2002 P.Missin - Details

How is my Hohner Chordomonica tuned?

In the late 1960s Hohner marketed two instruments designed by the late Cham-Ber Huang, the Chordomonica I and the Chordomonica II, designed to play melodies with full chordal accompaniment.

(From Hohner USA's 1968/69 catalog - used with permission)

Chordomonica I

The Chordomonica I was essentially a retuned 10-hole chromatic harmonica, with some of the chromatic tones sacrificed in order to give appropriate harmonies. With the slide in the 'out' position, blowing gives a C major chord and drawing gives a G7:

BLOW C E G C C E G C C E
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DRAW D F G B D F G B D D

With the slide in, blowing gives an F major chord and drawing gives an F# diminished 7th chord:

BLOW C F A C C F A C C F
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DRAW Eb F# A C Eb F# A C Eb F#


Chordomonica II

The Chordomonica II had 12 holes and also gave the C major and G7 chords with the slide out:

BLOW C E G C C E G C C E G C
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
DRAW D F G B D F G B D F G B

Not surprisingly, it also gave the F major chord an F# diminished 7th chord with the slide in:

BLOW C F A C C F A C C F A C
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
DRAW Eb F# A C Eb F# A C Eb F# A C

However, the Chordomonica II was also equipped with a second slide which selected notes from both the upper and lower reedplates of the harmonica to give the additional chords of A minor and D minor 7th:

BLOW C E A C C E A C C E A C
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
DRAW D F A C D F A C D F A C


As well as the key of C, both models were also available in the keys of E, F, G and A. Here is a chart of the chords produced by each key of instrument:

KEY BLOW DRAW BLOW +SLIDE DRAW +SLIDE BLOW +SLIDE(2) DRAW +SLIDE(2)
C C G7 F F#dim7 Am Dm7
E E B7 A Bbdim7 C#m F#m7
F F C7 Bb Bdim7 Dm Gm7
G G D7 C C#dim7 Em Am7
A A E7 D D#dim7 F#m Bm7


Both models were discontinued by Hohner some time in the early 1980s, although they often turn up for sale in places like eBay. Cham-Ber Huang wrote an instruction manual for the instruments, but this is long out of print, however there is an arrangement of "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" for the Chordomonica I in the book "Folk and Blues Harmonica" by George Heaps-Nelson and Barbara Koehler (a beautifully illustrated book, which also contains lots of other useful stuff for beginners and intermediate players - click here for more details from Amazon.com).


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