Jaw Harp - History

Posted by Eric Azumi on

The Jaw Harp consists of a flexible metal or bamboo tongue attached to a frame. This tongue is placed in the performer’s mouth and plucked with the finger to produce a note. The pitch of the note can be changed by changing the shape of the mouth. The origin of the jaw harp is not clear and it may have been developed independently all over the globe. There is a Chinese drawing from 4th century BC of this instrument. The Jaw harp is found all over Europe, Asia Russia and the Pacific. Its origin in India is not very clear though many myths and stories prevail. In India it is found mainly in South India, Rajasthan and also in some parts of Assam. The jaw harp in Vietnam is called Danmoi and other names include the Jew's harp, jaw harp, mouth harp, Ozark harp, trump, morsing, morchang, or juice harp.

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