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"Finding the Jew's harp Notes II"

Continuing perfection
       A special computer program "SpectraLAB" (version 4.32) created by Sound Technology Company can help you to produce overtones as clear as possible. Also you can use it for learning overtones. Speaking shortly the technique is the following:
       We connect the microphone to the computer and start the program. We need to make sure that there is a mark "Real time" in the Mode tab.
       There are two buttons "Run" and "Stop" at the left top corner. They will help us to start and stop the analysis of the sound spectrum. Also we can put a mark in front of the note "Peak Hold", when we start the overtone capture mode.

1. Starting "Peak Hold"
2. Pressing "Run"
3. We start to play in the microphone various overtones which we can play. Actually we can just play at different pitch.
4. Pushing "Stop"

       As a result we should get the diagram similar to the one on the photo. Its peaks are the overtones of our jew's harp themselves. So now we are to fix them.

       At the right top corner above the note "Overlays", in the column "Set" you can find the button "1". We click it by the left button of the mouse, we get a mark on the right, and the diagram itself becomes red and fixes on the screen.

       Now we see two graphs: a red one shows the overtones of our instrument, a yellow one way the current sound spectrum. The image reflects the audible noise, which sounds not coming into the microphone. Pay your attention to the fact that the left peak is caused by noise exactly, and the basic tone of the jew's harp (the same as the first overtone) is the second from the left.

       In the left top corner under the "Run" button there is button with a picture of a loupe. We click it by the left button of the mouse. Now with the use of this loupe we reveal those overtones which we are going to work on. I recommend you to start with the eight overtone till the sixteenth one.

1. We count for the eight overtone from the left to the right.
2. We put the cursor bar between the seventh and the eight overtones
3. We click the left button and not letting it back move the cursor bar to the right, for the sixteenth overtone. We leave at the final position and as a result the separated segment of the diagram enlarges.

       So the most left peak is the eight overtone. We press the "Run" button and produce the eight overtone by our jew's harp, if it is made well, the yellow peak should be higher others and it should come up to the red peak which is the eight overtone (an opened sound, C-note of the first octave in our notation).

       Now we make the following, ninth overtone (a closed sound, the note D). As we can see the peak becomes a bit higher than others if a sound is produced correctly (it is impossible to do it at high overtones, but we can obtain maximally clear overtone sound). We can train all other overtones in an analogous way.

Low overtones
       Now we are ready to play low notes of a jew's harp scale. We will start from the basic eight overtone down till the third one and partially till the second one.
       Here we are also beginning with learning, singing by voice the note names, they should be called in the following order:
"C" "A" "G" "E" "C" "G"
In our case, the notes indicate scale degrees and the corresponding certain overtones that will be played on the on the jew's harp. Below you can see sound examples of several modes. We choose a mode corresponding to the tuning of your training jew's harp.
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       Then we play the jew's harp simultaneously to the recording. Using the program "SpectraLAB" described below, is very comfortable here.

        The article includes the method of learning of the jew's harp scale from the second till the sixteenth overtone. Having trained this diapason you can start developing it in the direction of higher sounds.
        Having studied the jew's harp scale imitating a major one, you need to learn how to produce and use intermediate overtones in your music practice. They are 14, 17, 19, and so on. The easiest way to learn them is a computer program - sound analyzer.

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