© 2005 P.Missin - Details

German Patent 841257

This patent, granted in 1952 to Friedrich Löchel, shows an intriguing variation on the chromatic harmonica. Instead of having a single button that operates a slide to raise the pitch of all the notes simultaneously, there is one button for each hole of the instrument's mouthpiece, changing the pitch of the note in that hole independently of the others, by means of a small sliding part that moves vertically:

The inventor gives a particular tuning for this instrument. With no buttons depressed, the scale is the same as on a standard solo tuned chromatic. Pushing the button for the first hole changes the blow C to a C# and the draw D to a D#, much the same as on a typical chromatic. Pushing the button for the second hole changes the blow E to an E# and the draw F to an F#, also similar to a standard chromatic. Pushing the button for hole 3 changes the blow G to G#, but changes the draw A to a G natural. Pushing the button for the fourth hole changes the blow C to a Bb and the draw B to a C. The instrument is capable of a fully chromatic scale, but its chordal possiblities are actually quite limited. However, for playing in the key of C major, there are quite a few useful chords available, for example C, C7, F, F7, Fm, Dm, D7, G7 and others.


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