Category: Global tunings

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Layouts from around the world: India, Iran, Mali, Congo, Ecuador, Hawaii, Madagascar, Papua, & elsewhere [17 tunings]

Std. | Drop | Open | Interval | Global | Artist | Misc.
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Ali Farka Touré


• G-A-D-G-B-E •

A bass-raiser made famous by Mali’s master of the Islamic folk-blues…

 

Atta’s C


• C-G-E-G-C-E •

Some call Leland ‘Atta’ Isaac’s layout the ‘holy grail’ of Hawaiian harmony…

 

Bağlama / Saz


• G-G-D-D-A-A •

Double-course Anatolian lutes with frets made of fishing line…

 

C6 (‘Mauna Loa’)


• C-G-C-G-A-E •

Balanced slack-key stabilities, named for Hawaii’s eternal volcano…

 

Carnatic (‘Drake’s Drone’)


• B-E-B-E-B-E •

Nothing but B & E tones, explored by Prasanna in South India…

 

Charango


• G-G-C-E-A-E •

Learn about the liberatory tuning politics of this cute Andean lute…

 

Haja’s Bb


• Bb-F-C-F-Bb-C •

Deep-wound electric resonances from a modern Malagasy innovator…

 

Jack’s Chikari (‘Sitaristic’)


• Ḋ-Ḋ-D-G-B-E •

A sitar-like re-stringing by fellow Indo-Strat searcher Jack Jennings…

 

Kabosy (‘Leonard’s C’)


• C-G-D-G-B-D •

Transglobal links from Madagascar’s DIY box-lute tradition…

 

Keola’s C (‘Wahine’)


• C-G-D-G-B-E •

Keola Beamer’s melodious mix of 5ths, 4ths, and 3rds…

 

Mi-composé (‘Elenga’)


• E-A-Ḋ-G-B-E •

The wild life of ‘Jhimmy the Hawaiian’ in 1950s Congo…

 

Orkney


• C-G-D-G-C-D •

Multi-continental convergences from Steve Baughman…

 

Oud (Arabic)


• E-A-Db-Gb-B-E •

Syrian variants of a guitar ancestor, similarly stacking 4ths…

 

Oud (Turkish)


• E-A-B-E-A-D •

An alternate layout from the world of the fretless Islamic lute…

 

Papuan Four-Key


• F-Bb-C-F-A-C •

Fresh narrowness from an astonishingly diverse island…

 

Rakotomavo


• Bb-F-C-G-C-E •

Modern fusions of jazz and the Malagasy valiha tube zither…

 

Zen Drone (‘Dulcimeric’)


• D-A-D-A-A-D •

Pedagogic-friendly geometries from P.T. Sudo, a genuine guitar monk…

 

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George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher (guitars, sitar, tabla, & santoor). Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the voices, cultures, and passions behind them. See Home & Writings, and hit me up for Online Lessons!

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