feeltone Monochords - the versatile

All tones in one - sound

Monochords hold a great secret. They have many strings and yet only one tone sounds. When the whole monochord sounds, a multitude of tones and overtones resonate. The musician who strives for virtuosity is challenged and yet not disappointed. The beginner who expects music will experience variety and magic. The sound of the monochord opens the door to a different, spherical music. Let yourself fall under its spell and discover the effect of feeltone monochords!

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What is a monochord?

Monochord (mono = one, chord = string) was the name Pythagoras gave to his one-stringed instrument, which he used to mathematically explain tonal ratios in Greece about 2560 years ago. Today, monochord means an instrument with many equal strings, sometimes in octave spacing - depending on the model with an additional fifth string range. Thus the modern monochord is rather a polychord (poly = many, chord = string). The instrument is related to similar vaulting board zithers of Asian origin - such as the koto or the guzheng. Therefore, it makes sense to equip the back of the monochord with a koto. If we now add the four-string tambura, we have the legendary KOTAMO - one of our great monochords. The monochord is strung with up to 30 overtone strings in c and, depending on the model, the same number of bass strings in C. The koto uses the root note c and the tambura is usually tuned in C, c, c, G.

At feeltone you can buy high quality, handmade monochords, which are designed and constantly improved by ourselves. This is how we strive for the perfect sound experience.

Small but nice: body monochords from feeltone

With our Monolina we have taken up the idea of KOTAMO and integrated three instruments on one playing surface. The small ones, also called "body monochord", were added later and have the special feature that they can be placed on the body to feel the tones - the ideal prerequisite to use the monochord for therapies as well. Let yourself be guided by the sound of the instrument and feel the tone with feeltone!

You want to protect your monochord in the best possible way and get the best sound out of it? Then discover the versatile accessories for monochords in our online store - from hard cases to tuning keys.

Play the monochord: Get in touch with yourself - you are vibration

The way of playing the monochords and especially the monolinas is amazingly simple. Nevertheless, we have started to teach monochord playing - because simplicity is a real challenge for the intellectually striving for complexity. You learn in the courses to develop a language and conceptual world for what you experience. This makes it easier for you to exchange ideas with the participants, and together you get to know the monochord as an instrument and its unique effect. In the spirit of feeltone - feel the sound.

Harmonics

Monochords are especially rich in overtones because they consist of so many identical strings. Purely physically tuned tones have - in contrast to electronic tones - the advantage that they never sound 100% the same, even if they are tuned the same. Thus, beatings occur and the naturally resonating overtones are potentiated. If the monochord player now repeatedly strokes the strings evenly and slowly from top to bottom, the overtones first sound slowly and sporadically. But after a while of playing, of interweaving the vibration patterns, a whole ocean of tones forms and carries our spirit into distant worlds - time and space become more permeable.

KOTAMO

In the 21st century, KOTAMO was developed for music therapy. KO stands for the Japanese Koto, which probably came to Japan from China and has its origin in Mongolia. It is a fascinating stringed instrument with up to 25 strings on a curved sound body. Beneath the strings are riders, some of which are cleverly shifted by the player while playing to set different tunings. On the right side of the rider, the string is plucked, on the left side it can be pressed down for draw notes. This is how the familiar East Asian sounds are heard. A Japanese tambura player living in Germany, who is highly recommended, is called Karin Nakagawa.

TA stands for Tambura, the Indian accompanying instrument with only four strings, traditionally tuned in C, c, c, G. Often the sound of the tambura seems very constant monotonous during the classical Indian concert. The strings run over a bridge that is built in such a way that the strings produce a whirring or buzzing sound, which at the same time amplifies the sound of the strings. Such buzzes were often used in instruments in the past, including, for example, marimbas and balaphones - the African xylophones. Many body monochords are strung in tambura tuning, as stringing with three root notes and a fifth has a particularly invigorating effect.

MO stands for the monochord, it has up to 30 strings in the KOTAMO version and can be heard as a monotone sound carpet under the melodious koto playing. The KOTAMOs are built in such a way that you can rotate them in the axis while playing to change from the koto to the monochord as the main instrument.

Body Monochord

These small, lightweight monochords with up to 34 strings are made by many manufacturers with the bottom curved inward to allow them to be placed on the client. In our experience, this usually only works for washboard bellies, as the instrument rarely touches the body flat. That is why we have curved the feeltone body monochords Monolini and Monolina (patent protected) the other way around, so that they can now be placed on many different parts of the body: the back, the lap, the neck, the back of the knees, the feet, the upper and also the lower abdomen. We also do not use the widely used tambura tuning, because it is too fixed for us. We like to use the open monochord tuning with one range for the high notes, one for the octave and one for the fifth. Under the top high notes you can put 5 tabs for the melodic part of the koto. Now you can decide if you want to play only the high, the low, the fifth or the koto strings - for the pure monochord sound you play only the two octaves together. There are no limits to your creativity.

Would you like to experience the sound worlds of feeltone yourself? Then visit our YouTube channel!