Win the Lee Oskar diatonic harmonica in the display case!  
Click here for contest details.

 The harmonica, sometimes called a harp or mouth organ, is a mouth-blown instrument sounded with free reeds (one for each note). The simplest instruments are diatonic, with a single row of channels cut into a block of cedar or now often of plastic. Two metal plates, one mounted above the block and the other below, carry a reed for each note (making 20 reeds in all), the upper plate with the reeds set to sound on blow, the lower plate to sound on draw. While mouth organs originated in East Asia some thousands of years ago, the ancestor of the modern harmonica was invented around 1830 in Germany.  The cheap and portable instrument quickly became an important member in the repertoire of instruments in almost every type of American popular music.  

We invite you to explore the musical variety of the harmonica with us this month!

Streaming Audio Songs Featuring Harmonica:

*These streaming audio sites are available "on demand" both on and off the Berklee campus to enrolled Berklee students, as well as Berklee faculty and staff.

Blues Songbook 
by Alan Lomax

Between the Sound and the Sea:
Music of the North Carolina Outer Banks

Interstate City
by Dave Alvin and
the Guilty Men
by Jimmy Dale Gilmore and
the Flatlanders
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
by Brownie McGhee and
Sonny Terry
Blues Masters
 by Little Walter & Otis Rush

Folkways: The Original Vision
by Woody Guthrie & Lead Belly

Get on Board:
Negro Folksongs

Just Enough
by Paul Geremia
The Mississippi River of Song: A Musical Journey Down the Mississippi Close to Home: Old Time Music from Mike Seeger's Collection, 1952-1967 Life's Railway to Heaven
 by Marcus

Harmonica Concertos
by Spivakovsky, Arnold, Villa-Lobos

Larry Adler in Concert

Harmonica and
Clarinet Music

Toots Thielemans: Live
Mississippi Saxophone
by Bruce Ewan

CDs on display:

Harmonica Blues:
great harmonica performances
of the 1920s and ‘30s

CD 21965

The essential Sonny Boy Williamson
CD 22102-22103

Muddy Waters at Newport, 1960
CD 27990

An offer you can’t refuse
by Paul Butterfield
CD 26380

Man bites harmonica
by Toots Thielemans
CD 3594

Eivets Rednow
CD 6698

by Bela Fleck &the Flecktones
CD 6921

Steady Movin’
by Carlos Del Junco
Annex CD (Box 37)

by Bruce Springsteen
CD 184

by Tommy Reilly
CD 5464

Vaughan Williams in concert
CD 5549

by Bill Evans
CD 4233

DVDs on display:

Rev. Gary Davis and Sonny Terry
DVD 650

The American folk blues festival,

DVD 899-900

Harmonica Power!
Norton Buffalo’s bag of tricks
LVD 451

Scores and Methods on display:

Charlie Musslewhite:
power blues harp

MT682.8 .D68 1990

The harp styles of Bob Dylan 
MT682 .D93 H37 1992

The harp styles of Sonny Terry
MT682.8 .T47 1975

Gospel harp
by Phil Duncan
MP175.A4 D8
Blues harp songbook
by Tony Glover
MP175.H3 G53 1975
The great harmonica songbook:
45 songs

by Eric Plahna
MP175.H3 G74 2009