Half & Half


I’ve made several instruments in which the tone quality is altered by deliberately distorting the overtone series of strings to make them inharmonic (see, for instance, Weighted String Zithers and Y-String Guitar.) Here’s another. Each of Half and Half’s strings is actually two strings of different thicknesses joined somewhere in the middle. This gives the string unequal mass over its two parts, which throws off the overtone relationships. The bit of additional weight at the junction adds to the effect. There’s a zither pin at each end so you can adjust how long each segment is, allowing some adjustment of the resulting tone quality. Half and Half has fourteen strings tuned diatonically.

In the audio clip, Half and Half is joined by a bamboo woodblock and, in the second half of the clip, by Open DTF

Share This