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Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

How Does a Harmonica Make Music?

How Does a Harmonica Make Music?

The harmonica, or mouth organ, is an easy and fun instrument to play. A harmonica is a windblown instrument. Harmonicas are made in several sizes, but the simplest ones have ten holes, each of which produces two notes of the scale.

One note is sounded by blowing through the hole, the other by drawing your breath through it. When you blow into a harmonica, your breath makes thin metal reeds inside the holes vibrate.

The vibrating reeds produce sound. The reeds are different lengths, one for each note the harmonica can make. Tunes are played by moving the harmonica back and forth across the mouth.

Blowing into the harmonica can produce one note and drawing air from the harmonica will produce another note.

By doing this you can play 19 different notes on a diatonic harmonica. Advanced players can “bend” notes, changing the pitch of the note and allowing them to play any note on the chromatic scale with a single harmonica.

Two common ways or styles used when playing the harmonica are called “straight harp”, or first position, and “cross harp”, or second position.

Content for this question contributed by Darryl Furaro, resident of West Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA