Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I have played today (04th Dec 11) and uploaded this song from his Film “Guide” as a “TRIBUTE to Bollywood screen legend DEV ANAND” who passed away after “ROMANCING WITH LIFE”. He passed away in London at the age of 88 on 3 December 2011 (4th December 2011 by Indian time) due to a cardiac arrest.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Shivang's family is from Ahmedabad. His grandfather was in GEB Ahmedabad
His father is a Doctor living in Brmingham.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
This is what he writes about himself by way of introduction on his Youtube channel:
" I am an artist by profession, and have been performing music on the harmonica as a hobby for the last fifty years. I learnt this art from the late Milon Gupta, the famous harmonica maestro of India in the mid-'50s. I enjoy playing both Eastern and Western music, and have performed the harmonica (or mouth organ) at various public performances in the United States and in India.
I am a member of the Society of the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (www.spah.org) since 2000. I am now visually handicapped due to macular degeneration since my early 30s, and playing the harmonica is my life."
Here are a few of his renditions:
1. Main Shayar to nahi
2. Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago
You can visit his Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/EvergreenKarun
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
1. Jawaniya ye mast mast
2. Awara Hoon
3. Bekaraar karke humein yu na jaayiye
Saturday, October 29, 2011
1. Jyoti Kalash Chhalake
2. Dil Ek Mandir Hai
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Natural Minor three notes get flattened & they are E, A & B. For the scale C natural Minor we can write the scale structure as C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb & C.
For Harmonic minor two notes gets flattened & they are note E & note A. For the scale C Harmonic minor we can write it as C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,B & C.
For Melodic Minor its a bit confusing to grasp. There is a clear difference in the ascending & descending order of the scale.
Ascending order is C,D,Eb, F,G,A,B & C
Descending order is C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb& C
This I have explained in the video attached here with.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
By the word SHARP we mean something ' pointed ' or ' piercing'. Imagine we are at the base of a steep mountain. Standing at the ground level we observe the tip of this cliff & we say its pointed or its sharp. It means we are at the base & our point of concentration is the highest level being our point of observation. It means by making a travel from base & proceding forward/ higher we acheive the highest point which we have confirmed as SHARP. Putting the same logic in music when we take a NOTE of a particular frequency & give an increment to its frequency we arrive at a particular frequency where the note gets SHARPENED, at that instant we say that the second note is the SHARP of the first one. The reverse order is also true. Thats,when we start decresing the frequency of the note we get the lower frequency where we say the Note is FLAT of the first one. Therefore SHARP & FLAT are inter related.
We conclude that the increase in frequency of a note to a particular value is the SHARP of that note & the decrease in frequency of a note to a praticular value is the FLAT of that note.
For example when note F steepens it becomes F# & when the same note F# widens that becomes note F.
Now coming to the word FREQUENCY & what does it mean in actual. The word frequency is dervied from the word 'Frequent' which means OCCURING OF AN ACTIVITY DURING A PARTICULAR TIME WITH AN INTERVAL. When the time interval , which we say GAP as a lay man , is more than the occurence , we say its less frequent & Vice versa. In music, frequency means the vibration of sound waves & the time interval is considered as one second. Therefore the frequency of a particular musical note is the vibration of its sound waves per second. Internationally the frequency of the note A is taken as the reference & all the rest of the notes have been designated with respect to this A note. The frequency of vibration of sound waves for this note A has the value 440 Cycles per second. According to the name of the scientist of its discovery the unit of frequency is also known as HERTZ & in short written as HZ.. Note A has the frequency of 440 HZ. This A belongs to the fifth octave & denoted as A4. About the OCTAVES it will be explained in the future posts. This note A has been taken as the reference because in olden days A was taken as the start with the notes of the scale as A,B,C,D,E,F,G & A of the next octave. You can observe in a key board all these notes are the white keys. Gradually due to the advent of the Major & minor scales this notes pattern of A scale became the A minor scale. This A was replaced by the note C as the threshold creating the C scale with the notes as C,D,E,F,G,A,B & C of the higher octave in the ascending order of the scale. This C scale has all the white notes on a key board making it the C Major scale with all the notes being the natural ones.
As regards the concept of OCTAVES, MAJOR , MINOR SCALES & CIRCLE OF FIFTH etc we will discuss in the future posts.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Some friends have requested for the hole numbers, since the notation pattern is still to be learnt by them. Our next posting of the same song identifying the hole numbers for practising this song.
BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO = GAGA MA DHA DHANISA... .SA..SASANISA
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = SASASASA NI- DHA-MAMADHANI-NI
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = NI - NIDHA DHANISA-SA-NISANI - DHA - DHA
HAWAON RAGNI GAO = GAGA MA DHA DHANISA... .SA..SASANISA
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI =SASASASA NI- DHA-MAMADHANI-NI
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI =NI - NIDHA DHANIre - re -NISANI-DHA - DHA
O LAALEE PHOOL KI MEHENDI = GA'GA'MA'SA' - SA'- SA'GA'GA'MA'SA' - SA'
LAGAA IN GORE HATHONMEIN =SANISADHA - DHA MA SADHASADHASA-SA
UTAR AA EI GHATAA KAAJAL = GA'GA'MA'SA' - SA' - SA'GA'GA'MA'SA' - SA'
LAGAA IN PYARI AANKHONMEIN = SANISADHA - DHA MA SADHASADHASA - SA
SITARON MAANG BHAR JAO = GAGA MA DHA DHANISA - SA - SASANISA
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = SASASASA NI - DHA - MAMADHANI - NI
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = NI - NIDHADHANIre - re - NISANI - DHA - DHA
Friday, September 23, 2011
BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO = EEF#A ABC-C-CCBC
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = CCCC B-A-F# F#AB-B
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = B-BA ABC-C BCB-A-A
HAWAON RAGNI GAO = EEF#A ABC-C-CCBC
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI =CCCC B-A-F# F#AB-B
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = B-BA ABC#-C# BCB-A-A
O LAALEE PHOOL KI MEHENDI = E'E'F#'C'-C' E'E'F#'C'-C'
LAGAA IN GORE HATHONMEIN =CBCA-AF#CBCBA-A
UTAR AA EI GHATAA KAAJAL = E'-E'E'F#'C'-C' E'E'F#'C'-C'
LAGAA IN PYARI AANKHONMEIN = CBCA-AF#CBCBA-A
SITARON MAANG BHAR JAO = EEF#A ABC-C CCBC
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = CCCC B-A-F# F#AB-B
MERA MEHEBOOB AYA HAI = B-BA ABC#C# BCB-A-A
These are the basic notes. we can add flavour to it by vibrato or putting some accidental notes. please operate the slider gently either with your fore finger or the thumb. Please dont hit it with your palm since its very delicate.
We are open for any corrections and suggestions since we learn though our mistakes & errors.
BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO
Please note that this post is not in link to my the previous post. The previous post is for the beginners who are keen to know the positions of the notes in harmonica.
BAHA RON PHOOL BARSAO , MERAMEHE BOOB AYAA HAIEE F#A ABC-C CCB-C CCCC BA-F# F#AB-B
MERA MEHEBOOB AYAA HAIB-BA ABC-C BCB-A
HAWAON RAAGNI GAO , MERA MEHEBOOB AYAA HAI,
NOTES ARE SAME AS THE TOP NOTES
MERA MEHEBOOB AYAAHAIB-BA ABC# -C# BCB-A
O LAALI PHOOL KIMEHENDI LAGA IN GORE HATHONMEINE'E'F'# C'-C' E'E'F'#C-C C'BC' BA AF#C' BC'BA-A ( E' IS THE 'E' OF NEXT OCTAVE )
UTAR AA EI GHATAA KAAJAL LAGAAIN PYAARI ANKHONMEINE'-E'E'F# C - C E'E' F'#-CC C'-BC'BA AF#-C' BC'BA-A
SITARON MAANG BHARJAO , MERA MEHEBOOB AYAA HAI
(THE SAME NOTES OF BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO CONTINUES HERE AFTER TILL THE END )
MERA MEHEBOOB AYAA HAI
BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO.................................
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
C , C# , D , Eb , E , F , F# , G , Ab , A , Bb , B .
HOW TO GET THE NOTES OF AN OCTAVE ON A CHROMATIC HARMONICA
C = Blow at the holes 1 , 5 , 9 with slider out
C# = Blow at the above holes with slider in
D = Draw at the above holes with slider out
Eb = Draw at the above holes with slider in
E = Blow at the holes 2 , 6 , 10 with slider out
F = Draw at the above holes with slider out
F#= Draw at the above holes with slider in
G = Blow at the holes 3 , 7 , 11 with slider out
Ab =Blow at the above holes with slider in
A = Draw at the above holes with slider out
Bb = Draw at the above holes with slider in
B = Draw at the holes 4 , 8 , 12 with slider out
B# = Draw at the above holes with slider in ( This is C note only but sounds sweet at landing )
C = Blow at the above holes with slider out ( This is the C of the next octave )
C# = Blow at the above holes with slider in ( This is the C # of the next octave )
HAVE A GOOD PRACTICE . ALL THE BEST.
Our next post will be the notations for the song Baharon Phool Barsao .
Monday, September 19, 2011
TONE means a sound of a certain frequency. Sometimes the tone is pleasant to the ear & some times it is pungent to the ear. The pungent one we term as NOISE and the pleasant ones we chose to put them in order making a garland of NOTES which is known as SCALE. We identify each note by a name depending upon their frequencies. Putting these set of notes in ascending order of their frequencies & making a chain is the SCALE. As each NOTE has a name, similarly each SCALE has a name. Conventionally the scale starts with C as the reference having the notes ascending order staring with the note name C.
There are 12 NOTES viz C , C# , D, D# ( Eb ) , E , F , F# , G , G# ( Ab ) , A , A# ( Bb ) & B .
similarly 12 SCALES with the same names as the NOTES. In a particular scale there are seven notes in total.
Example Scale ' C ' = C , D , E , F , G , A , B & again C of the next octave.
The Major & Minor concept of the SCALE , FLAT & SHARP NOTES I will explain latter.
I will upload the song BAHARON PHOOL BARSAO with the original song then the play of the same song in the original scale on harmonica.
Finally for the understanding & grasp of the song I will give the notations of the song.
Friday, September 16, 2011
As all of us know MUSIC is one of the important streams of Fine arts, which soothes the heart & gives total relaxation to the body & mind. As far as Science is concerned Music is the combination of certain sound frequencies set up in a particular order, which is very soothing & pleasing to the ears.And as far as Arts is concerned Music is DIVINE which is something beyond explanation.
Let us take a travel towards the Science Of Music, try to understand the rudiments, practice it & finally let us feel that we are blessed by Mother Saraswati to be successful in our efforts.
Finally let us utilise our scientific knowledge in Music to glorify this FINE ART.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We are pleased to announce that veteran harmonica player Ramakrishna Sabnavees from Hyderabad has kindly agreed to guide the visitors to this blog on how to learn to play this tiny musical instrument, a long-felt demand expressed by hundreds of music enthusiasts.
Sabnavees, an engineer by profession, is also a self-taught harmonica player and has painstakingly learned the theory and put it in practice over the last five years. He used to play harmonica during his college days but had given it up because of the compulsion of his profession only to pick up after a long gap. Once he decided to take up harmonica he plunged himself into both theory and practice. The result is today he has become a guru who inspires young harmonica players.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Today the HCG has over 30 members, half a dozen of them school children in the age group of 10-15 years. The man who deserves credit for attracting the generation next is Paresh Bhatia, who turned 50 last Septmber 11. Bhatia had not only introduced harmonica in his music class in a leading public school of Ahmedabad, but also gave personal tuition to anyone and everyone who wished to learn how to play this instrument.
It is Bhatia Sir's efforts which have given the music world child prodigies like Devansh, Aditya, Mihir and Pratham who have not just learned the 'Sa, Re, Ga, Ma' but can today play popular tunes from olden days, decades before they were born.
The result of this Guru-Shishya parampara was witnessed at a public performance of the Harmonica Club of Gujarat at Ahmedabad's premier Rajpath Club on September 10, 2011 where the kids outshone the veterans in presenting scintillating and romantic numbers.
We present here a few of the numbers played by the child prodigies.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
But, how can his humility deprive our music lovers from listening to this excellent rendition? So, I am using my prerogative to post Sirishbhai's video here.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
"I have not been playing harmonica for almost an year," he said when I asked him which were the latest numbers he played. I requested him to play a number which he has yet to upload on youtube. Here is the number:
Monday, July 18, 2011
Madhur Bhatia was inducted into the Harmonica Club of Gujarat last Saturday as an honorary lifetime member. He had come all the way from Agra, his home town, to meet the members of HCG which held a get together at Bansibhai Gajjar's home. We were regaled by Mr. Bhatia's excellent rendition of old Hindi film numbers.
Mr. Bhatia has been playing harmonica since he was seven-year-old. "My father, who played violin, encouraged me and gifted me my first harmonica," he says. Since then, Mr. Bhatia has been playing the instrument. He plays by ears, without having any formal training in music. One wonders how he is able to follow all the minute details of a song, including the prelude and interlude background music.
We present here some of the songs he played on Saturday night:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I m sorry I m late in my reply & hope u will excuse me. I belong to Distt Poonch of J&K state now settled at Jammu city. So far as my journey of music is concerned it is in my veins nerves & blood from my childhood. I was lucky enough to have a company of good highly talented friends. Our teachers always encouraged us & we used to sing in school, national as well as religious functions esp. during navratri when we used to manage a small orchestra & I used to play harmonium & banjo for the ramleela & continued till my graduation. when I was in 10+2 during 1967 that one of my friends gifted me a small ordinary harmonica (Kohinoor) where from my harmonica journey started & soon I was able to play in various functions. I did B.Sc. from govt degree college Poonch & came to Jammu where I started learning violin from a teacher but due to my immediate selection as Range Forest Officer in J&K Govt State Forest Deptt during 1971 was deputed to forest research instt Dehra Dun to undergo 2 years rigorous training in the northern forest rangers college. The busy schedule didn't allow me to carry on my violin practice. I was very lucky to have my batch mates from north eastern states highly talented persons & very experts in flute violin guitar etc. we framed a college orchestra & performed in college as well as outside functions & got applause. After completing the training I came back to my state where my hectic busy schedule started. Our work starts from where road connectivity & inhabitation ceases so harmonica became my passion, best friend & used to play under the snow clad mountains in the lush green pine forests on the bank of a milky stream with the melodies of 50s-70s. Can't explain how enjoyable it was. I retired as D F O (DY Conservator OF Forests) during 2005 & leading a retired relaxed life. I joined YouTube during 2009 where in I came in contact with highly talented persons. I have two sons the elder one a doctor & excellent guitar player & the younger an engineer who always insisted & encouraged me to do some thing with my harmonica. It is a matter of great pleasure & fun of proud for me that great persons like you & the harmonica fraternity have encouraged me with generous comments liking my uploads exhilarating, elating & invigorating me.
Jagjit Singh Isher
157 sector-1 lane-9 Nanak Nagar Jammu
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
We are pleased to present here some of the most difficult songs he has played:
1. Dil Ek Mandir Hai - Title song
2. Jyoti Kalash Chhalake
3. Yaad Na Jaaye
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have digitised Mouth Organ Maestro Madankumar’s first LP on my PC.
based professional photographer/Harmonica player Mr. Nitinbhai Patel took some photos of Madankumar while he was in Ahmedabad in Jan 2011. To create this upload, I have used some of his photos and Madankumar’s Harmonica tune from his first LP released in 1972. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Req7iNSOe24 London
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I do not know , for whom they wanted to play ............................
On the screen, the left one is very notorious, hard to control and the right one , totally opposite...
This is the HCG.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Anyway it is nice to see the rhythmic movement of Big Belly....enjoy and try the same style, People will love it !!!!!
Jiski Tummy badi, uska bhi bada nam hai, bistar pe letado gadde ka kya kam hai :-)
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
He plays more than 300 songs with complete music.
By the way, HCG players with family members are organising a two day trip to Mount Abu, in the second week of March.
We will be playing at Nakhi Talao.
HCG ROCKS !!!!!!!!!!
We are the one , we are the family..........
Sunday, February 6, 2011
His younger brother Mihir is the youngest member of HCG. He is the official DJ of our club. We all dance and play, only at his mercy.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Due to certain technical errors at my end I am not able to trim the videos properly from the entire cd. So pl bear with the incomplete videos.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
All of us get charged just by his presence, I swear !!!
He played a very famous song ' Pukarata chala hu mein '
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It was a musical Beithak , with a very limited audience of their very close family members and friends. Their harmonica journey began with Sholay Tune, Played by Paresh Bhatia.....
Please bear with us for the sound quality due to echo and noise created by generator.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Archana Shah, his mother has finished Visharad in vocals, and is still learning music.
Amrish Shah, Devansh's father may not be as good a musician as his other family members, but is always ready to spare his time for the club activities.
We wish Devansh and his mother a very successful musical life ahead.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
On December 31, 2010, I received a post parcel. On opening the box, I was flabberghast - Nilesh Amin, my college day friend with who I used to play harmonica, had sent me a vintage piece - Professional 2016 CBH
The Cham-Ber Huang
Professional 2016 CBH
by DuPont - 1975
The following are two articles that appeared in DuPont publications in 1975, heralding the introduction of Cham-Ber Huang's revolutionary harmonica design. Even though Mr Huang eventually left M Hohner Inc to form his own harmonica manufacturing and distribution company, the articles are reprinted here for their historical significance, and for the edification of all who wish to benefit from them. Bear in mind the articles are dated, and references to cost and time frames reflect the date of publication. Also, as they are reprinted from trade journals, they are weighted toward the technical aspect.
Article reprinted from Engineering Design with DuPont Plastics, Spring 1975 issue:
HOHNER CREDITS ADDED VOLUME AND RESONANCE, SMOOTHER SLIDE ACTION OF THE "CBH" TO TWO "DELRIN" RESINS
Hicksville, Long Island, New York
If you can memorize the musical scale, you can play the harmonica. Blow into the proper hole and you've sounded "do"; draw out and you'll produce "re". Repeat the exercise at the next two holes, reverse it on the fourth and you will have run through a complete octave. With a few hours of practice, you'll be playing "Oh Susanna" or "Home on the Range" and, someday, maybe even "Peg O' My Heart".
Not surprisingly, an estimated 50,000,000 Americans have gotten at least that far on what may be the world's most popular instrument, the Hohner "Marine Band". On more sophisticated models, multi-reed chromatic harmonicas that include sharps and flats played in the same fashion, but with the aid of a simple finger slide, a few have even scaled artistic heights.
Familiar names in that category include concert virtuosos Larry Adler and Richard Hayman, the two John Sebastians, Senior and Junior (the latter of "Lovin' Spoonful" fame), Bora Minnevitch (sic) of the "Harmonica Rascals" and Cham-Ber Huang, who has won international acclaim as a technician and interpreter of classical and baroque music as well as for his complete redesign of the versatile woodwind.
Woodwind (or brass) could be a misnomer for the instrument that carries Huang's imprint, even to the inclusion of his initials in its trademark -- the Hohner "Professional 2016 CBH". While retaining the hand-tuned bronze reeds traditionally associated with Hohner, the body, slide assembly, mouthpiece and face plates of this new harmonica are all injection molded in "Delrin" acetal resin. What's more, it's these molded components that are responsible for the special benefits of this model -- the fastest playing speed ever attained on a harmonica, smoother slider action and quick response, added volume and resonance.
Outstanding features of the "CBH" and probably the most important of its 18 patented innovations are (1) a half-round, non-stick slide of "Delrin" AF, a resin containing "Teflon" TFE fibers for high resistance to abrasion and wear, and (2) molded-in resonating chambers -- 16 on each side of the harmonica body, 32 in all -- which take advantage of the dimensional stability of glass-filled "Delrin" 570.
Notched, half-round slide, molded to a tolerance of .001 inch in "Delrin" AF, was designed to glide freely in the groove atop the body of the Hohner "CBH" harmonica, yet eliminate air leakage between chambers. When the spring-return plunger is depressed -- as in the hands of inventor Cham-Ber Huang -- lever (arrow) moves slide to channel air against reeds that sound sharps or flats.
The new instrument is the product of a 40-year love affair that began when Huang purchased a "Marine Band" in his native Shanghai. Though he holds dual degrees in music and engineering, his career has revolved entirely around the harmonica in his roles as both a performing artist and chief of research and development for German-based M. Hohner, Inc. Archtype of the "CBH" is a hand-made silver harmonica that Huang carried with him two years ago when he returned to China for a guest appearance with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of Peking as part of a cultural exchange program.
"It's still my favorite," says Huang, blowing a tremulous chord on the shiny but bulky instrument. "It's hand-machined and its notes are as clear as a bird call. But precision machining cost more than $5,000 and reproducing it in any metal would be prohibitive in terms of money. What's more, it weighs 45 ounces and it gets kind of tiring when you've been holding it onstage for a half hour or more."
Not so with the "Professional 2016 CBH". A 16-hole instrument whose 64 reeds cover a four octave range, it weighs a light 11 ounces. And its price, though considerably higher than most other Hohner harmonicas (the "Marine Band" has an under-$6 tag) is only $59.95.
"Weight and cost reduction are two of the benefits we derive from 'Delrin'," Huang notes. "Its main contributions, however, are its quality surface characteristics -- its low coefficient of friction, its smoothness and appearance -- and its strength."
Machinability played an important role in the prototyping of the "CBH" but the controlled shrinkage and close molding tolerance capabilities of "Delrin" -- less than 0.001 inch over the 6-5/8 inch-long slide -- have minimized requirements in this area.
Huang totally redesigned the slide -- a notched, flat metal blade in most previous models. As the slide glides back and forth in an accommodating body groove, a single notch links each of the 16 playing holes alternately with two of the 32 reed chambers (see photo). When a performer blows or draws at a specific hole, say Middle C, air is channeled directly at only one reed to sound either a perfect Natural C or D and, when the slide plunger is pushed in, C sharp/D flat or D sharp/E flat.
The 32 molded-in chambers -- 16 on each side -- of the "CBH" body or core (A) take advantage of the dimensional stability of glass-filled "Delrin" 570. The contoured mouthpiece (B) and the face plate or combs (C) benefit from its stiffness and smooth, even texture while the slide-actuating plunger (D), lever (E) and bushing (F) utilize its natural lubricity. Slide (G) is molded of "Delrin" AF. Only major use of metal is in the hand-tuned bronze reed plates (H).
"Our purpose was to eliminate the air leakage between chambers that can blur a note," Huang points out. "That called for an extremely tight fit but a free moving slide. In both the silver model and the plastic prototype we achieved it with a slide of 'Teflon' TFE fluorocarbon resin. But in the production model, we obtained equally good results with 'Delrin' AF. And at reduced cost with better stiffness. More important, the slide shifts in a fraction of the time required by a metal slide."
Friction-free motion is also essential in the spring-return plunger that actuates the slide, but the natural free movement of glass-filled "Delrin" 570 more than met the specifications. Glass-filled "Delrin" also contributed important stiffness and dimensional stability in attaining carefully calculated individual chamber shapes and volume in the 7-1/2 inch-long body section. Quick and accurate assembly was also assured.
There are other assets. The smooth, even texture of "Delrin" 570 in the contoured mouthpiece and face plates makes the "CBH" easy to hold and comfortable to play. Its strength, toughness and impact resistance make it virtually unbreakable in normal use. Resistance of the material to moisture assures smoother function of moving parts.
A Precision Instrument --
"It's a precision instrument," affirms Eugene Graber, president of Graber Rogg, Inc, Cranford, NJ, and one of a select audience of molding experts and technicians who heard the first performance on the "Professional 2016 CBH". It was Huang's rendition of the first movement of Bach's E Flat Major Sonata for the flute and it proved to be the "go-ahead" signal for the first production run.
"The original specifications called for the slide groove to be precision machined to .380 inch diameter so as to allow for the smooth movement of the .378 inch diameter slide," Graber recalls. "At Cham-Ber's request, we retooled the slide cavity to lower the clearance still further to .001 inch. When he came down to check the fit, he didn't bother with a micrometer or calipers. He just assembled the parts, screwed on two reed plates and began to play. When he kept on playing, we knew we had succeeded."
"There's just no other way to test a musical instrument," according to Huang. "The professional harmonica player couldn't care less about the dimensions of the instrument. What he's interested in is how fast and true it will play."
Article reprinted from DuPont Magazine, May - June 1975 issue:
A LITTLE CHAM-BER MUSIC
M Hohner, Inc, the Big Name in Harmonicas, Hits a New Note with "Delrin" Acetal Resin
-- By George Neilson
Despite origins half a world and five thousand years apart, the harmonica and Americans seem to have been meant for each other. Today, more than 40 nations belong to the International Harmonica Federation, and call the instrument by such names as organa de boca, fisarmonica, and Mundharmonika. To most Americans, however, the mouth organ seems peculiarily their own, like six-guns, jazz, and hot dogs. It's easy to see why.
Introduced into the United States in the late 1850's, the harmonica became a welcome companion for people on the move in a vast, and often lonely country. It went with the pioneers in their wagons and with cowboys in their saddle bags. Soldiers in gray and soldiers in blue, huddled around campfires, sought comfort in its reedy tones. Generations of kids in small towns, city streets, and country lanes had their first musical experience with harmonicas. Even today, millions of harmonicas -- more than one-third the world's production -- are sold annually in the US. An estimated 20 million Americans know how to play the instrument, and there are more harmonicas in the country than all other instruments combined. Indeed, some people insist that it was America that discovered the mouth organ.
Actually, a Chinese emperor probably deserves the credit by inventing a wind instrument called the sheng around 3,000 BC. The sheng (which means "sublime voice") consisted of graduated tubes with free reeds set in a vessel with a single mouth piece. Nearly 5,000 years later, travelers from the Orient brought the sheng to Europe. And, in 1821, a 16-year-old watchmaker named Christian Ludwig Bushmann, probably inspired by the Chinese instrument, put 15 pitch pipes together and began producing music.
Another clockmaker, Christian Messner, acquired a Buschmann Mund-aeoline (mouth harp) and began making and selling the instruments to other clockmakers. One was purchased by 24-year-old Matthias Hohner, who, seeing commercial possibilities in large-scale production of harmonicas, set up his own company in Trossingen, on the edge of the Black Forest. In the first year of operation, Hohner, his wife, and two other workers turned out 650 instruments. Today, the Trossingen plant of M Hohner, Inc, produces more than that in one hour, despite the 50 separate hand operations required.
Not only has production soared, but different models have proliferated until today there are more than 50. Basically, the harmonica is diatonic; it plays only the notes registered by white keys on a piano, but not the sharps and flats achieved via the black keys. A skilled, experienced harmonica player can compensate for this limitation by "bending" the reeds to get the half notes; this is a principle on which the popular blues style is based. In the chromatic harmonica, a slide adds the missing half-notes. The smallest Hohner model is the "Little Lady", 1-3/8 inch long; the largest is the Chord Rhythm Harmonica, which is 21 inches long and has 1,276 parts. The most expensive harmonica, gold with brass reeds, was made for Pope Pius V. Two years ago, when Shanghai-born American virtuoso Cham-Ber Huang made a guest appearance with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of Peking, he used a special, $5,000 silver instrument.
This year, M Hohner, Inc, is introducing a new model and Huang is its inventor. As a musician, he is the only concert harmonica artist listed in the prestigious music encyclopedia, Riemann's Musik Lexicon. As a teacher, Huang heads the harmonica department at Turtle Bay Music School in New York, and is on the faculty of Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York at Manhattan Beach. As a technician, he is director of research and development for M Hohner, Inc, in Hicksville, NY.
Photo at left: Cham-Ber Huang leads members of his CBH Harmonica ensemble in a rehearsal session at the Turtle Bay Music School as Sissy Nitsch switches to the cello for the baroque number. The "Professional 2016 CBH" played by Huang, an internationally renowned interpreter of baroque and classical music, was designed by him in "Delrin".
The new Hohner model is the "Professional 2016 CBH", the initials identifying Huang as its inventor. It retains the hand-tuned bronze reeds of traditional harmonicas, but has been redesigned to incorporate improvements suggested by professional musicians in response to a Hohner inquiry. "They told us they wanted more resonance, more volume," says Huang. "They also wanted faster response and smoother action on the slide plunger. We achieved all these things, and more, by redesigning the parts and molding them from 'Delrin' acetal resin."
In previous chromatic models, the slide was a notched, flat, metal blade; in the CBH, it is half-round, and molded from "Delrin" AF, a resin containing "Teflon" TFE fibers for high resistance to abrasion and wear. "We wanted to eliminate the air leakage between one chamber and another that can blur a note," Huang says. "That called for an extremely tight fit, and a free-sliding motion. 'Delrin' gave it to us. The new slide shifts in a fraction of the time required by the old metal slide, and costs less to produce." Huang adds that "Delrin" is also vital for the friction-free motion of the spring-return plunger that actuates the slide.
In the CBH model, 32 resonating chambers are molded into a body of glass-filled "Delrin" 570. "It gave us the stiffness we needed in retaining proper dimensions in the complex body section, and in assuring quick and accurate assembly," Huang says. "It has other benefits, such as strength, toughness, and impact resistance that make it virtually unbreakable. Its resistance to moisture means that moving parts will continue to function smoothly. Its smooth, even texture in the contoured mouthpiece and face plates makes the CBH easy to hold, comfortable to play."
Ernest Graber, president of Graper, Rogg, Inc, molders of the CBH's parts, was in a select audience for the first performance of the new instrument as Cham-Ber Huang played the first movement of Bach's E-flat Major (Flute) Sonata to signal the first production run. "The original specification in the slide area had been plus-or-minus 0.002 inch," Graber recalls, "and at Cham-Ber's request, we retooled the cavity to lower it. When he came to check the fit, he didn't bother with a micrometer or calipers. He just assembled the parts, screwed on two reed plates, and began to play. When he kept on playing, we knew we had succeeded." According to Huang, "there's no other way to test a musical instrument. The professional harmonica player couldn't care less about dimensions. All he's interested in is how fast and how true it will play."
The "Professional 2016 CBH", now being produced in Hicksville, is the first Hohner harmonica to be produced in the United States. The company's other products -- keyboards, guitars, and other instruments and accessories -- are manufactured in plants throughout the world, but Trossingen remains the harmonica capital. Nearly every family there has at least one member working for Hohner; often jobs are passed from one generation to the next. Tuners, with an ear for perfect pitch, are very important people at the plant. They spend each day in small, individual rooms, listening to the sounds produced by a bellows drawing air across reeds, one by one, and making corrections where necessary. The town is the home of the State Music College of Trossingen, where harmonica, accordion, piano, and violin are taught.
Cham-Ber Huang regards the "2016 CBH" as an example of the harmonica's responsiveness to changing musical tastes. "Sure, you'll still find the mouth organ in the company of a fiddle and guitar at a country hoedown," he says, "but you'll also find it in concerts by the Rolling Stones and other rock groups. It's as much at ease in the hands of classical virtuoso John Sebastian, Sr, as it is in those of his son, leader of the now-disbanded 'Lovin Spoonful,' or in the hands of country and western star Charlie McCoy who was named instrumentalist of the year three times in a row."
Huang bought his first Hohner "Marine Band" harmonica in his native Shanghai when he was six years old, and taught himself to play it. His interest in the instrument continued as he pursued a degree in engineering at Shanghai's St John's University, and a degree in violin at the Shanghai Music Conservatory. In 1953, he arrived in New York and made his American concert debut with the harmonica at New York's Town Hall. Since, he has appeared in concerts throughout the world.
Despite his fame as a concert artist, Huang feels his greatest contribution to the art may be in his technical accomplishments. "I am very pleased to have my initials -- CBH -- engraved on the new '2016'," he says. "Incidentally, if anyone wonders about my first name -- Cham-Ber -- the explanation is simple. My surname is that of the first Chinese emperor, Huang, which means the royal colors of gold and yellow. When I was born my parents named me Tsing-Barh, meaning sky blue and crystal white, a combination that represents purity. After I left China, I felt this was all a little too colorful for most people; they had trouble pronouncing and spelling it. I wanted another name, and since my harmonica concerts generally fit into the musical category known as 'chamber music,' I injected a hyphen in the word to give it an Oriental flavor, and I have been Cham-Ber ever since."
Huang's affection for the harmonica is felt universally by those who have succumbed to its charm. John Steinbeck caught some of this in his Grapes of Wrath: "A harmonica is easy to carry. Take it out of your hip pocket, knock it against your palm to shake out the dirt and pocket fuzz and bits of tobacco. Now it's ready. You can do anything with a harmonica . . . you can mold the music with curved hands, making it wail and cry like bagpipes, making it full and round like an organ, making it as sharp and brittle as the reed pipes of the hills. And you can play and put it back in your pocket. It is always with you, always in your pocket." From the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, copyright 1939 and 1967.