The Who – Join Together i

2 thoughts on “The Who – Join Together i

  • March 16, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    At the risk of sounding facetious, me too! It’s appears to be in C Dorian Mode. My ears tell me I’m hearing a Chromatic harmonica, my eyes are looking at a Chord Harmonica, online anecdote suggests there’s a Bass harmonica in the mix, but the note placement seems to defy everything. A Bb 10 hole diatonic in 3rd position will deliver some of the opening tones, but beyond this it’s a mystery. The melodic thread appears to be:
    Eb D Eb C Eb C
    D Eb C Bb F Eb D …D
    Eb D Eb F G Ab G C Eb C …Eb D D
    Eb C Eb F Eb D Eb
    Eb C D Eb F Eb D Eb
    D Eb D (indistinct)
    But here’s a thing. If I transpose the track from C to D and use my C Chromatic in 3rd position, I can pretty much emulate what I’m hearing, with just with one button press in the mix. So I’d venture to suggest the harmonica track was either recorded on a C Chromatic harmonica in Dm and transposed in the studio to Cm, or else it was recorded on a Bb Chromatic, giving Cm in third position. Professional orchestral Chromatic harps tend to come only in the key of C, however the ubiquitous Hohner Super Chromonica is available in Bb and would have been available at the time of the recording (unlike the modern equivalent, the Hohner CX12).

    To tab this out however would be extremely difficult, which seems to be born out by the fact I cannot locate any tabs on the internet. As there is more than one note being played at a time, there are specific textures used, and the time keeping is slightly fluid, there is a raft of nuance that is very hard to transcribe. In a sense the harp part falls into ‘busking’ territory, which means it’s probably more productive copying by ear than following anything written down. All this having been said, I’d be very interested to hear other opinions and to know if anyone has tried tabbing or recording the part.

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