© 2005 P. Missin - Details

US Patent 882575

Awarded in 1908 to Joseph E. Murphy of Chicago, this chromatic harmonica has two reedplates, each containing two sets of reeds, one placed behind the other. The natural notes of the C scale are produced by the upper rear and lower front sets of reeds, with the sharps and flats being produced by the lower rear and upper front reeds. Normally the reeds producing the natural notes are open to airflow and the other reeds are closed off. Pushing the lever at the rear of the instrument reverses this situation:

The tuning scheme proposed by Murphy is very interesting, giving all twelve chromatic pitches in the octave with just twelve reeds, rather than the sixteen reeds per octave used by solo tuning. With the lever in the "open" position, the blow notes are C E and G (with no repeated C as on solo tuning) and the draw notes are D F and A. Pushing the lever gives blow notes C# F# and A# and draw notes B D# and G#.

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