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]

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I can imagine this would be a great way to learn the harmonica as well, for those that don't care about the letters of the music notes and just want to learn the positions for each pitch.

I have this problem when trying to learn piano or guitar. I really don't care to learn what each note is called or how to do intricate, unnecessary things. I just want to learn where I put my fingers for each music note on the sheet to play the best kind of music, the simple kind.

I've failed to learn guitar because I can't, or don't care to, learn and remember the letters of each music note for each position on the sheet, and I can't seem to find something that can teach me without forcing me to remember the letters.