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Crossword clues for harmonica

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Adler is 86 and has been playing the harmonica like no one else for 70 years.
▪ One starts playing a harmonica, the others form a circle.
▪ She thought about playing her harmonica, but that seemed to be the one thing that wasn't in her bag.
▪ But he learned to play the harmonica wonderfully.
▪ Terry played bucket-base, Mike played the harmonica, and Leonard played the rhythm-guitar.
▪ It was Auntie Muriel taught me to play the harmonica.
▪ Brown learned to play guitar, violin, harmonica, piano, mandolin, viola and drums.
▪ But he learned to play the harmonica wonderfully.
▪ He wheedles his harmonica - a horrible sound.
▪ One starts playing a harmonica, the others form a circle.
▪ Power, a New Zealander, plays the blues harp and the chromatic harmonica.
▪ She thought about playing her harmonica, but that seemed to be the one thing that wasn't in her bag.
▪ That is a bluesy harmonica on the title track.
▪ They ganged up on me and nicked my harmonica.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Harmonicon \Har*mon"i*con\ (-[i^]*k[o^]n), n. A small, flat, wind instrument of music, in which the notes are produced by the vibration of free metallic reeds; it is now called the harmonica.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1762, coined by Ben Franklin as the name for a glass harmonica, from Latin fem. of harmonicus (see harmonic); modern sense of "mouth organ" is 1873, American English, earlier harmonicon (1825).


n. 1 a musical wind instrument with a series of holes for the player to blow into, each hole producing a different note 2 a musical instrument, consisting of a series of hemispherical glasses which, by touching the edges with the dampened finger, give forth the tones. 3 a toy instrument of strips of glass or metal hung on two tapes, and struck with hammers.


n. a small rectangular free-reed instrument having a row of free reeds set back in air holes and played by blowing into the desired hole [syn: mouth organ, harp, mouth harp]


The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. There are many types of harmonica, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth (lips and tongue) to direct air into or out of one or more holes along a mouthpiece. Behind each hole is a chamber containing at least one reed. A harmonica reed is a flat elongated spring typically made of brass, stainless steel, or bronze, which is secured at one end over a slot that serves as an airway. When the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to produce sound.

Reeds are pre-tuned to individual pitches. Tuning may involve changing a reed's length, the weight near its free end, or the stiffness near its fixed end. Longer, heavier and springier reeds produce deeper, lower sounds; shorter, lighter and stiffer reeds make higher-pitched sounds. If, as on most modern harmonicas, a reed is affixed above or below its slot rather than in the plane of the slot, it responds more easily to air flowing in the direction that initially would push it into the slot, i.e., as a closing reed. This difference in response to air direction makes it possible to include both a blow reed and a draw reed in the same air chamber and to play them separately without relying on flaps of plastic or leather (valves, wind-savers) to block the nonplaying reed.

An important technique in performance is bending: causing a drop in pitch by making embouchure adjustments. It is possible to bend isolated reeds, as on chromatic and other harmonica models with wind-savers, but also to both lower, and raise (overbend, overblow, overdraw) the pitch produced by pairs of reeds in the same chamber, as on a diatonic or other unvalved harmonica. Such two-reed pitch changes actually involve sound production by the normally silent reed, the opening reed (for instance, the blow reed while the player is drawing).

Usage examples of "harmonica".

Everything he could think of that might help or amuse the Aucas, should they pay the men a visit, Jim put into the bag: harmonica, snakebite kit, flashlight, View-Master with picture reels, yo-yo, and, above all, the precious notebook of Auca language material, with the carefully arranged morphology file.

All through Austria, in every dining room, those poor, pathetic, imitation Strausses, with accordions and harmonicas and zithers, playing their poor, pathetic renditions of Strauss.

Toward the end there we had three guitars, harmonica, tenor sax, alto recorder, and an autoharp going, and it got pretty juicy.

Superficially, the case looks like Harmonica Man -- you've got the wild seizures, the hard clonic tensing of the spine, the bleed, the chewing.

The room was packed and the band onstage was cooking, playing a street symphony of pounding electric lead and bass guitars, harmonica, and drums.

When she failed to find what she was looking for, probably her harmonica, Maria turned the bag inside out: a moment later, something lay on the beach towel.

This harmonica was extremely well constructed, with no broken reeds, and every note was pure and in perfect pitch.

An occasional bull fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, or banjo lent spice to some of the meetings, but even without them the dances went fine.

If the harmonica were not his chosen instrument, that was not apparent now.

When I did the autopsy, I found that this Harmonica Man was an alcoholic with cirrhosis of the liver, and he had varicose veins in the esophagus.

From Maria's childlike, sentimental, and yet so sweet harmonica I was transported, without transition, to the concert hall, and I was the conductor.

Her finger moved over Union Square, where Kate Moran had lived, and over East Houston Street, where Harmonica Man and Lem had lived, then over the Lower East Side, where Hector Ramirez and his family lived - and to the Sixth Avenue flea market on Twenty­.

There was a great battle in the eighteenth century in Germany, in the recurring nightmares of Marianne Kirchgessner, a blind virtuoso on the glass harmonica.

Instead, unearthly music, as though from a glass harmonica, came from the far end, which appeared to be about fifty meters away.

He remembered how Pags had been over there in the green — skinny, black-haired, his cheeks still dotted with the last of his post-adolescent acne, a rifle in his hands and two Hohner harmonicas (one key of C, one key of G) stuffed into the waistband of his camo trousers.