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Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Ringing" 12-strings

Why do they ring? Maybe one reason is the odd arrangement of octave pairs and unison pairs. The two highest courses are unisons ("e' e' and b b" at concert pitch). The other 4 courses are usually octave pairs. So when you play this:

It sounds like this:


UPDATE: Just to clarify, I think the unisons on the first and second course enhance the effect of the octave courses. The intervals are more interesting. Above, for example, the fifths are getting more 'juice' than the thirds. If all the strings were octaves you wouldn't get this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once, during on of my experimental (emphasis on mental) phases, I tried using an octave string on the 2nd pair - the B string in standard tuning. I used both a wound string (.023) and a plain string (.017) as the fundamental.

In both cases, it lost something. So I agree with you about the unisons.

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