A harmonica is small musical instrument that is played with the mouth by blowing into holes in its side. Harmonicas produce their musical sounds from the vibrations of reeds in the harmonica's metal case. When it comes to easy playability, affordability and portability, it’s hard to beat a harmonica. Despite their modest size and cost, harmonicas are capable of producing an amazing array of tones. From the more obvious categories such as blues and country to more surprising musical territory such as jazz and classical music, the harmonica with its often human-like voice easily fits in.
The harmonica was first invented in China, a few thousand years ago. This instrument, called the Sheng, had bamboo reeds, and became a prominent instrument in Asian traditional music. The Sheng was introduced to Europe in the late 18th century, and soon became popular. The modern harmonica was developed in Europe early in the 19th century, with the first harmonicas manufactured in Germany. The best known harmonica company, Hohner, is still based in Germany. The harmonica soon became popular, as it was cheap and easy to carry.
There are two main categories of harmonicas:
- Diatonic – which only contains the notes of a specific scale and are mainly used in blues, rock, country and pop music
- Chromatic – which can play all notes in the chromatic scale and are mainly used in jazz and classical music
Apart from the classic diatonic and chromatic harmonicas, there are some “special” models out there that each have a different purpose.
For this part I’ll be covering the following models:
- Tremolo harmonica – it has two reeds per note, one tuned slightly down a reference pitch, and the other one slightly above it. This creates a vibrato/tremolo effect, hence the name of the instrument
- Bass harmonica – it is chromatic harmonica but rather than using a sliding bar like regular chromatic harmonicas, the lower part of the instrument is tuned to a certain scale. Ans the upper part is tuned half a step above it
- Chord harmonica – it was created as a quick and easy way to access up to 48 different chords
Buy harmonicas in Musician.UA
You can buy harmonicas in our stores. It is also possible to place an order in the online shop. Delivery is carried out all over Ukraine. Thanks to the wide assortment, everyone will find a suitable product for themselves. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.