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Home > Music Interest > Music Stories

How to Build a Harmonica Orchestra in School

Can you imagine a bunch of kids playing and enjoying harmonica together? Traditionally harmonica is considered a solo instrument, however, the case has changed with the formation of the King's Harmonica Quintet in 1987. The King's Harmonica Quintet's impressive performance has awakened the public and made them realise that harmonica band performance can be so captivating! For schools who plan to organise school bands, perhaps they aren't fully aware that when comparing to expensive type of orchestral organisations, harmonica band is much less complex in structure as well as training program, and is less demanding in term of resources. Not to mention the much easier transportation and storage of instrument. When compared to recorder band and melodica band, harmonica band offers greater opportunity for individual with higher music potentials.

Harmonica as a Family of Musical instruments

Classification of Harmonica Families

  • Chromatic
  • Diatonic
  • Tremolo

Types of Chromatic Harmonica

  • 12 Holes
  • 16 Holes or Tenor-tuned 12 Holes
  • Bass-Single or Double-Decked
  • Chord
  • Pipe
  • Melodica

Development Of Harmonica Activities in HK & World

  • Harmonica Orchestra is a unique feature in Hong Kong and Asia
  • School Music Festival
  • Asia-Pacific and World Harmonica Festival

Why to Choose to Build a Harmonica Orchestra in School - Common Orchestral Organization in School

Expensive Type

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • String Orchestra
  • Chinese Instrumental Orchestra
  • Brass Band
  • Percussion Band

Inexpensive Type

  • Recorder Band
  • Melodica Band

Advantages Compared to Expensive Type

  • Inexpensive
  • Easier to Learn
  • Less Complex in Structure, Training Program and Demand for Resources
  • Less Tutor Requirement
  • More Convenient for Transportation and Storage

Advantages Compared to Inexpensive Type

  • Allow more Flexibility and Variability in Musical Combination
  • Higher Potential for more Sophisticated Musical Development

Basic Elements of Formation

  • Teacher/Tutor
  • Instrument
  • Equipment
  • Venue
  • Music Score
  • Training Program
  • Finance
  • Student Selection
  • Administration