Oh, they're going to be collectible, that's for sure.
But not just any flash drive will do.
Beyond designiness, the "collectible" will need to demonstrate uniqueness and rarity. A bona fide "dual purpose," will be nice, too.
Most of all, artfulness, utility, craftsmanship and unique content will be sought.
All of which are present in the FlashHarp®.
See you in the future!
In 1862, harmonicas
came to the U.S and began a unique musical journey, starting out from the lowest of places--the fields, farms and plains. Turns out, tho, the harmonica had a Fearsome Foursome rooting for it from the start: Quality, Novelty, Portability and Price. These traits inspired broad trial. And trial soon led to experimentation. As a result, the new way of playing that's now called "crossharp" was born. (Crossharp is that style of play in which the 2 hole "draw" becomes the tonal center instead of the 1-, 4- and 7-hole "blows;" it's notorious for that "bent" bluesy sound.)
As crossharp took hold, the harmonica's status as an instrument climbed. In the 1940s, the hand-held microphone was added for amplification. The loud-sobbing nightclub sound further propelled its legitimacy and popularity.
Around its 100-year anniversary, the harmonica found itself in demand. Blues harmonica soloists were needed to meet that demand, and soon market structures had become established to support the little rebel with the soulful, urban sound.
Meanwhile, the rebel Bob Dylan was carving out his own artistic and economic niche.
Dylan marks an interesting aberration in the harmonica's evolution. Because crossharp harmonica playing had become so prevalent by then, Dylan, for aesthetic reasons, intentionally sidestepped the crossharp path, deciding instead to play the harmonica straight. Though seemingly a step backwards for the instrument, a new pathway was ultimately created. Call this re-emergent "folksy" sound the "Roots" or "Americana" path.
Another important discovery emerged around the late 70s--"overblowing." By doing just that, a skilled player found he or she could "hit" previously missing notes on the basic 10-holed, Richter-tuned harmonica. In the right hands, the diatonic harmonica today can be played fully chromatically. Amazing
This raises the question, though. What exactly are the "right" hands for the harmonica?Rebels feel illegitimate when they achieve legitimacy.
Along the course of its journey, the instrument seems to have become the tool of an "establishment," an establishment replete with elite artists,"publics," professional go-betweens, educators, publishers and promoters. In its transformation to a formal, serious, legitimate musical instrument, the harmonica has lost something vital; namely, its novelty. And this has cost it a large portion of its mass appeal.
The little musical rebel that marched up out of the marsh now appears positioned for a fate worse than obscurity; call it irrelevance. That is, unless something new its way comes...
Indeed, something new is needed, and now, to revive the harmonica's status as an instrument of the people.This is where the FlashHarp® harmonica USB comes in...
Certainly, with the addition of flash memory, the harmonica's novelty status is instantly reinvigorated. Trial, too, is encouraged, and not just among accomplished players and an existing following of "harmonica snobs" in biker garb; but among new players, players from unrelated areas--some musical, some not.
In a way, ironically, the higher-tech FlashHarp
harmonica USB returns the instrument to the magical "hobo campground" where its journey originated--where nobody prejudged it or expected anything in particular from it, at all. The harmonica USB reactivates the Fearsome Foursome of Quality, Novelty, Price and Portability. And this time, the instrument's novelty aspect is upgraded to include something as valuable as music itself: usefulness
The headline reads like this: "Small Pocket Instrument Moves West, South. Finally Gets Big Break in the 'American Sound.'"Harmonicas
were not highly regarded in the beginning in the U.S. but rather were looked upon as of lowly status. Paradoxically this caused widespread experimentation.
Fast-forward a hundred years. By then, "serious artist" expectations (in dark glasses and biker garb) eventually crept in.
But success is a double-edged sword for pop icons, and the diminutive harmonica, as hero of our tale, proved not to be impervious, and sadly, many who picked up the old single-purpose harmonica gave up, only to put the thing in the back of a drawer.
Fortunately, the advent of the dual-purpose harmonica USB gave the harmonica a much-needed second wind. Buyers of the playable harmonica USB are liberated from the harmonicas
' high expectations by virtue of its USB/flash-memory utility ("Hey, it's just my flash drive. What do you expect?") Further, it can be used to store digital documents, pictures, videos, music, you name it.
Instead of diminishing the harmonica, the playable, dual-purpose USB counterpart has turned out to return the instrument to its former glorious and popular, experimental status. People are not only pursuing their musical interests. They are going about their normal "digital" days, transporting work, play and love letters as they go. Only now, such content is being more stylishly and fashionable toted about.
For hundreds of new-breed type user-players--as well as for overall innovation with the instrument--this comes as good news, indeed. Even Mr. Alger would be impressed!
But wait Haratio! That's not all!
For now another innovation has been added to the harmonica USB. This is the ability to have a convenient necklace added to the instrument, as well. This USB necklace
is made possible by a 24-inch ball chain that connects to the harmonica USB by a brass "finding" on the side opposite the USB plug. The result is only attractive and, importantly, puts the added utility of flash-drive convenience "around the neck."
In addition to the harmonica necklace
, to allow the user to turn the device into something truly personal and unique, personalization can be added to the unique device. This is vital, should its user desire to truly distinguish themselves. The personalized text is etched into the area of black opposite the holes, so a person facing the user/player can view the text while the instrument is played.
The harmonica USB can also have loaded onto it, a highly instructive video harmonica lesson.
Did you know FlashHarp is available as a fashionable necklace? Yup. You can even get the 2, 4 or 8GB version with Personalization. Just go to: http://www.BackyardBrand.etsy.com and Click on the Necklaces section.
Again, just follow the arrows. Up is blow. Down is draw. Horizontal is a bend.
Learn to play crossharp by following along!
I am an American from the land of hope and sorrow
Remembering September 12th ten years ago tomorrow.
The quiet in the sky was a wound still fresh and open
The shock and awe had left us a silence still unbroken.
Ten years have passed and yet I live and yet am I to die,
Yet I will always remember that quiet in the sky.
September 11, 2011
When I grew up, my dad had a dream for me—that I would become the next piano prodigy. Problem was, he never played an instrument. In fact, he listened to very little music, himself.
Naturally, he never got his dream. I never glommed onto the whole piano-playing thing. Instead, I grew up to be a harmonica
Flash ahead a million years... Now, I've got kids of my own, both of whom are fine musicians. But I never said a word to them about playing an instrument. What did I do, instead?
I modeled music-making. The whole time they were growing up I was walking around harpdoodling all the live long day (and night) on my harmonica. Result: My kids just grew up naturally believing that playing some kind of musical instrument was something one just does.
It was a natural evolution.
So one day, one of my kids said, "I want to play violin."
"OK, great!" I said.
And she's playing still.
The other child followed suit. Naturally. She actually does play the piano, and quite well, I might add.
Moral of the story: It's not important how well
you play. The important thing is to play
. Your kids will model their behavior after yours. Try it and let me know how it works!
If you're a harmonica player with a professional act—or even if you're not!—you might be interested in the SoulFlash. It's a 4GB flash drive in the shape of a harmonica. Got plenty of space for autographing so would make a great vehicle for your latest release... Check it out and shoot me a note here if you're interested in the SoulFlash in quantity. Lanyard is my own in pic.
Have you seen this video from "To Tell The Truth?" The hero here was important in the evolution of the harmonica into what it is today.