I recently blogged about the Seydel Big Six and how the attempt to chromaticize Blues Harmonicas only destroys the very philosophy of its own original voice.
That philosophy, born from the oppressed good black folks of America, speaks of the strength to make the most of what little you have and the meditation therefore, to create more from less.
It is only natural then of the Blues Harpist, to recreate or arrange melodies from other genres in a way that satisfies both the instrument’s demands and the listener’s ear.
More than often this means not only an alteration of style, but to manipulate the existence of notes which are not naturally sounding in the Harmonica.
This is a technique called ‘bending’.
Whilst they may sound harsh if held too long, or whence unnaturally forced to support a piece of weighty Bach, whence employed as careful “passing notes” they can often convey a very subtle beauty of speech.
Yet therein, due to their unnatural sounding, there is an element of truth in what modern harmonica players say, that sometimes if just one note of their instrument were changed, then so would their entire world.