The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60155   Message #1906914
Posted By: Bob Bolton
11-Dec-06 - 07:18 PM
Thread Name: 24 Hole Harmonicas Wanted
G'day GUEST (... presumably the BUTTERFLY of the original posting ...?),

I missed the short run of this thread back in 2003... Maybe I was off on holidays! I presume that when you refer to "24 hole harmonicas" you mean the ones that have 24 holes laterally and a dividing comb vertically ... so that I always think of them as "48 hole harmonicas". I first encountered these around 1965, here in Sydney Australia, when Chinese "Hero" brand models appeared in the local Woolworths store (in the key of C only!) for 6/- (six shillings = 60ยข in Australia ... 30p in UK).

The "called Eastern or Asian tuning" was, apparently, introduced by Hohner when they had a harmonica factory in China, before WW2. The Chinese preference for straight melody ... and disinterest in "Western harmonies" drove the replacement of the Richter tunings repeated 'dominant' - to give the dominant / dominant 7th chord on the draw - with the formerly missing relative minor note ... shifted one place left!

The machinery left behind started the "Hero" band off post WW2, but they have expanded facilities since. It's interesting to hear that they can supply a set in all major keys. I quite like belting out a rich tremolo on these models ... occasionally - but I really like the octave-tuned ("Organ-tuning") models such as Hohner's magnificent, double-sided, "Comet", which I have in a handy G/C tuning. Unfortunately, the last time I saw one for sale (about 4 or 5 years back!) it was Aus$180!

I must do some web-searching for someone closer to this side of the world that handles something like the "Swan" tremolo harmonica set you obtained ... and wishing that they might do a few sets in "Organ" tuning!

There was a recent thread from a Catter asking about cleaning up an old Hohner "Comet" double-sided tremolo ... that had been tarted up with a liberal dose of "Old Spice" aftershave to cover the 'musty' smell of a badly stored instrument. The poster got a plethora of useless comment and 'advice' from posters who mostly had no idea of any sort of harmonica other than "blues harps" and chromatics!

BTW: I seem to remeber seeing an old tremolo (probably 20/40 holes ... and either Japanese or Chinese origins) actually branded "BUTTERFLY" ... was that the origin of the earlier Mud-name?