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"Finding the Jew's harp Notes III"

second octave
       Having learned the first jew's harp octave which is located from the eight till the sixteenth overtone, we can pass to learn the following, second octave, which is higher. It starts from the sixteenth overtone and it ends by the thirty second one.
       Actually you could use for the second octave the same shift of open and closed sounds, like in the first octave, however there is one more sequence, more exact. Let us study it more detailed. Overtones are located by fits concerning their pitches, not like keys of the piano. They are so rare at the low diapason of it, that they lack for melody creation. The quantity of overtones of the first octave almost coincides with the quantity of notes in the European major scale, however there are not many of them after the twentieth one, in comparison with Indian music, where an octave is divided into 22 parts (in European music into 12). Climbing higher we find bigger quantity of sounds, they are hardly to be used all (overtones create an exponential series). Having written down overtones in notes (the basic tone is denoted like "C") we get this:

We should remember that not all the steps of overtone series coincide with an equal tempered scale *, notes which have strong deflection are marked by an indicator (arrow) which shows the way of change. Having revealed the sounds closest to the major gamut we come up to the conclusion that the second gamut can be played by the following two ways:

        The first and the most exact way demands to make the eighteenth overtone by an open sound at the note "D2". Analogously making "B" of the second octave you need to strike the overtone thirty by an open sound.

       The second way, although it gives a theoretically mistake, it has more comfortable and absolutely similar to the first octave shift (turning) of open and closed notes. To the hearing of this article's author the last method is correct and it can be used as main.
       Learning of the second octave usually does not cause any difficulties, if the first one has been studied till automatism at different tuned jew's harps. You can use the method which is described for the first octave or just to use the simplified way:
1. Play the first octave, ending it up by the second C (the overtone 16)
2. Then repeat several times repeat C of the second octave to remember aurally this sound.
3. Now you play C, E, G in the second octave, intervals between them will be analogous to the first octave, but the sounds themselves will be higher.
4. Then playing the first five sounds of the scale, from C till G and back.
5. Play the entire second octave.

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        A sound example, illustrating above described method (a jew's harp to the note G).

       The second octave is not the finish; you can play also the third one by a jew's harp. Not any instruments suits it, most comfortable for it are low pitched jew's harps, staring from D and lower ones.
       * Western musical notation system serves for fixation of sounds of instruments with a equal tempered scale tuning system.

© Vladimir Markov 2009, 2010
this article translated by Natalia Ivanitsa