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Harmonica |
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Most Popular

Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica D

Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica D

The Special 20 is the go-to harp for harmonica players of any style, including blues, country, folk, or rock. The Special 20 delivers the coveted Marine Band sound and offers the benefits of its plastic comb: it doesn't absorb moisture so it won't swell, shrink, or crack; it lasts longer and is more airtight than wood combs that can become swollen, twisted, and warped; airtight construction provides increased responsiveness; plastic provides comfort and it's smoother on the lips, preventing chafing.


Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica D

Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica D

Well-suited for blues, rock, country, folk, and jazz. They're more airtight, easier to bend, and better sounding than many harps. Modular design.Built in Japan to his exacting standards and incorporating new techniques and materials, it was in 1983 that Lee Oskar introduced his new harmonica. The radically different harp design grew out of Lee's frustration with the lack of quality and consistency in the mouth harps of the day.


Hohner M2009 Marine Band Crossover Harmonica D

Hohner M2009 Marine Band Crossover Harmonica D

With the Marine Band Crossover Harmonica, Hohner has expanded the Marine Band series to introduce a top-of-the-line, professional-quality harmonica for discerning musicians who play modern blues, rock, jazz, soul, or funk. The Marine Band Crossover Harmonica's revolutionary laminated-bamboo comb is completely sealed, making it water repellent and exceptionally stable.


Starter's Kit

starter package HarmonicaLessons.com Super Starter Harmonica Package

High-quality harmonicas, a great mic, and the case to carry it all in.

Perfect for the serious beginner, this package includes 5 Lee Oskar diatonic harmonicas in the keys of G, A, C, D, and F; the Hohner #270 Chromonica in C; and the Hohner Blues Blaster Harmonica Microphone, housed in a hardshell case that holds 20 diatonic and 2 chromatic harmonicas. The case also features a removable tray, and plenty of room for cables, a microphone, and accessories.

Get this combination of great harps, mic, and case for less then you'd expect. Order today.

View Product

Wiki

wikipedia iconWIKIPEDIA: HARMONICA

The harmonica, also called harp, French harp, Blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country music, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes (reed chambers) or multiple holes. The pressure caused by blowing or drawing air into the reed chambers causes a reed or multiple reeds to vibrate up and down creating sound. Each chamber has multiple, variable-tuned brass or bronze reeds, which are secured at one end and loose on the other end, with the loose end vibrating and creating sound.

Reeds are pre-tuned to individual tones, and each tone is determined according to the size of reed. Longer reeds make deep, low sounds and short reeds make higher-pitched sounds. On certain types of harmonica the pre-tuned reed can be changed (bending a note) to another note by redirecting air flow into the chamber. There are many types of harmonicas, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, orchestral, and bass versions.

TYPES

Chromatic harmonica

The chromatic harmonica usually uses a button-activated sliding bar to redirect air from the hole in the mouthpiece to the selected reed-plate, although there was one design, the "Machino-Tone," which controlled airflow by means of a lever-operated movable flap on the rear of the instrument. In addition, there is a "hands-free" modification of the Hohner 270 (12-hole) in which the player shifts the tones by moving the mouthpiece up and down with the lips, leaving the hands free to play another instrument. While the Richter-tuned 10-hole chromatic is intended to be played in only one key, the 12-, 14-, and 16-hole models (which are tuned to equal temperament) allow the musician to play in any key desired with only one harmonica. This harp can be used for any style, including Celtic, classical, jazz, or blues (commonly in third position).

Diatonic harmonicas

Strictly speaking, "diatonic" denotes any harmonica that is designed for playing in only one key (though the standard "Richter-tuned" diatonic can be played in other keys by forcing its reeds to play tones that are not part of its basic scale: see "Blues harp" below). Depending on the region of the world, "diatonic harmonica" may mean either the tremolo harmonica (in East Asia) or blues harp (In Europe and North America). Other diatonic harmonicas include octave harmonica.

Tremolo harmonica


The tremolo harmonica's distinguishing feature is that it has two reeds per note, with one slightly sharp and the other slightly flat. This provides a unique wavering or warbling sound created by the two reeds being slightly out of tune with each other and the difference in their subsequent waveforms interacting with each other (its beat). The Asian version, on which all 12 semitones can be played, is used in a large amount of East-Asian music, from rock to pop music.

Orchestral harmonicas


These harmonicas are primarily designed for use in ensemble playing.

Orchestral melody harmonica

There are eight kinds of orchestral melody harmonica: the most common are the Horn harmonicas that are most often found in East Asia. These consist of a single large comb with blow only reed-plates on the top and bottom. Each reed sits inside a single cell in the comb. One version mimics the layout of a piano or mallet instrument, with the natural notes of a C diatonic scale in the lower reed-plate and the sharps/flats in the upper reed-plate in groups of two and three holes with gaps in between like the black keys of a piano (thus there is no E#/Fb hole nor a B#/Cb hole on the upper reed-plate). Another version has one "sharp" reed directly above its "natural" on the lower plate, with the same number of reeds on both plates.

"Horn harmonicas" are available in several pitch ranges, with the lowest pitched starting two octaves below middle C and the highest beginning on middle C itself; they usually cover a two or three octave range. They are chromatic instruments and are usually played in an East Asian harmonica orchestra instead of the "push-button" chromatic harmonica that is more common in the European/American tradition. Their reeds are often larger, and the enclosing "horn" gives them a different timbre, so that they often function in place of a brass section. In the past, they were referred to as horn harmonicas.

The other type of orchestral melodic harmonica is the Polyphonia, (though some are marked "Chromatica"). These have all twelve chromatic notes laid out on the same row. In most cases, they have both both blow and draw of the same tone, though the No. 7 is blow only, and the No. 261, also blow only, has two reeds per hole, tuned an octave apart (all these designations refer to products of M. Hohner).


Chord harmonica


The chord harmonica has up to 48 chords: major, seventh, minor, augmented and diminished for ensemble playing. It is laid out in four-note clusters, each sounding a different chord on inhaling or exhaling. Typically each hole has two reeds for each note, tuned to one octave of each other. However, less expensive models often have only one reed per note. Quite a few orchestra harmonicas are also designed to serve as both bass and chord harmonica, with bass notes next to chord groupings. There are also other chord harmonicas, such as the Chordomonica (which operates similar to a chromatic harmonica), and the junior chord harmonicas (which typically provides 6 chords).

ChengGong harmonica


The ChengGong 程功 harmonica has a main body, and a sliding mouthpiece. The body is a 24-hole diatonic harmonica that starts from b2 to d6 (covering 3 octaves). Its 11-hole mouthpiece can slide along the front of the harmonica, which gives numerous chord choices and voicings (seven triads, three 6th chords, seven 7th chords, and seven 9th chords, for a total of 24 chords). As well, it is capable of playing single- note melodies and double stops over a range of three diatonic octaves. Unlike conventional harmonicas, blowing and drawing produce the same notes because its tuning is closer to the note layout of a typical Asian tremolo harmonica or the Polyphonias.
Pitch pipe

The pitch pipe is a simple specialty harmonica that provides a reference pitch to singers and other instruments. The only difference between some early pitch-pipes and harmonicas is the name of the instrument, which reflected the maker's target audience. Chromatic pitch pipes, which are used by singers and choirs, give a full chromatic (12-note) octave. Pitch pipes are also sold for string players, such as violinists and guitarists; these pitch pipes usually provide the notes corresponding to the open strings.

(Wikipedia, "Harmonica", Link to Article)

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