knowledge unlocks a world of possibilities The Robinson Library

The Robinson Library About the Library Navigation Help Sitemap Terms of Use Contact Information

  MusicMusical InstrumentsWind Instruments

aka Mouth Organ

typical harmonica

The instrument commonly known as the harmonica (or French harp) was invented in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone, who called it an aeolina.

The simplest of the musical instruments employing free reeds, the mouth organ's reeds are set in a small narrow case of wood or metal. For each reed there is a hole, through which the player draws or blows with the mouth, thereby causing the reed to vibrate and produce a note.

The most common type of harmonica is diatonic, having a range of about two octaves, but harmonicas capable of playing the full chromatic scale are not uncommon.

the reed arrangement inside a mouth organ

Questions or comments about this page?

  The Robinson Library > Music > Musical Instruments > Wind Instruments

This page was last updated on 09/04/2015.

About This Site | Navigation Help | Sitemap | Terms of Use | Contact