Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sally Gooden in A-432

Eck Robertson's version of Sally Gooden is the classic. His intonation is amazing. The drones really keep the A string and tone center sizzling.

He recorded with Edison Talking Disc way back in the early days. His was the first commercially released fiddle disc. (If it was a disc.)

It's a top 10 fiddle tune now. But, many fiddlers avoid it because of the fourth finger issue. That's where the drone comes from when you are fingering on the A string.

There's another way to get the same effect. Play the melody notes on the D string in 4th position and drone the open A.

That's what I do in this video.

Because of the A-432 tuning, that frequency is fully realized in this tune.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Angeline the Baker aka Corn Dog

Here's a video I made with my new Flip. I'm still getting use to this process.

As I listened to other fiddlers on Youtube this morning, I can hear that my
tempo is a little on the slow side. Guess I need to practice a bit more!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A-432 at the Fiddle Camp

While clearing out some stored papers, a page of notes turned up from last year’s Sunshine State Acoustic Music Camp. I thought they would be worth sharing.

Sunday’s session, at the Sunshine State Acoustic Music Camp, is the last one for intermediate to advanced fiddlers. The group joined me in tuning to the natural tuning of the Mozart A-432.

I gave a little explanation of the history of tuning. Then, we just did it.

We went on through the two hour session normally. The time zipped by easily while we played tunes. I put students in the “hot spot” one at a time for individual intense coaching. I answered questions.

All this sounds quite ordinary, but it was not quite the way it normally is. Usually the last session sees the students just about burnt out from all the intense playing and instruction through the weekend. They are only partly there and tend to drift away.

This time the group was definitely more animated and attentive than in past years. The session went strong until the final moment. It was just as solid and focused as the first session.

Did the tuning of A-432 have an effect? I can’t answer that. I can just observe the subtle difference in how things were as compared to last year and previous years. Things were better.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The French Baroque A-392

The current issue of Strings, June 2009, asserts in a small review of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos that the conductor on this recording chose to perform them “in the French Baroque pitch of A = 392 Hz....”

I have some reasons to doubt that A as a frequency of 392 Hz was commonly considered anything but A flat.

Elsewhere I've written how C-256 Hz was common in the time of Bach. I've made the case that this pitch reduces mathmatically to one cycle per second.

Taking that pitch and multiplying by 7 we get the seventh, B flat. Then multiplying again by 7 we get the seventh of B flat, A flat.

That’s 49 vibrations per second. Double that for the octave and you have a tone that is 98 Hz. Double that and it’s 196 Hz. A final doubling gives you 392 Hz.

In short, if middle C in the time of Bach was 256 Hz, then the tone produced by 392 Hz would be perceived as an A flat.
I have a slightly extended version of this discussion at the Music Lesson Plan blog.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Money Tunes in A-432

Currently my Big Project is preparing a 90 minute presentation of The Money Tunes. I will talk and play, talk and play at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Clearwater on Feb. 13.

I started this project about two and a half years ago. Right after attending the T. Harv Eker Millionaire Mind Intensive, I went through my fiddle tune collections. I was looking for tunes that had something to do with money in the title.

From American old time tunes and Irish jigs and reels I found many tunes that fit this criterion. I arranged them in an order of no money to a great fortune. The idea is to find out what lessons may be learned about money, as suggested by the titles and associate the lessons with the tunes. It’s a left brain/right brain idea.

In a few cases I altered the title to a more positive association with the issue. Thus, Boys My Money’s All Gone, which suggests a busted gambler, became Shopping Spree, where you have compensation for the lack of money.

About that tune, I have this confession. thirty years ago I started learning this tune as it appeared in the book, Beginning Old Time Fiddle. This collection of tunes is the only one I know that has both tab and standard music notation together.

I liked the tune, but dropped it. I was just too broke that week to think about it.
Now when I play it I think Shopping Spree. That feels better. And it really is a satisfying tune.

The experience of pursuing The Money Tunes project led to an increasing fusion of American and Irish fiddle styles. I found myself extending shorter tunes. I applied Texas changes to an Irish reel. An old time tune in A minor was transformed into a Bluegrass tune in D minor. That sort of thing.

Why did I do that? Grassapelli, my alter ego, said it was a good thing to do for this musical concept. (I’ll write about my relationship to the entity Grassapelli Gandharva at another time.)

One more thing about the money tunes. This is what got me into A-432 tuning. The Mozart A, or Verdi A, is set at 432 Hz. This pitch fits perfectly into the tuning of Middle C-256. That Middle C was discovered as standard in the time of Bach.

Presently there is a strong movement advocating this pitch as being a healing factor and more consistent with our natural state. You will find several MySpace musicians passionate about this tuning.

The Money Tunes
has been a major influence on me in recent years. And, it’s not completed yet. I’ll feel like it’s where it needs to be when real stuff that you can hold in your hand embodies every aspect of it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A-432 Movement is Growing

At some point I'll compile a list of sites that are exploring and advocating the Mozart or Verdi A-432. Several are offering music in this tuning on MySpace.

One of the sites that looks very interesting is Harmonic Renaissance. "Bring Back A432," they ask. I'm in favor of that.

Tonight the Crystal Beach String Band is gathering for its first practice since November. We play in that tuning. We sing in that tuning. It is good!

If you haven't heard some of my original fiddle tunes in A-432 on YouTube, click that link.

And, last minute, here's another: 432hz.net for Natural Tuning Consciousness.