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Harmonica for Healthy Life

GUEST,.gargoyle 20 Oct 06 - 03:13 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 06 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Neovo 20 Oct 06 - 04:00 AM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Oct 06 - 04:38 AM
Leadfingers 20 Oct 06 - 05:42 AM
Splott Man 20 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM
Mark Ross 20 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM
katlaughing 20 Oct 06 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 20 Oct 06 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Oaf 20 Oct 06 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 20 Oct 06 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,thurg 20 Oct 06 - 12:16 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 06 - 01:18 PM
Mark Ross 21 Oct 06 - 11:01 AM
katlaughing 21 Oct 06 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,thurg 21 Oct 06 - 12:39 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 06 - 04:20 AM
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Subject: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 03:13 AM

One More Reason To Play Harmonica:

It's Good for the Pipes

All the Inhaling and Exhaling Has Instrument's Boosters Just a Bit Breathless

By SHARON BEGLEY
WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 19, 2006; Page A1

EXCEPTS- by Gargoyle

Terry Rand is a member of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. He has played the instrument since he was a kid. At 71, he travels around the Naples, Fla., area giving out harmonicas like a latter-day Johnny Appleseed. He doesn't want to see the instrument, which has been in a decades-long decline, die out.

Mr. Rand was heartened that the newest "American Idol," Taylor Hicks, wowed the judges with his prowess on the harmonica. He was delighted that in early August, "America's Got Talent" featured the 12-year-old harmonica wunderkind L.D. Miller.

But to survive and even thrive, the harmonica needs more than that. And Mr. Rand thinks he knows what: The harmonica is good for your pipes.

Terry Rand of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica.

Mr. Rand and others in the harmonica society have been passing out the instruments at senior centers, hospitals, churches, schools and other places people congregate.

The harmonica was invented in 1821, when German clockmaker Christian Ludwig Buschmann, age 16, assembled 15 pitch pipes into a single four-inch-wide instrument. Named the mundäoline, German for mouth harp, it was first mass-produced by another clockmaker, Matthias Hohner, who founded his eponymous company in 1857 and that same year began shipping some of his mouth harps to cousins in America, where the instrument's popularity took off.

No-frills harmonicas sell for about $4, while a decent 10-hole model made in China goes for about $9, complete with instruction booklet. Hohner sells harmonicas in all price ranges, including an $1,800 Amadeus model.

Buddy Wakefield, 83, has given out more than 5,000 harmonicas in hospitals, nursing homes, patient-support groups and asthma camps for kids, with the help of the American Lung Association. He first thought of the health possibilities when his brother developed Parkinson's disease. Mr. Wakefield showed him that playing was as beneficial a breathing exercise as blowing out candles, as his brother's doctor had prescribed.

"If you can breathe and read arrows, you can play the harmonica," says Mr. Wakefield. "Heck, in five minutes I could teach you to play Mozart."

One summer afternoon found Mr. Rand zipping south on I-75 toward Naples. The moment traffic slowed in front of his Lincoln Navigator, he pulled a harmonica out for a quick rendition of "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

"You change your breath 20 times in 'Yankee Doodle,' " he said as 18-wheelers zoomed past. "Playing one verse of that is the pulmonary equivalent of walking one-tenth of a mile."

Although research papers haven't been published on the possible or actual therapeutic use of harmonica playing in respiratory disorders, "there is definitely a rationale for it," says pulmonologist Neil Schachter, professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Pursed-lip breathing, in which one inhales through the nose and exhales slowly through almost-closed lips while tightening the abdominal muscles, has long been used as a physical therapy for patients with impaired lung function. By raising air pressure within the airways, breathing that way can strengthen the lungs' air sacs and reduce their risk of collapsing or narrowing. Playing the harmonica requires pursed-lip breathing.

"Your lungs work like bellows," he told them. "Most people use only the top third of their lungs, so the amount of oxygen getting to your brain is decreased. But playing the harmonica is really good for keeping the old bellows going. It really expands your lung capacity."

"You've got to have fun doing this!" Mr. Rand told them. "Don't try rap music or rock, but hymns are easy to learn."

Playing the harmonica might help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis, "When you play the harmonica, you have to push out as much air as you can from the lungs, which means you've got to squeeze with your lower rib cage."

"The harmonica is just a little fellow," said Mr. Wakefield, "but he does a lot of good for a lot of people."

SINCERELY,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 03:40 AM

as a HARMONICA PLAYER[ munster champion,] and teacher[ a pupil of mine was an[ under 12 all ireland champion ]thisyear,. I agree, the breath control needed for the harmonica, is very useful to aspiring singers,. I play traditional irish reels jigs etc on a Dannecker harmonica[ marvellous instruments]. but would like to draw peoples attention to the Lee Oskar, Melody maker,this has the missing note and is ideal for Irish tunes, HOWEVERthe scale starts on suck 2,instead of blow 4. DickMiles


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 04:00 AM

Iny woodwind instrument helps with breath control etc - maybe the harmonica has extra virtues because of suck and blow. I hear in UK schools have suddenly realised that playing the recorder helps with lung development for young children, particularly those with asthma.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 04:38 AM

March 2006 Readers Digest reported that playing the Didgeridoo helped folks with moderate obstructive Sleep Apneoa.

......................

Bedtime Heavy Breathing

Who'd have dreamt that the resonant sounds of the didgeridoo could ease you into a good night's sleep? That's only the case, however, if you learn to play the traditional instrument yourself.

Swiss researchers ran a trial involving 25 adults with moderate obstructive Sleep Apneoa. They found that playing the didgeridoo for 25 minutes a day for 4 months helped helped reduce snoring & the daytime sleepiness associated with the condition, which causes the throat to close & the patient to stop breathing momentarily during sleep.

Melbourne sleep expert Professor Matthew Naughton says the circular breathing used in playing wind instruments could improve upper-airway muscle tone & exercise the glottis, which may be a good thing in snorers.

..................

sandra (who has moderate obstructive sleep apnoea but has not yet learned the didg.)


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:42 AM

The only problem with playing Harmonicas today , as opposed to 'back in the good old days' is COST ! I can remember when a Chromatic Hohner
was acheivable with only a relatively short period of saving from my pocket money - What is the cost of a Ten Hole Hohner today ?When i was a lad a Blues harp (simple diatonic) was about Five Shillings - Now over twenty pounds !


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: Splott Man
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM

Marine bands are around £18, Lee Oskars £22, but you can get replacement reed plates for £12.

Yep, I remember when they ere 12/6d

You could get a loaf.......


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: Mark Ross
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM

When Hohner harps went to 5 dollars, I complained to Sonny Terry that I could remember paying a buck and a half. He replied that he could remember paying 35 cents!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM

Well 35c - wages a dollar a day...


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:54 AM

Just bought my grandson his first harmonica about two months ago. He loves it.

This is great news! I just wish I knew what happened to my granddad's.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 10:13 AM

There are still cheap harmonicas - a while ago IKEA had them (in C only) at GBP 1.50. And there is a somewhat better Chinese model (in several keys) at 7 or 8 pounds - Scayles in Edinburgh has them, so presumably any clued-up music shop can get them too.

One problem with the harmonica for asthma is that it can breed moulds, and as you're sucking part of the time you could be inhaling allergenic spores. Flutes and didgeridoos are more cleanable, don't require sucking and provide less damp lurking places. A ceramic ocarina or aluminium whistle is perhaps even better since you can boil it. Or get a transparent plastic recorder, where you can see any mould building up.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,Oaf
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 11:13 AM

Having just attended a school ocarina concert, I hope never to hear that instrument again. Parents reeled away from the hall in sheer agony. Incidentally, I find that I can buy a new ten hole hohner chromonica in G for about £49 on the net and then sell it on e-bay after a couple of years for around £23 - 25.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 11:47 AM

Ocarinas are a lousy choice for schools - their pitch is so sensitive to breath pressure that they're harder to play in tune than a fiddle, and most schools will probably go for the Langley type, with a bizarre fingering system that is no pedagogical use for any other instrument.

I have a webpage about the Italian type:

http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/Music/Ocarina/ocarina.html

and people who hear me play it are in no doubt it's a musical instrument.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 12:16 PM

"I complained to Sonny Terry"

Okay, I'll bite: what form did your complaint take? Did you write him a letter? Or did you work for him, talk to him after a concert, do a gig with him, or what?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 01:18 PM

to kat laughing,
Hopefully your grandads playing his harp [harmonica] with all those nice angels and SonnyTerry, AND Sonny boy williamson,WillAtkinson.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: Mark Ross
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 11:01 AM

I was hanging out backstage with Sonny & Brownie McGhee at one of their gigs, it must've been in 1971 in Berkeley, California. I was busking on Telegraph Avenue and down on Fisherman's Wharf and on Market Street across the bay. I guess I had just tried to buy a new harp that afternoon, because I had blown one out trying to be heard above traffic noise. I had known them for a couple of years. My first professional gig was opening for them at Gerde's Folk City in 1967. Mike Porco paid me 5 bucks and a sandwich per night. Ah, the good old days!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 11:28 AM

Captain Birdseye, thank you, very much. My dad might be, too.:-)


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 12:39 PM

Mark - thanks for the response. There's a guy who shows up on harp-l sometimes who worked for a few years in his younger days as Sonny Terry's chauffeur and general assistant, and ended up as a harmonica-playing part of the act. He's got a story or two, as you can imagine.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica for Healthy Life
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 04:20 AM

I remember I had a live recording At the Bunk House, SONNY AND BROWNIE, and Brownie quite clearly says at the end of a song, try playing in A sometime.
Apparantly they didnt like each other very much,but somehow kept playing together for many years.


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