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Chaos Theory


     A person was asking me how the key of the bellowphone is determined. He noted that it seems to be happiest in D, which is correct, except it is actually a few cents shy of D: flat, you know, not the other thing. The bellowphone can also play in A to some extent, and by dint of extreme coercion and contortions, it can be made to play in F# and others. This is entirely due to the chaotic arrangement of the pipes, which were added as required for specific pieces, not from any coherent plan. As the repertoire grew, I would either add notes, or just try to work with what was there.
     The kazoo has nothing to do with determining the key of the music, as my friend erroneously suggested; the kazoo is limited only by my singing ability. With my voice alone, I can theoretically sing in Harry Partch's 43 tone scale. In fact, I usually do sing that way, although not on purpose, I can assure you.
     So the theory of the Bellowphone, is in fact, lack of a theory.

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  1. I hadn't heard of Harry Partch before. Very interesting. I like how he built his instrument based on the 43 tone scale for "practical reasons." Can we expect a somewhat larger version of the Bellowphone in the future?

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, the "practical reasons" of Harry Partch may be along different lines, from those that inform the rest of us in our decisions. However, I do credit Partch's "Blo Boy" for inspiring my idea for the Bellowphone, which is 30 years old now and has attained its full growth.
      I do have some other instruments in their formative years, such as the Oomphalapompatronium. If you find that name challenging to pronounce, you might like to see this short video, for further clarification.


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