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Harmonica Magazines
and Periodicals

 

There is a lively - and growing - group of harmonica periodicals that addresses both general and special harmonica interests. Some of these are club organs, others manufacturers' promotional efforts, but most are independent publications, each addressing a different facet of harmonica interests.

In addition, there are several magazines centered on blues and on other styles that use harmonica, and even on other instruments, that may be of interest. Some (especially the blues magazines) carry features and even columns on harmonica and harmonica players, while others will carry more general interest information (click on other magazines of interest for details). Here are the main harmonica rags on today's scene.
 


 

Harmonica Magazines

AHN
Easy Reeding
Echos France Harmonica
Harmonica Educator
Harmonica Happenings
HIP
Harmonica-Player
Harmonica World
Harpoz
The Hooter
Mississippi Saxophone

TOP of page

These are the ongoing harmonica periodicals active in the last ten years. Most are in English (Harmonica-Player is in German; Echos France Harmonica is primarily in French, with a generous admixture of English and German language text). Each has its own focus of attention and format. Most content is unique, though Echos France Harmonica and Harpoz occasionally reprint articles from HIP, and "open letter" articles may sometimes appear simultaneously in AHN, Easy Reeding and Harmonica Happenings.

HIP - the Harmonica Information Publication

Diatonic and chromatic technique, performance practices, theory, interviews, historical sketches, industry news, instrument reviews, record, video and book reviews (with harp keys). Oriented to all styles of music, but with strong blues content due to demand. Issue 4 is devoted to Howard Levy and overblowing technique.

HIP is highly regarded as having the most professional appearance and the best instructional material, but is slow in coming out. Relatively expensive, but packed with information (literally - the type is much smaller than in other publications and graphics are at a minimum). It is also the most widely distributed, with newsstand representation in both North America and Europe.

Other HIP products include a computer font for harmonica tablature, tuning diagrams for plotting out action patterns, transcriptions of Toots Thielemans jazz solos, various booklets on chromatic and diatonic techniques, the Discrete Comb for extending the bending abilities of Lee Oskar and Hohner MS diatonic harmonicas, and this resource guide.

40 pages plus covers, letter size, white paper. 6 issues per subscription series. $5.50 per issue. Subscriptions: $30 Canada US, Mexico, $51 airmail outside North America.

Contact: Winslow Yerxa, Editor and Publisher
Address: Harmonica Information Press
203 14TH Ave
San FranciSco CA 94118-1007
USA
Telephone: +1-415-751-0212
Fax: n/a
email: WinslowYerxa@compuserve.com
Website: www.angelfire.com/music2/harmonicainfo

American Harmonica Newsmagazine (AHN)

AHN displays a broad cross section of harmonica interests in the United States. At times it's like a big bulletin board, or maybe a flea market - you never know what you'll find. Reader contributions are regularly published, along with items of harmonica interest cut out of newspapers. Editor Al Eichler writes lofty, idealistic editorials that, while inspired, are sometimes a little puzzling. There are also regular instructional columns, ads and features on new products, letters (including flame wars) and frequent artist features.

AHN is the most prolific and regular of the harmonica magazines, and under the co-direction of associate editor Phil Lloyd, has taken on a much more professional appearance.

For those looking for a harmonica teacher, AHN has an innovative program to match up teachers and students.

40 pages including covers, letter size, newsprint 12 issues per year, $1.75 per issue, $24.00 per year U.S. by bulk mail, $30 First Class Mail; $37 Air Mail Pan American; $42 Air Mail overseas.

Contact: Al Eichler, Editor & Publisher
Phil Lloyd, Associate Editor
Address: 104 Highland Ave
Battle Creek MI 49015-3272
USA
Telephone: +1-616-962-2989
Fax: n/a
email: Phil Lloyd philharpn@ahn.com
Website: n/a

Mississippi Saxophone


"The Amplified Harmonica Player's Magazine" is the motto on the cover, and this is reflected in a focus on amplified blues players, both chromatic and diatonic. Includes interviews, product and record reviews (with harp keys), electronics how-to, editorials. Miss Sax has grown under Tim's stewardship, although it has lateness problems. Shows considerable promise, and is the publication for the amplified blues player. 20 pages including covers, letter size white recycled stock, 6 issues per year. $2.50 per issue. Subscription $12/yr US, $16 Canada, all others $24.

Contact: Tim Moody
Address: PO BOX 12185
EUGENE OR 97440
USA
Telephone: +1-503-726-5992
Fax: n/a
email:
Website:

The Harmonica Educator

This is a quarterly newsletter for harmonica educators. Mr. Martin is a retired USAF telecommuncations expert who plays classical chromatic as part of the Hyland Ensemble (a classical chamber group) and teaches both beginning and advanced harmonica. He also does personalized instruction cassettes for a small fee. Several excellent harmonica authors are regular contributors.

40+ pages perfect bound, letter size, 4 issues per year. Subscriptions $23/yr, other countries $27/yr. Single issues $3.50.

Contact: Richard Martin, Editor and Publisher
Address: PO BOX 340
NORTH HAMPTON OH
45349-0340
USA
Telephone: +1-513-964-1115
Fax: +1-513-964-1555
email: Ri58066217@aol.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/heducator2/

Harmonica Happenings

SPAH is the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, a sort of super-harmonica club for North America, has been existence for 31 years. For many years it was the bastion of all-harmonica band aficionados, dating from the 1930's vaudeville acts like Borrah Minevtich and his Harmonica Rascals. In the 1990's, more recent generations became well-represented, even while strongly retaining the old guard's interests. Harmonica Happenings, as official club organ, has also changed to reflect this, and SPAH has also become the financial supporter of HARP-L, the harmonica discussion list (see the Computer Connections section in this Resource Guide for more information).

Coverage includes harmonica club activities, editorials, interviews, record release information, harmonica news items, coming events, historical articles, obituaries, letters, instructional material.

Four issues per year, 32 pages including covers, letter size, white glossy stock, saddle stitched and 3-hole punched. Subscription with Annual SPAH membership - $25/yr plus $5 initiation fee.

Contact: George Davis, Editor
- or -
SPAH, Inc.
Address: Subscriptions:

SPAH
PO BOX 865
TROY MI 48099-0865
USA

Editorial:

George Davis
Harmonica Happenings
1503 STANFORD DRIVE
GLENDALE CA 91205-3616
Telephone: n/a
Fax: n/a
email: HH Editor George Davis gdavis9@ix.netcom.com
SPAH President Douglas Tate dougtate@istal.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/harmonica

Easy Reeding

Easy Reeding is put out by Hohner USA and seems to come out on a "whenever" basis. Features about players and conventions, awards, etc., are often identical to what appear in Harmonica Happenings, and, of course, competing harmonica products are not mentioned. New Hohner endorsers and Hohner products, news columns from Germany, Australia, England, record releases.

Published on an occassional basis, varying number of pages, tabloid size, newsprint. $10 initiation fee, free thereafter in the U.S. For BeNeLux countries, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Denmark, South Africa, England, France, contact the national Hohner distributor. For all other countries, contact Hohner Germany at Hohner Vertrieb GmBh, Postfach 1260, 7218 Trossingen, Germany

Contact: Toni Radler, Editor (outgoing)
Address: P.O BOX 15035
RICHMOND VA 23227-0435
USA
Telephone: +1-804-550-2700
Fax: n/a
email: n/a
Website: www.hohnerusa.com

Harmonica World

This is the official organ of Britain's National Harmonica League (NHL). While the club influence is detectable, contributions form writers around the world make this much more than a club organ. Interviews, player features, reviews, instructional material, news.

6 issues per year, 24 pages plus covers (half A4 size), glossy white stock. Annual Subscription with/without membership. UK & Channel Islands, £25/20; USA $30/24; Europe £27/22; other places £30/25

Contact: Colin Mort, Chairman & Editor

USA - Norm Dobson
Address: Rivendell,
High Street,
Shirrell Heath,
Southampton,
SO32 2JN
UK

USA:
Norm Dobson
7 SEWALL ST
PEABODY MA 01960-5516
USA
Telephone: +44-1329-832-178
Fax: n/a
email: nhl_mort@compuserve.com
Website: http://www.harmonica.co.uk/magazine.htm

Harpoz

Published by the Hohner Harmonica Club of Australia. Player interviews, editorials, reprints from HIP, letters, record reviews, ads, industry news, harmonica repair.

This is a fairly new publication, Australia's first. The Hohner Harmonica Club is a creature of Kurt Jacob Pty., the Hohner distributor down under, and Tricia Smits has charged full speed ahead, with the assistance of players Lawrie Minson, Tony Peri and Christian Marsh. Paul Farmer contributes frequent interviews with both Australian and international players.

16 pages incuding covers, A4 size white stock, mostly typewritten. Quarterly, $15.00 (Australian) per annum.

Contact: Tricia Smits, Editor
Address: 7/2 Stoddart Road
Prospect NSW 2149
Australia
Telephone: n/a
Fax: n/a
email: n/a
Website: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~hwy49/harpoz.html

Echos France Harmonica

Published by Productions Stephanie Bertrand (PSB), this is by far the best looking of harmonica magazines, with its color cover and plentiful photos. Written largely in French, it also features translations and separate items in English and German - in this sense, it is the most truly international of the lot. The contents are largely celebratory, with lots of photos of players in action, convention photos and competition results - all the clubby stuff. Also incuded are historical articles, player features, news reprints from Easy Reeding and various newspapers, sheet music and ads.

While France Harmonica is a national club, like SPAH and NHL, its publisher, PSB, is also a record company, with several harmonica releases, including those of Charlie McCoy, Jean Labre, les Harmonichats, and the excellent diatonic jazz player Michel Herblin (see HIP No. 4 for a review).

50 pages plus covers, A4 size, white stock with color glossy cover. 28F/$5/8DM, or subscription by membership, 150F (120F if you're under 16) in France, $40 USA, 42DM Germany, £19 UK.

Contact: Jean Labre, president/founder
Bernard Dehabre, Charge de Presse (managing editor)
Address: France Harmonica
118, av. Jean Jaurès
75019 Paris
France

Address Correspondence to:
Daniel Demarque
France Harmonica
27, rue Parmentier
59650 Villeneuve d'Asq
France
Telephone: Daniel Demarque: +33-3-20-91-43-57
Fax: +33-42-00-72-04
email: Jean Labre labrej@club-internet.fr

Daniel Demarque phildelb@FranceNet.fr
Website: http://www.club-internet.fr/perso/labrej

Harmonica-Player

Primarily in German, Harmonica-Player covers a wide range of topics, with news, concert and festival reports, artist itineraries, CD release notices and reviews, technique mini-workshops, interviews, amplification articles, harmonica test drive reports, overviews of styles (jazz, classical, etc.), and more.

Harmonica-Player also has a mail-order business selling harmonicas and related items such as CD's, books, electronic gear, and repair kits and parts.

Thirty-two A4 pages including cover, white stock, saddle stitched. Two issues per year, 30 DM in Germany; elsewhere 40 DM or 50 DM airmail. Optional audio cassette for each issue 10 DM.

Contact: Didi Neumann
Address: Agnes-Bernauer-Strasse 256
81241 München
Germany
Telephone: +49-89-834-25-23
Fax: +49-89-834-25-23
email: didi_neumann@compuserve.com
Website: http://www.bluesharp.de

The Hooter

HOOT (Harmonica Organization Of Texas) is a lively regional harmonica club, and the Hooter is their recently inaugurated club newsletter. Currenly only 8 pages, it nonetheless boast articles and regular columns by such luminaries as classical harmonica virtuoso and designer Douglas Tate, amplification expert and authority on Paul Butterfield Tom Ellis III, and technical author and taxonomist Michael Will.

Contact: Beverly Windham, Editor
Address: PO Box 261674
Plano TX 75026-1674
USA
Telephone: +1-214-616-8851
for membership inquiries: Jerl Welch
2363 Gus Thomasson Rd
Dallas TX 75228
Telephone: +1-214-327-5008
email: HOOTnewsletter@aol.com

Website: http://www.flash.net/~dfwhoot
© 2000 Winslow Yerxa. All rights reserved.