldude       alien       alien        cooldude        alien        cooldude          (blow/draw)
Ga     Ma#     Pa#    Dha      Ni       Sa'#     Re'#     Ga'          (real notes)
          1         1         1         2        1          1        1             (notes difference)

Ma major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga   Ma       Pa       Dha      Ni      Sa'           (scale notes)
4         5         6     6         7/9      10        11      12           (slot)
---                        -----------                          
alien       cooldude       alien    alien       cooldude       alien      cooldude       alien            (blow/draw)
Ma      Pa      Dha  Dha#    Sa'      Re'      Ga'      Ma           (real notes)
          1         1     -         1        1          1       -              (notes difference)

Ma# major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma      Pa      Dha      Ni     Sa'           (scale notes)
4         5         6         8        9        10       11 --- 11            (slot)
--------------------                 ----------               -----                 
alien       cooldude       alien       alien       cooldude      alien       alien      alien             (blow/draw)
Ma#    Pa#    Dha#    Ni      Sa'#    Re'#    Ma    Ma'#          (real notes)
          2         1         1         2        1          1       -           (notes difference)

Pa major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa      Dha      Ni      Sa'           (scale notes)
5         6         8         9         10      11       12      13            (slot)
cooldude      alien        alien       cooldude       alien       cooldude        alien     cooldude           (blow/draw)
Pa      Dha      Ni       Sa'      Re'      Ga'      Ma'#    Pa'           (real notes)
          1         2         1         1        1          1       1             (notes difference)

Pa# major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga    Ma       Pa      Dha      Ni     Sa'           (scale notes)
5         6         7 --- 7        10       12       13 --- 13            (slot)
-----------              ------------                         ----                   
cooldude      alien        cooldude   cooldude       alien       alien        cooldude    cooldude           (blow/draw)
Pa#    Dha#   Sa'   Sa'#    Re#     Ma'       Pa'   Pa'#        (real notes)
          1         1     -         3         2        1        -           (notes difference)

Dha major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha      Ni       Sa'           (scale notes)
6         8         9        10        11       12       13        14            (slot)
                     ---                           ------------
alien       alien        cooldude       alien       alien       cooldude        alien       alien            (blow/draw)
Dha     Ni       Sa'#     Re'      Ga'      Ma'#    Pa'#    Dha'           (real notes)
          1         2         1         1        1          1        1             (notes difference)

Dha# major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa      Dha      Ni    Sa'           (scale notes)
6        7/9       10       11       12      13        14---14            (slot)
---                           ---                                   ---
alien       cooldude       alien       cooldude        alien      cooldude       alien     alien           (blow/draw)
Dha#  Sa'       Re'     Ga'#      Ma'     Pa'      Dha'  Dha'#       (real notes)
          3         1         1         1        1          1      -             (notes difference)

Ni major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha       Ni      Sa'           (scale notes)
8         9         10       11        12       13        14      16            (slot)
          ------------                  ---------------------
alien       cooldude        alien       cooldude        alien      cooldude        alien       alien            (blow/draw)
Ni      Sa'#      Re'#    Ga'       Ma'#   Pa'#     Dha'#   Ni'           (real notes)
          1         2         1         1        1          1         1              (notes difference)


Major scales summary 

Sa       Sa       Re      Ga       Ma       Pa       Dha       Ni       Sa'         (scale notes)

Sa#     Sa#    Re#     Ma      Ma#     Pa#     Dha#    Sa'      Sa'#         (real notes)
Re       Re      Ga      Ma#     Pa        Dha      Ni        Sa'#    Re'          (real notes)
Re#    Re#    Ma       Pa      Dha#    Ni#      Sa'       Re'       Re'#        (real notes)
Ga      Ga     Ma#     Pa#     Dha       Ni       Sa'#     Re'#    Ga'          (real notes)
Ma      Ma      Pa      Dha     Dha#     Sa'      Re'       Ga'       Ma          (real notes)
Ma#    Ma#    Pa#    Dha#    Ni       Sa'#     Re'#     Ma       Ma'#       (real notes)
Pa       Pa      Dha      Ni       Sa'      Re'      Ga'       Ma'#     Pa'           (real notes)
Pa#     Pa#    Dha#   Sa'      Sa'#    Re#     Ma'       Pa'       Pa'#         (real notes)
Dha     Dha     Ni       Sa'#     Re'     Ga'      Ma'#     Pa'#    Dha'          (real notes)
Dha#   Dha#  Sa'       Re'      Ga'#    Ma'     Pa'       Dha'     Dha'#        (real notes)
Ni        Ni      Sa'#      Re'#   Ga'     Ma'#    Pa'#    Dha'#    Ni'           (real notes)

Now some easy Sargams to perfect note control (C major)


Pa major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga       Ma       Pa      Dha      Ni      Sa'           (scale notes)
5         6         8         9         10      11       12      13            (slot)
cooldude      alien        alien       cooldude       alien       cooldude        alien     cooldude           (blow/draw)
Pa      Dha      Ni       Sa'      Re'      Ga'      Ma'#    Pa'           (real notes)
          1         2         1         1        1          1       1             (notes difference)

cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien   cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude
cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien   cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude  alien  cooldude
                     Pa Dha       Ni   Sa  Re  Ga       Pa

Pa# major key scale 

Sa       Re       Ga    Ma       Pa      Dha      Ni     Sa'           (scale notes)
5         6         7 --- 7        10       12       13 --- 13            (slot)
-----------              ------------                         ----                   
cooldude      alien        cooldude   cooldude       alien       alien        cooldude    cooldude           (blow/draw)
Pa#    Dha#   Sa'   Sa'#    Re#     Ma'       Pa'   Pa'#        (real notes)
          1         1     -         3         2        1        -           (notes difference)

Why playing major scales or its various sargam combo or of any such scale so imp for newbie?...including me of course!

The answer is simple playing those scales which are simplest to play & covers all the keys of octave ln the process u get notes tones & their tonal differences set in your mind/sub-conscious mind. By going through various scales with various sargams u learn various blow/draw breath pattern along with their corresponding tones & tonal differences among them. like one learn various fingering patterns combo on piano keyboard. That makes one easier to get to the desired tonal difference of next note sub consciously or automatically if given enough practice.
Devender Singh Rana
Devender Singh Rana

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Join date : 2014-01-07
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