Wild Blue Pixel
TIP OF THE DAY
Friday, August 10, 2007
This Friday's Tip includes commentary by Kevin Spears on the subject of overtones, which we have been exploring in Friday's Tips.
In a sophisticated culture of music, not just the fundamental, but also the overtones are tuned. Strings and winds are off the hook, their instruments have naturally tuned overtones. But concert marimbas have the first, second, third, and fourth overtones tuned. In Africa, musicians would tune their first overtone by placing wax on various parts of the tine, or by filing off a bit of the tine in certain places.
Anyway, Kevin Spears had that sophisticated ear from a young age:
Hey Mark, I'm really enjoying the Friday technical tips you're offering...Your observations regarding frequency characteristics, harmonics, sympathetic vibration, etc., have "opened the window," explaining scientifically my 30+ years of experimentation and observations of this Heavenly instrument. As a child I could hear other notes or frequencies embedded in and around the primary or fundamental note produced, but I never went so far as to observe these phenomena on an ocilloscope or spectrum analyzer. From these observations, I developed a playing technique that allows me to "raise" or dampen the tones generated through sympathetic vibration as accents or fills while playing the melody and bass line. I would love to share my observations, techniques, and life experiences at any of the workshops that you are planning to present. Mark, keep up the good work.- Kevin Spears