[Harp-L] The results of the "cupping back" challenge by David Pearce

David Pearce harpdog123@xxxxx
Mon Jul 31 13:55:45 EDT 2017

Will a cupping back on a chromatic harmonica that blocks holes 1 & 2 reduce the volume of those notes and change their volume or tone?
Conclusion:  There is no discernible difference of volume or tone in the comparison of a harmonica with a cupping back on and one with no cupping back.  A cupping back can be used to make hand cupping a chromatic harmonica easier due to its smaller size without negatively impacting the sound or volume of the instrument.  I came up with this idea when I read about Vern Smith's experiment where he covered up 50 percent of the back of the harmonica and was not able to measure any difference in volume with an audio meter.  Thinking about the science behind a harmonica practice and testing it to determine its efficacy will help to advance the instrument make more productive use of precious time.


Keep on harpin!
David Pearce

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