Playing the Breath Flute
Extremely Handsome Dan is part of a family of instruments that includes Handsome Dan, Narrow Trillium, Harmonochord, and 2+1. What these instruments have in common is the trick, independently explored by Hans Reichel and Glenn Branca in the 1980s, of having a string divided by a middle bridge into two segments, plucked on one side but with a magnetic pickup positioned to respond to sympathetic vibrations on the other side. In Extremely Handsome Dan, the plucked segment is very short, at 1/8 the length of the segment on the pickup side. This creates the ghostly sound we hear through the pickup, with the 8th harmonic of the long segment sounding prominently, but with an undercurrent of lower harmonics. You can also use a slide on the short segment for still stranger adventures in shared harmonics.

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