Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Postby jakstall » Tue Sep 03, 2002 4:59 pm

People do indeed use the lower case (as in DAdd or DAd) to indicate an octave. They also use nomenclature like DAD' to show the same thing. This is most commonly seen in Mixolydian (such as DAd) or New Ionian (such as DGd) tunings because the bass and treble (or melody) string(s) are tuned an octave apart.
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Postby jakstall » Tue Sep 03, 2002 5:04 pm

I should mention that not everyone does this and if you see a reference to DAD or DGD tunings it probably refers to the exact same tunings as someone who writes DAd or DGd, respectively. You'll see quite a few different ways to write the same thing either in specifying tuning, chord patterns or tablature. When in doubt, just ask. ...and thank you for asking this question.
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notation conventions

Postby Del » Wed Sep 04, 2002 10:23 pm

On the string choice site, they show: c'= octave above middle c, c= middle c, C= octave below middle c and C'= 2 octaves below middle c. I don't know if that is standard or just their convention Del
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Postby KenH » Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:48 pm

Conventions? We don' need no steenking conventionsEEK! Letters is lettersLOL!
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Notation Conventions

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:27 am

I can't find a reference right now, but it was probably in a workshop that I first heard about using ''c'' as Middle C, ''C'' as the octave below Middle C, etc. One reason it comes in handy with dulcimer tunings is that some people list the bass string first, and others list the melody string first. If you see a tuning as ''DAC'', there might be confusion about which string is which. As ''DAc'' there is less confusion. (Except when the notation question comes up!) ''Bagpipe tuning'' is another place it reduces confusion, just in knowing what notes in what octaves to tune to. ''DDD'' doesn't tell us as much as ''DDd'' does. I've also picked up someone's idea of showing the doubled melody string. ''DAA'' can tell us which octave each note is in, but could still confuse someone (not too many, I hope!) about which is the bass string. ''D-A-AA'' removes the doubt. Then, I suppose, you could run into the same problem with those of us who play four-string, but hopefully not. ''D-A-c#-d'' is a great tuning, and I'll bet all of us can figure out which string is which!
Last edited by Steve Smith on Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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