[Harp-L] Re: Harmonica Ensembles in the USA

Hello, Tom B. Here is a reply to your message. 
1. "Too rosy a picture of what's happening in USA." This is not my picture.  
It's SPAH's picture.
2. Youthful players: you specified age 20 as the age of an an average  
harmonica player in the Eastern countries. You used no statistics to confirm  this. 
The Taiwanese gentleman didn't specify age in his question. He only wanted  to 
know if, in the West, harmonica ensembles are "marginalized."  They  
certainly are not marginalized, Evey harmonica club in the USA has a harmonica  
ensemble. The SPAH list is only their list. There are probably many more  harmonica 
clubs in the USA not on the SPAH list, each with their harmonica  ensemble. 
3. Average age of a USA harmonica player at festivals. You said that the  
average age of a USA player at festivals is an estimate (yours) of  70. The  
Taiwanese gentleman didn't ask about average age. He only asked about promotion  
and education.
I would tend to agree with your age estimate, but not at festivals or  
conventions. The average age of the Milwaukee Harmonica  Club is probably  around 
70. But, at USA harmonica festivals, seminars and conventions of the last  10 
years, I've seen an increase of younger Western players, especially in  the 
blues, rock and country music categories. The blues, rock and country music  
groups usually have no more than 
1-2 harmonica players. They aren't harmonica ensembles.
About 10 years ago,a Gallup Poll in the USA stated that averaged age of USA  
harmonica players was 40-45. I would guess that figure has been raised  
somewhat, but I couldn't guess by how much. 
4. Sustainability: The harmonica has been played in the USA on a large  scale 
(millions) as early as the 1880s, maybe earlier, and American-made  
harmonicas have been in the USA from the early 1830s. The Germans,mass-produced  
harmonicas sinve the late 1840s.
I don't know about the Eastern countries, but my guess would be a  large 
scale useage of harmonicas may have began in those countries in the  early 1900s, 
and manufacture about the 1920s. If those guesses are correct, the  Western 
countries have a higher sustainability record for harmonica useage than  the 
Eastern countries, historically speaking.
As far as harmonica ensembles, the first American ensembles were probably  
started in the 1920s. I would guess that the Eastern countries started their  
excellent harmonica ensembles after that.
Thanks for reeding this.
John Broecker

************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.