The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59920   Message #958121
Posted By: Bob Bolton
23-May-03 - 06:48 AM
Thread Name: Minor keys and chords on harmonica
Subject: RE: Minor keys and chords on harmonica
G'day Les, Garg & greg,

Most Irish 'minors' turn out to be Dorian mode, not Aeolian mode. The Dorian mode was #1 mode in the Gregorian modes ... and remains very strong in traditions drawing on very old Catholic traditions ... many northern European cultures ... and the Irish.

The "Richter tuning system" - that of the 10-hole harmonica, the melodeon/button accordion and the German/Anglo concertina is beautifully set up to play Dorian modes as the second key for the instrument. Playing Aeolian mode - the typical 'minor' of more southern European/British/'American' styles is much more trouble ... and may well be better served by one of Lee Oskar's redesigns ... but it gets a bit like guitarists arguing the relative merits if "dadgad' vs 'dadgbe' (or a dozen other modifications).

At least guitarists can retune! I'm sticking with tricking out the tunes I want from the standard little 10-hole harmonica ... playing may get more complex (well ... tricky!) - but the instrument drawer/cupboard stays simple.

bob Bolton