Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics





Publisher Name

Acoustical Society of America


The modern harmonica,or harp, has been around since the early 19th century. It is typically used in blues, country, rock and roll and folk music. These musical genres are somewhat similar in structure and form, and often borrow ideas from each other. The harmonica is appropriate as a back up to the main vocal melody and instruments due to its rich harmonic structure and subdued intensity. The ability to apply vibrato and gradual slurs make it a perfect instrument to achieve a ``bluesy" sound. Our harp research group has investigated the physical properties of harmonica structure to illustrate how different structures lead to varied sounds, each of which is appropriate to a particular style of music. We present an overview of the use of the harmonica as a blues instrument and describe the details and significance of our research project.


Author Posting. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The article was published in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Volume 18, 2012,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Physics Commons