Even The Tone Deaf Can Rock Out On This Self-Playing Harmonica

The harmonica is already a bit of a beginners instrument. Even if you just blow through the thing, you'll get notes that are all in the same key. A listenable mess. This "Rolmonica" from 1928 makes it even easier by playing the right notes for you; all you have to do is blow.

The concept is basically the same as that of a player piano. You load up the Rolmonica with song scrolls, and then just crank the lever as you blow -- out or in -- and the Rolmonica does the rest. The example in the video above sounds a little bit off, but it certianly is playing a bunch of different notes automatically as advertised.

Could this tech be posed to make a comeback? Probably not. Should it? Only if there are song scrolls for the Ashoken Farewell out there. [Boing Boing]


    " you’ll get notes that are all in the same key"
    Than you learn to bend, and get additional notes that aren't in that key. Then you learn that a C harmonica is usually played in the key of G, sometimes D, very rarely C. At this point you learn to overblow and get even more notes. Stick at it and eventually you learn overdraw to get even more notes. Turns out your diatonic harp can be played chromatically. Still so much more to learn though. Etc., etc..

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