[Harp-L] Toots

Vern jevern@xxxxx
Thu Mar 23 14:10:14 EDT 2017

> On Mar 23, 2017, at 2:14 AM, Sébastien Frémal <sebastien.fremal at xxxxx> wrote:
> …... I was just wondering how it
> was possible to change notes without using the button. I read the pattern
> of the HFC, it's interesting. But it seems like a really different method….

The vertical movement of the mouthpiece is indeed different from the pushbutton.

> ……..to achieve chromatism on the harmonica……...

The standard chromatic harmonica with pushbutton has achieved “chromaticism on the harmonica” for almost a century.

The purpose of the HFC is to enable a musician to play a chromatic harmonica on a rack/holder while their hands are occupied with another instrument such as a guitar... or when use of their hands is impaired as by injury or amputation. 

> …….I guess it takes some time to be used to it……. 

A musician having ability on a standard chromatic usually takes less than an hour to transfer the button-push reflex to the head-nod that moves the mouthpiece down about 4mm. With Enrico, it was almost immediate.

> ...and to reach the same speed you have when you use the button manually……...

Enrico demonstrates that impressive speed can be attained on the HFC.  However, because the head has much more mass than the hand, I have never claimed that the HFC could attain the “same speed” as the standard chromatic.  On the HFC; trills, octaves, and double-stops are slower and more difficult. However, trills and unlimited chords are easily available on the guitar.  IF you wish to play “Flight of the Bumblebee”, choose a standard chromatic harmonica.

> …….I can understand why someone who is near to the end of his career
> would not be interested by this mechanism, even if it is ingenious and
> well-designed……...

I was disappointed that he rejected it without trying it.


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