© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 176124

Issued in 1876 to Cornelius St. John of Boston, this seems to be the earliest patented example of the pointer-and-chart harmonica teaching system, although the harmonica is not actually played in the conventional manner. The harmonica is mounted midway along a trumpet-like pipe in such a manner that it can be moved from side to side, directing the player's breath to the different holes of the harmonica.

As it s moved from side to side, a pointer fixed to the harmonica points towards columns on a chart, which is held in place by a small music holder. Each chart features a different song and by lining up the pointer to the appropriate column for each word of the song, blowing and drawing as required, the player is able to play a song with no musical training.

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