Karl`s PC Help Forums

For the harp players
LSemmens - 8-1-2018 at 05:18


John_Little - 8-1-2018 at 10:16

Q: Why is it called a "harp"


The term is partly inspired by the Aeolian harp, a stringed instrument that is left outdoors to be played by the wind, whose name was taken from Aeolus, the god of the wind. Early names for the harmonica were Aeolina, Aeolian and Mund-Aeoline, which stressed this link with the Aeolian harp. As the earliest harmonica-like instruments were little more than a few reeds attached to a reedplate that was held to the players lips, the resemblance to a harp was quite pronounced. The introduction to Instructions for the Æolina, or Mund-Harmonica, published in New York in 1830 proudly boasts:

THE ÆOLINA from the originality of its construction and the beauty of its effects, is a decided novelty in the musical art; the expressive sweetness of its tones, the richness of the harmonies it renders, and the contrasts of its exulting swells and dying cadences, realize the poetical descriptions of the harp of Æolus and greatly surpass its practical results; while the regularity of its scale gives it advantages of the most important kind, which that instrument does not possess. From the close resemblance of its tones to those of this harp of the winds and from the analogous circumstances under which the sound is produced in both instances, the name of the Æolina has been derived.

scholar - 8-1-2018 at 22:35

I was part of a harmonica band, instructed by the man who was my choir director during the school year. Some hymns in major keys are easy and beautiful (within the limits of my talent).

Nimuae - 9-1-2018 at 08:26

Aeolian Harps make lovely sounds - harmonicas do not.:):)

John_Little - 9-1-2018 at 10:12

Depends on who is playing them. The trick is in the tongue. And the breath control, of course.

Nimuae - 9-1-2018 at 12:09

Originally posted by John_Little
Depends on who is playing them. The trick is in the tongue. And the breath control, of course.

To my ear they are in the same category as Hammond Organs and Recorders - the most unmusical instruments on the planet !

John_Little - 9-1-2018 at 22:06

Recorders I agree with, But Hammond organ? Sheer poetry!

LSemmens - 10-1-2018 at 01:16

I'm with John, there, Nim. Like any instrument, played badly (which, sadly would be about 99% of harmonicas) they can sound downright awful. I've been blessed in that I've known a good player but not of the same standard as the bloke in the OP.

Nimuae - 10-1-2018 at 14:35

LOL! Leigh - those three instruments just set my teeth on edge - no matter who is using them !waveysmiley