Jason Cornwell
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Jason Cornwell's Discussions

Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
7 Replies

Hello,I’m brand new to classic banjo, and I understand a typical American tuning in the late 19c was eAEG#B, while in England banjo was gCGBD (which was ultimately adapted in America). That said, I…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jason Cornwell Jul 14.

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carrie horgan and Jason Cornwell are now friends
Aug 31
Jason Cornwell replied to Dante Flores's discussion Hi, I'm new here!
"Hi Dante, My name is Jason and I’m 53 years old!  I too am learning how to play classic banjo, although I’ve never played banjo before (I do play classical guitar).  I’m learning on a Deering Goodtime Americana which I…"
Aug 4
Jason Cornwell replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Thanks again! The explanation of the rising pitch relative to notation goes a long way. I’ve been learning in C so far but I will plan to learn how to read in A at some point. I really appreciate all the help!"
Jul 14
Joel Hooks replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Sort of what Jody wrote, just do what all the banjoists did in the US before 1900, read in A and ignore the actual pitch.  It is simple.  If you lean to read in A, the relative pitch of the banjo can be anything.  Think of it as…"
Jul 13
Jody Stecher replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Jason: If you want to play zither-banjo then I think you are better off with C tuning because as far as I know all the zither-banjo published notation is in C notation. I don't think zither-banjo will sound very good tuned low either. However…"
Jul 13
Jason Cornwell replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Thanks Joel for your very thorough explanation! It seems to me that I have three options when it comes to exploring the “A” repertoire today: 1) learn to transpose at sight, 2) have a dedicated banjo in A (or retune) and learn to read…"
Jul 13
Joel Hooks replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Yeah, it is actually an unfortunate series of events which I believe largely contributed to the decline in popularity of the regular 5 string banjo. By the time that the change to C notation started being debated (about 1900) fretted instruments in…"
Jul 13
Jason Cornwell replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"Thanks very much!  "
Jul 13
Jody Stecher replied to Jason Cornwell's discussion Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?
"The short answer is "Yes there was such a time". Banjo players were accustomed to reading A notation. As the actual pitch rose over the decades, they continued to read the notation they were used to. And to use the fingering they were used…"
Jul 13
Jason Cornwell posted a discussion

Did “A” tuning actually sound like “C”?

Hello,I’m brand new to classic banjo, and I understand a typical American tuning in the late 19c was eAEG#B, while in England banjo was gCGBD (which was ultimately adapted in America). That said, I came across a farcical article in a Stewart’s Journal (“A.D. 2000”), which seems to suggest that banjo music written in “A” tuning actually sounded in “C”.  …See More
Jul 13
Jason Cornwell is now a member of Classic-Banjo
May 23

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