If there is a single style of music where the harmonica can be said to have had a formative influence then it has to be the blues. The instrument in question is the Marine Band 1896 Classic, the original blues harmonica and historically the world‘s most popular harmonica. Its uniquely authentic sound has defined the role of the harmonica in the blues tradition and made it the benchmark harp by which all others are judged. The pearwood comb, arched covers with side vents and traditional HOHNER tuning combine to create the legendary sound which can be heard on countless classic blues recordings from the 1920s to the present day.
In the heyday of the harmonica during the 1920s, millions of Marine Bands were exported to the USA every year. European migrants played a considerable role in the dissemination of the instrument and areas with a large population of German settlers such as Texas or Carolina also produced large numbers of black harp players. The Marine Band was cheap and readily available in any general store, so it became the most widely distributed musical instrument in the USA at this time.
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