• OVERVIEW •
Open Cm (unlike Open Dm, Gm, and Em) doesn’t really match with any of our familiar Standard-tuned minor-chord shapes (although it’s closest to the ‘xx0231’ Dmin sequence). Another ‘cross-note’ tuning – as you can easily ‘cross-over’ to Cmaj (like: 0-0-0-0-0-1).
The b3 is placed on 1str, giving the only minor tone an odd mix of emphasis (as the highest in pitch) and transience (being so high up, it clashes less with lower overtones). Great for modal playing, but seemingly rare – although it does turn up occasionally in outside-the-box classical guitar works.
Pattern: 7-5-7-5-3 | Harmony: Cmin | Intervals: 1-5-1-5-1-b3
• TUNE UP •
• SOUNDS •
Used superbly on visionary composer Carlo Domeniconi’s 1985-6 Koyunbaba Suite – an incredible Turkish-infused classical guitar piece inspired by his time living in Istanbul from 1977-80 (n.b. it’s usually all raised up a semitone, e.g. in Paulo Martelli’s performance below).
- Koyunbaba – Carlo Domeniconi – played by Paulo Martelli (2010):
• NUMBERS •
- See my Tunings Megatable for further such nerdery: more numbers, intervallic relations, comparative methods, etc. And to any genuine vibratory scientists reading: please critique my DIY analysis!
• RELATED •
—Associated tunings: proximities of shape, concept, context, etc…
- Open Csus (this with 1str +1): ultra-wide modal C
- Cello/Haircut: a ‘stack of perfect 5ths’ C layout
- Gothic: another Cm that ‘reverses’ 6&1str from here
• MORE INFO •
—Further learnings: sources, readings, lessons, other onward links…
- Cm tuning: practical and creative pros and cons on the ClassicalGuitar forum (“I know some people feel tuning changes are almost sacrilege…[but] as a composer, they really awake my creativity…”, “the power the low C has…feels so great… BOOOOoooooOOoooOooooommmMMmmm!”).
- Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba: an interview with its composer (“…Koyunbaba literally means ‘sheep-father’, or ‘shepherd’, but also refers to…a 13th-century mystical saint-like figure whose grave is decorated with colored bits of cloth by Turkish villagers seeking his help with family problems…and the name of a wild, dry area in Southwestern Turkey. Domeniconi relates the story of how the area is seemingly cursed…”).
Browse 100+ tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, words, etc. Also see tags below & the Full Menu.
Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning: fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty mythology to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!
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• RĀGA JUNGLISM •
rāga: ‘that which colours the mind’
George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and other global improvised traditions. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them. Site above, follow below, & hit me up for…
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