Mouth Organ

How Do You Find What Key A Harmonica Is In?

I came across my Grandad's Harmonica I don't know anything about it accept for the name: Hero Harmonica, Shanghai,China.

This is what it looks like: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=hero+harmonica+made+in+china&hl=en&biw=1366&bih=643&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=ux7uNosUs5RsqM:&imgrefurl=http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-HERO-HARMONICA-MOUTH-ORGAN-GERMANY-F-BOHM-/260727341729&docid=xSNnMUAa4_UA_M&imgurl=http://i.ebayimg.com/t/VINTAGE-HERO-HARMONICA-MOUTH-ORGAN-GERMANY-F-BOHM-/00/%2524(KGrHqV,!hsE3,HY8Lp7BN3eee1wSg~~0_3.JPG&w=640&h=299&ei=mi4lT5CBE8O58gOisoS6Bw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=729&vpy=168&dur=2238&hovh=153&hovw=329&tx=162&ty=87&sig=117981277747894721277&page=1&tbnh=83&tbnw=177&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0

Please help! Thanks

Most are stamped somewhere on the top of the reed plate. The Hero you're showing in the photo is not made in China - it's German. If yours is from China it may well be a whole different instrument. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-LARGE-CHINA-HARMONICA-HERO-48-AIR-SLITS-MINT-/230666036838?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b4c46666 is a modern Chinese "Hero" 24/48 Asian tuned tremolo harp. They're almost always in C. It will have the same scale as a Suzuki tremolo.

If the link you posted is your harp: That's a 16/32 double reed harp. It could be an octave or a tremolo but at that age most likely an octave harp.

Blow any combination of three holes. That combination should produce a root (I, tonic) chord. Match that chord to a piano or guitar. Now draw 1 2 3 to confirm. You should have the dominant (V) chord. The root chord is the tonic key of your harmonica.

On many double reed harps there isn't a blow and draw in each hole. Yours looks like one. In that case you'll blow 1 3 5 and draw 2 4 6 for that technique above. [yours looks like a Weinner system and not Knittlinger so will have one reed in each hole - either blow or draw.] To match to a tuner - use only one hole, not the stacked octaves or tremolo.

Now blow hole 1 and check against something known (tuner, piano, guitar) - chances are on a 16/32 that's the root pitch. You then have (in C as an example) C E G C E G C E on the blows. BUT, very many 16/32 harps start on the 3rd (and some on the 5th) on that first hole. If it starts on the 3rd you have E G C E G C E G and on the 5th G C E G C E G. In effect, the scale pattern of a 16/32 is the same as 8 holes of a 10-hole diatonic. [you'll have a different scale in different keys but the blow is always 1 3 and 5 of whichever scale. The question is only which pitch starts the blow pattern.]

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