“Good afternoon, this is Harp Academy, how may we be of service?”. “No, I’m afraid we don’t teach the orchestral pedal harp, the Welsh harp, the Irish harp, the Aeolian harp, or any other kind of stringed harp”.
“Good morning, this is Harp Academy, how can we help?”. “No, I’m sorry, we don’t teach harpsichord, forerunner of the piano forte”.
“Then why are we called ‘Harp’ Academy? Because we teach ‘mouth harp’, the Richter tuned diatonic harmonica; otherwise known as the harmonica, blues harp, short harp, mouth harp, French harp, Mississippi saxophone and tin sandwich. It’s a wind instrument”.
The word harp is a handy nickname for the versatile free-reed instrument we carry in our pocket (the forerunner of the iPod). Harnessing its magical powers, we focus our energies and expertise on educating children in the principals, and fun, of music making. And that’s how we got our name.
The harmonica was developed in Germany in the early part of the 19th century as an extension of the reed organs found in churches at the time. Its ancestors, such as the Sheng, had been in common use across the far East for centuries. In our Harp Q.I. pages, you can investigate different types of harmonica. You can also check out some of the harmonica’s free-reed cousins in our harp relatives page.
And for the record, never, ever, utter the words mouth organ in our presence; our reply may offend.