MOUTHORGAN ( HARMONICA )
with the help of
Chitra's Musical Notations:
Dear Mouth Organ Learner,
As you already must be aware - MouthOrgans are of Two types:
(I) The NON-CHROMATIC SCALE CHANGER TYPE MOUTHORGAN:
This has two rows of similar Reeds arranged in three Octaves - each containing only Major-Scale Notes (normally C-major). Thus out of 12 Notes of an Octave only 7 are present, and, songs which are purely in major / minor scales can be played on these. For example, if its a C-major/A-minor Harmonica - it shall have C D E F G A B, but not C-sharp, D-sharp, F-sharp, G-sharp, A-sharp. Songs which use the 5 missing Notes in the reeds thus cannot be played on this type of MouthOrgan.
Diagram of such a MouthOrgan in given below marked with the CMN-System:
To help you to check whether you are playing the Correct Note by exhaling / inhaling at a particular position - you can check by matching the sound from Mouthorgan with that produced from your Multimedia by clicking at the following Reed Nos.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Out of the
CMN List - you can play the following songs on a Non-Chromatic-MouthOrgan with the help of
CMN / 001 , 002 , 003 , 006 , 007 , 013 , 015 , 053 , 078 - as these are in the scale of C-major/A-minor.
Out of above, you can try sample notations of CMN/001 - Happy Birthday To You available on this website. However, instead of Note A you'll have to play B which will be approx correct.
Out of he balance songs - those songs which are in PURELY IN ANY Major/Minor Scale can also be played on the MouthOrgan - but by transposing Higher or Lower so as be played on a C-major/A-minor, or, any other Fixed-Scale-Mouthorgan.
(II) The CHROMATIC SCALE CHANGER TYPE MOUTHORGAN:
This has a 'Lever' on a side (with spring) which when pressed covers one Set of Reeds and uncovers another Set of Reeds on the MouthOrgan. If the set of reeds without pressing the Lever is in the scale of C-major, on pressing the lever - this set of reeds is covered, and, what is now uncovered is 'the Set of Reeds in the scale of C-sharp-major'. Thus this MouthOrgan has ALL the Notes of an Octave and ANY song can be played on this. Also, number of holes in a 3-Octave Chromatic Harmonica is 12 (not 24) as each hole has two reeds - one for playing while inhaling and the other while exhaling.
Learners of this type of MouthOrgan can play ALL the songs in our List. It would be preferable to use a Chromatic Harmonica of the same Major Scale as of the Song. Like for songs in C-major or its relative A-minor scales should be played on a C-major Chrometta. A song in G-major scale or its relative E-minor scale should be played on a G-major chrometta and so on. You can get Harmonicas of total 10 scales out of possible 12 major scales which are C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, & B-major. The place of availability of Harmonica of your choice can best be searched by using any reputed Search Engine.
A song which is purely in a Major or Minor scale and does not use any 'Accidental' note out of the scale can be played on a Non-Chromatic-Harmonica. But a song which uses some accidental note out of the scale here and there shall need a 'Chromatic Scale Changer Harmonica' to play these notes.
If a song is say in E-major scale, and one has a Non-Chromatic C-major Harmonica - one can transpose the whole song such that in place of note E given in the Chitra's Musical Notations - he plays C on his Harmonica. Thus he will be able to play the whole song on his Harmonica - though lower in pitch than the actual song. For playing the song in original pitch with the given Notations - he'll have to acquire an E-major scale Harmonica.
It is difficult to teach to play Mouthorgan, i.e, Harmonica, thro' printed matter! We can try to teach you to play thro' 'Skype'. If interested - may please contact at following email id informing your present level of knowledge and skill, details of your mouthorgan, your country and free time available to interact one-to-one on 'Skype' for about half-an-hour at a time.
for further clarifications, e-mail to:
with a copy to:
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