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Thread: Harmonica

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Default Harmonica

    Some article said harmonica is the biggest selling instruments on earth. But why it never rise as a respectfull CLASSICAL instrument? can name classical repertoire for harmonica?

    http://www.planetharmonica.com/VE/ConseilsBPUK.htm

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Vaughan-Williams' Romance for harmonica, strings, and piano is the only one I know of. This is the only piece with harmonica I've found that does not sound shrill to me. I'm not too fond of the sound in the blues-rock idiom.

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Arthur Benjamin Harmonica concerto
    James Moody Suite dans le style francais for harmonica and harp
    Moody quintet for h.and SQ
    Gordon Jacob Divertimento for h.and SQ

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Will check out some pieces mentioned above.

    But still major name in classical music like Mozart and friends (was there any harmonica around that time?) did not have a harmonica repertoire. Is it the instrument not 'musically' challenging to compose, or in marketing point of view, harmonica is not much "sell" rather than have a violin concerto.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurianbai View Post
    Will check out some pieces mentioned above.

    But still major name in classical music like Mozart and friends (was there any harmonica around that time?) did not have a harmonica repertoire. Is it the instrument not 'musically' challenging to compose, or in marketing point of view, harmonica is not much "sell" rather than have a violin concerto.
    Now that you mention it, didn;t Mozart write a couple of pieces for glass armonica and chamber instruments? I think that was a completely different type of instrument, though. It was like rubbing wet fingers over a crystal wine goblet or somethng like that. It must have been very hard to play or very expensive. I've never heard of any other compositions for it. I haven't even heard these. I've only heard about them.

    Maybe in Mozart's time the harmonica as we know it was looked down on as a folk instrument. I'm only guessing -- I haven't researched it.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Search on internet on GLASS ARMONICA , that's completely different instrument I guess.

    on youtube :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XPfo...eature=related

    wiki :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_harmonica

    wow... the first time I seen this of kind.

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    I think the harmonica is the biggest selling instrument partly due to the fact that it is cheap and portable. A great instrument though, in the hands of a master. I play it terribly, terribly badly. I make dogs howl in misery.
    I think it became popular only late nineteenth century, which may explain why there is no standard classical repertoire for it.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    The late Larry Adler was a great mouth harmonica player. I can recommend his Gershwin album, incl. a version of Rhapsody in Blue which the composer himself was said to admire (they knew eachother well) -

    Genuine ersatz classical listener since 1981.

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    Senior Member Chrythes's Avatar
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    Also there's Michael Spivakovsky's Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, the first movement:


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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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