History of the harmonica

History of the harmonica

harmonica – a musical reed instrument belonging to the wind family. Harmonicas are: chromic, diatonic, blues, tremolo, octave, orchestral, methodical, chord.

Invention of the harmonica

In China around 3000 B.C. the first reed instruments were invented. Later, they spread throughout Asia. In the 13th century, an instrument consisting of 17 tubes of different sizes, made of bamboo, came to Europe. Inside each tube were reeds made of copper. This design was tried to be used in the manufacture of organs, but the idea was not widespread. Only in the 19th century, inventors from Europe again returned to this design. History of the harmonicaChristian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann from Germany in 1821 designed the first ever harmonica, which he called the aura. The master watchmaker created a structure consisting of a metal plate, in which there were 15 slots with steel tongues. In 1826, the master from Bohemia Richter modernized the instrument, Richter’s harmonica had ten holes and twenty reeds, divided into two groups – inhalation and exhalation. The entire structure was made in a cedar body.

Start of mass production

In 1857 Matthaas Hohner, a German watchmaker from Trossingen History of the harmonicaopens a company producing harmonicas. It was thanks to Hohner that the first types of harmonica appeared in North America in 1862, and his company, producing 700 instruments a year, became the market leader. German companies are leaders today, exporting tools to different countries and developing new models. For example, “El Centenario” for Mexico, “1’Epatant” for France and “Alliance Harp” for the UK.

Golden Age of Harmonica

From the 20s of the 20th century, the golden age of harmonica begins. History of the harmonicaThe first musical recordings of this instrument in the style of country and blues belong to this period. These compositions were so popular that they were sold by the millions throughout America. In 1923, the American philanthropist Albert Hoxsey held music competitions for harmonica lovers. America is infatuated with the new instrument. In the 1930s, American schools began to teach learning to play this musical instrument.

In the 1950s, the era of rock and roll begins and the harmonica becomes even more popular. The harmonica is actively used in various musical directions: jazz, country, blues, musicians from all over the world continue to use the harmonica in their performances.

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