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The D Kurd, the best known and most widely used handpan scale.

d-kurd-handpan-scale

Description of the (D) Kurd handpan tuning:

The (D) Kurd handpan tuning can be regarded as the natural minor variant among the handpan tunings. It is characterized by a harmonious combination of tones and is therefore particularly suitable for beginners. With this tuning it is possible to create a wide range of musical moods, from calm meditation to melancholy sounds and powerful cheerfulness.

Although the D Kurd tuning is often appreciated for its sentimental expressiveness, it can also be used to create cheerful soundscapes. Interestingly, major triads are created on the second and third notes of this scale, whereby these two notes are played simultaneously. This combination creates an exciting musical tension that can be used deliberately to create variety and intensity in the music.

The D Kurd tuning has a remarkable historical origin and was one of the first seven-note scales to be tuned in handpans. It gained notoriety through numerous viral videos on the internet and has since gained a loyal following.

Origin and music theory of the D Kurd handpan tuning:

The name "Kurd" is derived from the Arabic-Turkish Maqam Kurd and reflects the tonal arrangement of the tuning. When the tonal center is on the first note in the circle, the full Phrygian mode is created, which is characterized by a semitone step between the root note and the second note of the scale. This semitone gives the scale its mysterious sound character.

However, there is an interesting ambivalence, as the DING (the lowest note) is a fifth below the first note. This creates a kind of second tonal center and makes it possible to switch to the aeolian mode (natural minor). Depending on the playing style, it is possible to switch between natural minor and phrygian sound quality. With the D Kurd tuning, musicians can play anything from meditative and melancholy sounds to powerful and cheerful melodies in a variety of ways.

The special feature of the D Kurd tuning is the semitone step between the first and second note. This step is not only present in the D Kurd tuning, but also in the maqam Kurd of the same name (an Arabic or Turkish scale system) and in the Phrygian mode. The Phrygian mode is used in various musical styles, including jazz, psychedelic rock, flamenco and fado, as well as in classical music.

Which handpan tuning goes well with D Kurd:

Very suitable for playing together improvisationally:

Also suitable for composing together:

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