Played A Jaw Harp


"[Jaw harp], n. An unmusical instrument, played by holding it fast with the teeth and trying to brush it away with the finger."
--
Ambrose Bierce

A
jaw harp, which has a history that dates back to the 3rd century BC, is thought to be one of the oldest instruments in the world. When J and I went to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington, DC, we bought this jaw harp as a souvenir.


A jaw harp generally consists of a flexible metal 'tongue' attached to a frame.


I put my lips on the sides of the neck of the frame and plucked the piece protruding from the tongue. I tried changing the shape of my mouth to create different pitches.


I like playing around with different musical instruments. They all take practice to master. While the idea behind this instrument is simple, getting the pitch to put together an actual song is difficult, but it isn't impossible. My favorite application of this is in
the Beatles song The Fool On The Hill (@ around the 2 minute mark).


The best part of the jaw harp is that it's inexpensive and fairly simple to make some sounds with it. Give it a shot!

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Grover-Trophy Snoopy Jaws Harp
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