The harmonica also called blues harp, mississipi saxophone or mouth organ is a free reed musical instrument coming from Asia and that became famous at the end of the XIXth century.
The 3 main harmonica manufacturers are :
Hohner, Seydel and Suzuki
Different types of harmonica include :
- The diatonic harmonica traditionnally used to play blues, folk, country-music, celtic and rock. After Howard Levy's development of the overblows in the 1980s the diatonic harmonica is now also used to play jazz.
- The chromatic harmonica was designed in the beginning of the 20th century to give an easy access to all notes on the instrument by the usage of a slide. It is mainly used in classical music and jazz but Stevie Wonder made it famous in Pop music too.
- The tremolo harmonica and the octave harmonica are diatonic harmonicas with extra detuned double reeds ringing either an octave down or slightly out of tune to creat an accordion effect. They are used in traditionnal folk music.
- Orchestral harmonicas such as the chord harmonica and the bass harmonica are used to play in trio and accompany a diatonic or chromatic solist harmonica player