Types of the Jaw Harp

The jaw harp, also known as Jew’s harp, mouth harp, guimbard, or Ozark harp, is a musical instrument made from bamboo or metal tongues and a reed. A person plays the instrument with a mouthful of saliva, which causes it to vibrate and produce music. There are many types of this instrument.

Jew’s harp

The Jew’s harp is a unique musical instrument made from a reed and flexible metal or bamboo tongue. It is also known as the Ozark harp, jaw harp, or mouth harp. The instrument is played by mouthing the reed to make a melodic sound.

The sound produced by a Jew’s harp is essentially a mixture of overtones and fixed pitch. The instrument’s shape and mass can change the tone and timbre. In addition, the shape of the player’s mouth during sounding is crucial to changing the tone of the instrument.

During the 19th century, the Jew’s harp was popular with children. In fact, it was so popular that Lewis and Clark probably gave some to Indians as gifts. Although the explorers never actually played a Jew’s harp, traders told them it was a popular toy among the natives.

Although the term “Jew’s harp” has negative connotations in the United States, the fact is that it is not considered a slur due to its historical association with Jews. In Europe, the Jew’s harp is a highly revered musical instrument.

Jew’s harps from this period tend to have large rounded heads and transverse engraved lines. The sounds of Jew’s harps from this time period can be very rich and complex. You can play the instrument for years and never realize the sound of certain overtones.

When playing the Jew’s harp, you should avoid using very hard strokes. You can control the strength of the stroke geometrically. Loudness is also important. Generally speaking, weak strokes produce a quiet sound while strong strokes increase loudness more evenly.

Mouth harp

The mouth harp, also known as a jaw harp or Jew’s harp, is a traditional instrument made with a reed and flexible metal or bamboo tongue. It is also known as the Jew’s harp, Ozark harp, or guimbard. It is played by bending a tongue, which is made of reed, into a musical tone.

Mouth harps were originally used by the Inuit of north America. Later, European traders and conquerors brought the instrument to other parts of the world. Today, this instrument is played by the indigenous populations of Latin America and South America. The instrument was originally played in ceremonies, talk meetings, and seductions.

The mouth harp has many variations around the world. For example, bamboo mouth harps are common in Papua New Guinea. Metal mouth harps are also available. They are usually sold on the internet. The design of metal-mouth harps varies from culture to culture.

The mouth harp is most commonly associated with bluegrass music, but it has a much longer history. The instrument’s version is known in almost every culture, and it might have originated as early as the third century B.C. It has been used on movie soundtracks and recordings by a wide variety of artists.

During the earliest times, the mouth harp was made of wood and played in the mountains of South China. The wooden mouth harp was the prototype for metal versions found in the far east. Later, mouth harps made of palm leaves were discovered in Polynesia. Bamboo mouth harps were also used in India.

The mouth harp is widely spread throughout Asia and Oceania. By the 14th century, it reached Europe. However, many European forms are older, but it is unlikely to be more than 1200 years old. The lack of early finds also challenges the possibility of an earlier origin.


The Heteroglot jaw harp is a mouth-resonated lamellaphone that is widely played in parts of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It is a variant of the idioglot harp and is also known as a Jew’s harp.

The instrument is made of flexible bamboo or metal tongue and is played with one finger. Different sizes produce different pitches. The frame of the instrument and the number of tines help differentiate it from its idioglot counterpart. The Heteroglot jaw harp is made of metal.

The Heteroglot was originally used by indigenous people in northern Siberia. It was played by virtuoso musicians of the period. It was also used in the experiments of Johann Heinrich Scheibler, who mounted up to ten of them on a disc to create complex chromatic sequences.

The European version of the Heteroglot jaw harp was first found in the 13th century CE. It is likely that the instrument spread from Asia to Europe by way of trade routes. However, it is impossible to pinpoint the specific culture responsible for the invention of the instrument.

Idioglottic harp

The idioglottic harp, also known as the Jew’s Harp, is an instrument with a tongue incised into the frame. It is a type of mouth harp, which are found throughout Asia, and has several hundred different local names. The Asian idioglot harp differs from the European heterolith Jew’s harp in that the tips of the lamellae are angled inward instead of outward.

The idioglottic has a simple sound, but when played with the help of singing, it can produce a variety of sounds. Often, the instrument produces three notes: the note it produces, the note sung, and a growl of anguish. Generally, idioglots are played as part of a singing ensemble, and they play in time with other instruments.

The idioglottic harp can be made from flexible materials such as a rubber, plastic, or metal. Unlike the heterolith harp, the idioglottic harp uses the tongue as the connection between the player and the instrument. The player holds the instrument in one hand and then uses the other hand to flick the lamella, which is shaped like a tongue. These include Alit, Khanty-Mansi Oblast, Buryatia, and Sakha.

Heterolith harp

The heterolith jaw harp is a traditional instrument that evolved in many parts of Asia. A heterolith jaw harp is similar to an idioglottic jaw harp but has different components. The heterolith jaw harp is a traditional musical instrument of the Yakuts. It is one of the few instruments that produce sounds that are not percussive. The Heterolith jaw harp has many names in different parts of the world.

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