alled a pocket piano, Mississippi saxophone, or French harp, the harmonica can be heard in the howling sounds of blues, the steady beat of rock, the wailing sounds of country, the fluid sounds of jazz, and the wistful repertoire of classical music.
The year 1896 saw the birth of the most popular harmonica of all time: the Hohner Marine Band Harmonica. At the time, the Hohner company had been naming harmonicas after famous personalities, including popular American musical heroes. American composer and band leader, John Philip Sousa was well-known throughout this period as the leader of one of the most celebrated musical organizations - the Marine Band.
As described in the patent specification by its inventor, Jacob Hohner, the Marine Band Harmonica was designed "to improve the sound of the instrument by allowing the covering plates the maximum amount of freedom to vibrate." The result was enhanced power and brighter tones.
As many as two thousand harmonica bands were actually formed in the United States during the Great Depression. As a tribute to this multitude of harmonica groups, Sousa composed a rousing march entitled "The Harmonica Wizard."
For over 100 years, the Marine Band has been the favorite harmonica of artists like Paul Butterfield, Kim Wilson, Bob Dylan and John Lennon.
The Hohner Marine Band Harmonica
This 10 hole (20 note) diatonic harmonica features a wood body, and comes with a protective carrying case. (Key of C)