“Good morning, 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 instrument”.
“Good morning, Harp Academy, how can we help?… No, I’m sorry, we don’t teach the harpsichord“.
So why are we called Harp Academy? The word harp is a handy nickname for the harmonica, a versatile free-reed instrument you can carry in your pocket (forerunner of the iPod). Harnessing its magical powers, we focus our energies and expertise on educating children in the principles of music making. That’s how we got our name.
At Harp Academy we teach the ‘mouth harp‘, or Richter tuned diatonic harmonica to give it its full title. For reference, those in the know alo call it the blues harp, short harp, mouth harp, French harp, Mississippi saxophone, tin sandwich, misery whistle and licking stick.
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 in the far East for centuries before that. In our Harp Q.I. pages, you can investigate different types of harmonica and check out some of its free-reed cousins.
Please note, in the interest of self-preservation never, ever, utter the words mouth organ in our presence, or ask if we play real instruments too; we get very ‘defensive’.