Ode to the Harmonica.

Oh… the harmonica… totally underestimated right? Maybe…. either way, it’s pretty darn neat.


Tones or notes are made by blowing air into 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, the loose end vibrates and creates sound. Reeds are pre-tuned to individual tones. 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 blowing or drawing air strongly into the chamber.

The harmonica has made its way into all types of genres of music: folk, blues, rock, jazz, even dance and hip hop, And now, it is making its way into Carnegie Hall!

Check out this gnarly video!


2 Responses to “Ode to the Harmonica.”

  1. Hi,

    Not to sound like a know-it-all, but bending is not achieved by blowing or drawing strongly into the harmonica. It is actually caused by changing the embouchure of the mouth, including lips and tongue placement. Bending can be done using very little breath force and actually, some harmonica players tend to be very adamant AGAINST forcefully blowing or drawing into the harp, as it shortens the life of the reeds and demonstrates lack of control for the technique.

  2. Please, this is very important to me….what is the model of the harmonica on your hom page…my brother bought me that one a few years ago and i fell in love with it. However durring a recent move i lost it somehow. Please I would be very thankful for your feed back.

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