Re: [Harp-L] Winslow for President SPAH presidency

Hi All
SPAH has done a good job for the Harmonica over a good number of years. Though it's primarily an American organization, it does have a European presence & it is connected to all the national Harmonica clubs in Europe.

The history of the international Harmonica community's and the Harmonica movement shows a change in attitude from a time in the 1970's to the present day.

In essence the Harmonica movement was beset with a number of groups who had ideas about the validity of the instruments
in the Harmonica family.

In short there was a feeling that a chromatic instrument was a more 'complete / valid' instrument due to it's ability to perform on a par with
orchestral instruments such as the Flute, Clarinet, Oboe & other wind instruments.
On the other side of these ideas was the idea that diatonic Harmonicas were more expressive. There was at one time a real danger of irreparable and totally unnecessary division with-in the Harmonica community.

Then with the introduction of relatively new Harmonica technique, i.e. over-blows et al, and the introduction of commonly available 'altered tunings' which allowed the diatonic Harmonicas to be played in a more chromatic fashion. This let players address their instruments and the musics they could expect to try in new and different ways. This gave a broader musical vista and a deeper instrumental understanding to the Harmonica family.

This led to players from different 'camps' to have a more complete understanding of the potential of all Harmonicas, regardless of their
compass or lay-out.

The unending work needed to create a broad international appreciation of the Harmonica family still goes on, with SPAH still in the vanguard.

It is quite common these days to find players exploring all manor of Harmonicas and all manors of styles of music and technique upon these instruments.

An example of this is embodied in a student of mine called Pedro. Pedro first learned to play Diatonic Harmonica in Folk/Blues style using a pucker style to get single notes. Having gained a good understanding in this method he is now re-training himself to take on board tongue-blocking style. Which he says is "almost like starting again". Though now he has an understanding of modal playing and music reading on this his second great voyage of discovery. Just today he under-took another vast adventure by buying himself a 'Hohner 64c'. Which is a four octave slide Chromatic Harmonica and a world away from the 10 hole diatonic.

I personally have enjoyed playing all manor of Harmonicas and Harmonica tuning layouts, including the 'Group Harmonicas', i.e. Chord and Bass Harmonicas.

The over-riding common factor in all these free reed instruments is that they have all been fabulous vehicles for self expression.

Do I personally have a feeling as to which is the best?

Yes, they are all the best. I play 43 instruments and of these 43 it is the Harmonica family which has best suited my needs for self expression.

I don't know what other worthy folk Winslow would be standing against in the SPAH election.

My recommendation of him is not based upon how he stands in relation to his competition for the SPAH office but rather on his history as a player and instrumental explorer. Upon his ability to take a considered and well thought out stance on any position he may take. Also upon his flexibility. He will willingly rethink a position if he is shown any new ideas and / or data that have a bearing on the formulation of any position he may take on an issue. It is because of these and many other sterling qualities that he has that he is well thought of and widely respected.
I feel that any harmonica club would be well served if they got the efforts of Winslow as an officer of that club. His time with the instrument shows a broad understanding of the instrument family, the needs of its players and the many issues surrounding and growing from all these.

yours David

David Priestley holder of the SPAH award for services to the Harmonica.

On 30/08/2011 08:18, Robert Hale wrote:
Winslow for President!

Robert Hale
Learn Harmonica by Webcam
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-- D Priestley AKA Dr Midnight. England's first harmonica Guru.

Do feel free get in touch.
Harmonica lessons POA,(10 = 20% discount,&  20 = 25% discount).

I teach from: 51 Barkston Gdns, the basement flat&  On-Line,
Email me or call me to book lessons or get more info.

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