Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, blues and popular music styles such as pop, electronic dance music and filmi. Singing arranged or improvised, it may be done as a form of religious devotion, as a hobby, as a source of pleasure, comfort or ritual, as part of music education or as a profession. Excellence in singing requires time, dedication and regular practice.
If practice is done on a regular basis the sounds can become more clear and strong. Professional singers build their careers around one specific musical genre, such as classical or rock, although there are singers with crossover success, they take voice training provided by voice teachers or vocal coaches throughout their careers. In its physical aspect, singing has a well-defined technique that depends on the use of the lungs, which act as an air supply or bellows. Though these four mechanisms function independently, they are coordinated in the establishment of a vocal technique and are made to interact upon one another. During passive breathing, air is inhaled with the diaphragm while exhalation occurs without any effort. Exhalation may be aided by lower pelvis/pelvic muscles. Inhalation is aided by use of external intercostals and sternocleidomastoid muscles; the pitch is altered with the vocal cords. With the lips closed, this is called humming; the sound of each individual's singing voice is unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body.
Humans have vocal folds which can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of the chest and neck, the position of the tongue, the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound resonates within different parts of the body and an individual's size and bone structure can affect the sound produced by an individual. Singers can learn to project sound in certain ways so that it resonates better within their vocal tract; this is known as vocal resonation. Another major influence on vocal sound and production is the function of the larynx which people can manipulate in different ways to produce different sounds; these different kinds of laryngeal function are described as different kinds of vocal registers. The primary method for singers to accomplish this is through the use of the Singer's Formant, it has been shown that a more powerful voice may be achieved with a fatter and fluid-like vocal fold mucosa.
The more pliable the mucosa, the more efficient the transfer of energy from the airflow to the vocal folds. Vocal registration refers to the system of vocal registers within the voice. A register in the voice is a particular series of tones, produced in the same vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, possessing the same quality. Registers originate in laryngeal function, they occur. Each of these vibratory patterns appears within a particular range of pitches and produces certain characteristic sounds; the occurrence of registers has been attributed to effects of the acoustic interaction between the vocal fold oscillation and the vocal tract. The term "register" can be somewhat confusing; the term register can be used to refer to any of the following: A particular part of the vocal range such as the upper, middle, or lower registers. A resonance area such as chest voice or head voice. A phonatory process A certain vocal timbre or vocal "color" A region of the voice, defined or delimited by vocal breaks.
In linguistics, a register language is a language which combines tone and vowel phonation into a single phonological system. Within speech pathology, the term vocal register has three constituent elements: a certain vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, a certain series of pitches, a certain type of sound. Speech pathologists identify four vocal registers based on the physiology of laryngeal function: the vocal fry register, the modal register, the falsetto register, the whistle register; this view is adopted by many vocal pedagogues. Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of phonation is en
The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass is tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest-pitched strings of a guitar, it is played with the fingers or thumb, or striking with a pick. The electric bass guitar has pickups and must be connected to an amplifier and speaker to be loud enough to compete with other instruments. Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While types of basslines vary from one style of music to another, the bassist plays a similar role: anchoring the harmonic framework and establishing the beat. Many styles of music include the bass guitar, it is a soloing instrument. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, an "Electric bass guitar a Guitar with four heavy strings tuned E1'-A1'-D2-G2."
It defines bass as "Bass. A contraction of Double bass or Electric bass guitar." According to some authors the proper term is "electric bass". Common names for the instrument are "bass guitar", "electric bass guitar", "electric bass" and some authors claim that they are accurate; the bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds. In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, developed the first electric bass guitar in its modern form, a fretted instrument designed to be played horizontally; the 1935 sales catalog for Tutmarc's electronic musical instrument company, featured his "Model 736 Bass Fiddle", a four-stringed, solid-bodied, fretted electric bass guitar with a 30 1⁄2-inch scale length, a single pick up. The adoption of a guitar's body shape made the instrument easier to hold and transport than any of the existing stringed bass instruments; the addition of frets enabled bassists to play in tune more than on fretless acoustic or electric upright basses.
Around 100 of these instruments were made during this period. Audiovox sold their “Model 236” bass amplifier. Around 1947, Tutmarc's son, began marketing a similar bass under the Serenader brand name, prominently advertised in the nationally distributed L. D. Heater Music Company wholesale jobber catalogue of 1948. However, the Tutmarc family inventions did not achieve market success. In the 1950s, Leo Fender and George Fullerton developed the first mass-produced electric bass guitar; the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company began producing the Precision Bass in October 1951. The "P-bass" evolved from a simple, un-contoured "slab" body design and a single coil pickup similar to that of a Telecaster, to something more like a Fender Stratocaster, with a contoured body design, edges beveled for comfort, a split single coil pickup; the "Fender Bass" was a revolutionary new instrument for gigging musicians. In comparison with the large, heavy upright bass, the main bass instrument in popular music from the early 1900s to the 1940s, the bass guitar could be transported to shows.
When amplified, the bass guitar was less prone than acoustic basses to unwanted audio feedback. In 1953 Monk Montgomery became the first bassist to tour with the Fender bass guitar, in Lionel Hampton's postwar big band. Montgomery was possibly the first to record with the bass guitar, on July 2, 1953 with The Art Farmer Septet. Roy Johnson, Shifty Henry, were other early Fender bass pioneers. Bill Black, playing with Elvis Presley, switched from upright bass to the Fender Precision Bass around 1957; the bass guitar was intended to appeal to guitarists as well as upright bass players, many early pioneers of the instrument, such as Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, Paul McCartney were guitarists. In 1953, following Fender's lead, Gibson released the first short-scale violin-shaped electric bass, with an extendable end pin so a bassist could play it upright or horizontally. Gibson renamed the bass the EB-1 in 1958. In 1958, Gibson released the maple arched-top EB-2 described in the Gibson catalogue as a "hollow-body electric bass that features a Bass/Baritone pushbutton for two different tonal characteristics".
In 1959 these were followed by the more conventional-looking EB-0 Bass. The EB-0 was similar to a Gibson SG in appearance. Whereas Fender basses had pickups mounted in positions in between the base of the neck and the top of the bridge, many of Gibson's early basses featured one humbucking pickup mounted directly against the neck pocket; the EB-3, introduced in 1961 had a "mini-humbucker" at the bridge position. Gibson basses tended to be smaller, sleeker instruments with a shorter scale length than the Precision. A number of other companies began manufacturing bass guitars during the 1950s: Kay in 1952, Hofner and Danelectro in 1956, Rickenbacker in 1957 and Burns/Supersound in 1958. 1956 saw the appearance at the German trade fair "Musikmesse Frankfurt" of the distinctive Höfner 500/1 violin-shaped bass made using violin construction techniques by Walter Höfner, a second-generation violin luthier. The design was known popularly as the "Beat
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument, sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice; the percussion section of an orchestra most contains instruments such as timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals and tambourine. However, the section can contain non-percussive instruments, such as whistles and sirens, or a blown conch shell. Percussive techniques can be applied to the human body, as in body percussion. On the other hand, keyboard instruments, such as the celesta, are not part of the percussion section, but keyboard percussion instruments such as the glockenspiel and xylophone are included. Percussion instruments are most divided into two classes: Pitched percussion instruments, which produce notes with an identifiable pitch, unpitched percussion instruments, which produce notes or sounds without an identifiable pitch. Percussion instruments may play not only rhythm, but melody and harmony.
Percussion is referred to as "the backbone" or "the heartbeat" of a musical ensemble working in close collaboration with bass instruments, when present. In jazz and other popular music ensembles, the pianist, bassist and sometimes the guitarist are referred to as the rhythm section. Most classical pieces written for full orchestra since the time of Haydn and Mozart are orchestrated to place emphasis on the strings and brass; however at least one pair of timpani is included, though they play continuously. Rather, they serve to provide additional accents. In the 18th and 19th centuries, other percussion instruments have been used, again sparingly; the use of percussion instruments became more frequent in the 20th century classical music. In every style of music, percussion plays a pivotal role. In military marching bands and pipes and drums, it is the beat of the bass drum that keeps the soldiers in step and at a regular speed, it is the snare that provides that crisp, decisive air to the tune of a regiment.
In classic jazz, one immediately thinks of the distinctive rhythm of the hi-hats or the ride cymbal when the word "swing" is spoken. In more recent popular music culture, it is impossible to name three or four rock, hip-hop, funk or soul charts or songs that do not have some sort of percussive beat keeping the tune in time; because of the diversity of percussive instruments, it is not uncommon to find large musical ensembles composed of percussion. Rhythm and harmony are all represented in these ensembles. Music for pitched percussion instruments can be notated on a staff with the same treble and bass clefs used by many non-percussive instruments. Music for percussive instruments without a definite pitch can be notated with a specialist rhythm or percussion-clef. Percussion instruments are classified by various criteria sometimes depending on their construction, ethnic origin, function within musical theory and orchestration, or their relative prevalence in common knowledge; the word "percussion" derives from Latin the terms: "percussio", "percussus".
As a noun in contemporary English, Wiktionary describes it as "the collision of two bodies to produce a sound." The term has application in medicine and weaponry, as in percussion cap. However, all known uses of percussion appear to share a similar lineage beginning with the original Latin: "percussus". In a musical context the percussion instruments may have been coined to describe a family of musical instruments including drums, metal plates, or blocks that musicians beat or struck to produce sound. Hornbostel–Sachs has no high-level section for percussion. Most percussion instruments are classified as membranophones; however the term percussion is instead used at lower-levels of the Hornbostel–Sachs hierarchy, including to identify instruments struck with either a non-sonorous object or against a non-sonorous object. This is opposed to concussion, which refers to instruments with two or more complementary sonorous parts that strike against each other and other meanings. For example: 111.1 Concussion idiophones or clappers, played in pairs and beaten against each other, such as zills and clapsticks.
111.2 Percussion idiophones, includes many percussion instruments played with the hand or by a percussion mallet, such as the hang and the xylophone, but not drums and only some cymbals. 21 Struck drums, includes most types of drum, such as the timpani, snare drum, tom-tom. (Included in most drum sets or 412.12 Percussion reeds, a class of wind instrument unrelated to percussion in the more common sense There are many instruments that have some claim to being percussion, but are classified otherwise: Keyboard instruments such as the celesta and piano. Stringed instruments played with beaters such as the hammered dulcimer. Unpitched whistles and similar instruments, such as the pea whistle and Acme siren. Percussion instruments are sometimes classified as "pitched" or "unpitched". While valid, this classification is seen as inadequate. Rather, it may be more informative to describe percussion instruments in regards to one or more of the following four paradigms: Many texts, including Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook of the University of Arizona, begin by studying the physica
Donna Jean Godchaux
Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux-MacKay is an American singer, best known for having been a member of the Grateful Dead from 1972 until 1979. Donna Jean Thatcher was born in Alabama. Prior to 1970, she had worked as a session singer in Muscle Shoals, Alabama singing with a group called Southern Comfort and appearing as a backup singer on at least two #1 hit songs: "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge in 1966 and "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley in 1969, her vocals were featured on other classic recordings by Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond and many others. She moved to California and met future fellow Grateful Dead member Keith Godchaux, whom she married in 1970. Donna introduced Keith to Jerry Garcia after Garcia's performance at San Francisco's Keystone Korner in September 1971. At the time, Donna Jean was not working as a musician, she joined the band shortly afterwards, remaining a member until February 1979. Donna Jean provided lead vocals in the group's music. During their membership in the Grateful Dead, the couple issued the self-written Keith & Donna album in 1975 with Jerry Garcia as a Keith and Donna Band member.
In turn, they performed as part of the Jerry Garcia Band. Keith and Donna's son, Zion "Rock" Godchaux of BoomBox, was born in 1974. After the Grateful Dead, the couple started the Heart of Gold Band. Donna did not perform again with any Grateful Dead band members until after the death of Jerry Garcia. Shortly after her husband's death in 1980, she married bassist David MacKay and the couple moved to her childhood town of Florence, Alabama, to record at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. In 2009, Donna Jean formed a brand new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson, after re-entering the music scene with Mattson and Mookie Siegel to form Kettle Joe's Psychedelic Swamp Revue known as Donna Jean & the Tricksters, she makes guest appearances with Bob Weir & RatDog, Zero & Steve Kimock, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dark Star Orchestra and Dead & Company. In 1994, Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead, she resides in Killen and remains an active member of the Muscle Shoals music scene when not touring with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.
Keith & Donna – Keith and Donna Godchaux – 1975 Playing in the Heart of Gold Band – The Ghosts – 1984 The Heart of Gold Band – The Heart of Gold Band – 1986 Donna Jean – The Donna Jean Band – 1998 At the Table – The Heart of Gold Band – 2004 Donna Jean and the Tricksters – Donna Jean and the Tricksters – 2008 Back Around – Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson – 2014 Donna Godchaux was a member of the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979 and appears on many of the band's albums. Donna Godchaux has contributed lead vocals on many albums by different artists. Singles"When a Man Loves a Woman" / "Love Me Like You Mean It" – Percy Sledge – 1966 "Suspicious Minds" / "You'll Think of Me" – Elvis Presley – 1969VideosMuscle Shoals – various artists – 2013 Move Me Brightly – various artists – 2013AlbumsFrom Elvis in Memphis – Elvis Presley – 1969 From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis – Elvis Presley – 1969 3614 Jackson Highway – Cher – 1969 Boz Scaggs – Boz Scaggs – 1969 Ton-Ton Macoute! – Johnny Jenkins – 1970 Ace – Bob Weir – 1972 Demon in Disguise – David Bromberg – 1972 Gypsy Cowboy – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1972 The Adventures of Panama Red – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1973 Tales of the Great Rum Runners – Robert Hunter – 1974 Tiger Rose – Robert Hunter – 1975 Reflections – Jerry Garcia – 1976 Cats Under the Stars – Jerry Garcia Band – 1977 Here Goes Nothing – Zero – 1987 Laughing Water – Jazz Is Dead – 1999 Don't Let Go – Jerry Garcia Band – 2001 Worcester, MA, 4/4/73 – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 2003 Pure Jerry: Theatre 1839, San Francisco, July 29 & 30, 1977 – Jerry Garcia Band – 2004 Pure Jerry: Warner Theatre, March 18, 1978 – Jerry Garcia Band – 2005 For Rex: The Black Tie Dye Ball – The Zen Tricksters and various artists – 2006 Pure Jerry: Bay Area 1978 – Jerry Garcia Band – 2009 Garcia Live Volume Four – Jerry Garcia Band – 2014 Garcia Live Volume Seven – Jerry Garcia Band – 2016 Muscle Shoals, Alabama FAME Studios Muscle Shoals Sound Studios Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson official website Grateful Dead official website The Music Never Stopped: The Musical Journey of Donna Jean Godcheaux-McKay From honesttune.com.
Donna Jean Godchaux Interview NAMM Oral History Library
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer and peace activist who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He and fellow member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group achieved worldwide fame during the 1960s. In 1969, Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono, he continued to pursue a solo career following the the Beatles' break-up in April 1970, he was born as John Winston Lennon in Liverpool, where he became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. In 1957, he formed his first band, the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Further to his Plastic Ono Band singles such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Instant Karma!", Lennon subsequently produced albums that included John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, songs such as "Working Class Hero", "Imagine" and "Happy Xmas". After moving to New York City in 1971, he never returned to England for the remainder of his life.
In 1975, he disengaged himself from the music business to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the album Double Fantasy. He was shot and killed in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building three weeks after the album's release. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, drawings, on film and in interviews, he was controversial through his political and peace activism. From 1971 onwards, his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a three-year attempt by the Nixon administration to deport him; some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the larger counterculture. By 2012, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States had exceeded 14 million units, he had 25 number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart as a co-writer or performer. In 2002, Lennon was voted eighth in a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. In 1987, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Lennon was twice posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: first in 1988 as a member of the Beatles and again in 1994 as a solo artist. Lennon was born on 9 October 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital, to Alfred Lennon. Alfred was a merchant seaman of Irish descent, away at the time of his son's birth, his parents named him John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John "Jack" Lennon, Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His father was away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, where Lennon lived with his mother; when he came home six months he offered to look after the family, but Julia, by pregnant with another man's child, rejected the idea. After her sister Mimi complained to Liverpool's Social Services twice, Julia gave her custody of Lennon. In July 1946, Lennon's father visited her and took his son to Blackpool, secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand with him. Julia followed them – with her partner at the time, Bobby Dykins – and after a heated argument, his father forced the five-year-old to choose between them.
In one account of this incident, Lennon twice chose his father, but as his mother walked away, he began to cry and followed her. According to author Mark Lewisohn, Lennon's parents agreed that Julia should take him and give him a home. A witness, there that day, Billy Hall, has said that the dramatic portrayal of a young John Lennon being forced to make a decision between his parents is inaccurate. Lennon had no further contact with Alf for close to 20 years. Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence, Lennon lived at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, with Mimi and her husband George Toogood Smith, who had no children of their own, his aunt purchased volumes of short stories for him, his uncle, a dairyman at his family's farm, bought him a mouth organ and engaged him in solving crossword puzzles. Julia visited Mendips on a regular basis, when John was 11 years old, he visited her at 1 Blomfield Road, where she played him Elvis Presley records, taught him the banjo, showed him how to play "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino.
In September 1980, Lennon commented about his family and his rebellious nature: Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic poet/musician. But I cannot be what I am not... I was the one who all the other boys' parents – including Paul's father – would say, "Keep away from him"... The parents instinctively recognised I was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their children, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend's home... Out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home... but I did... There were five women. Five strong, beautiful women, five sisters. One happened to be my mother. Just couldn't deal with life, she was the youngest and she had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, I ended up living with her elder sister. Now those women were fantastic... And, my first feminist education... I would infiltrate the other boys' minds. I could say, "Parents are not gods because I don't live with mine and, therefore, I know."
He visited his cousin, Stanley Parkes, who lived in Fleetwood and took him on trips to local cinemas. During the school holidays, Parkes visited Lennon with Leila Harvey, another cousin, the threesome travelled to Blackpool two or three times a week to watch shows, they would
Dick's Picks Volume 9
Dick's Picks Volume 9 is the ninth live album in the Dick's Picks series of releases by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded on September 16, 1990 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City during the first tour with new keyboardists Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby; this CD contains the full show from that night. Another Grateful Dead album recorded during the same run of concerts at Madison Square Garden is Road Trips Volume 2 Number 1. "Hell in a Bucket" – 7:03 "Cold Rain & Snow" – 6:42 "Little Red Rooster" – 10:21 "Stagger Lee" – 8:32 "Queen Jane Approximately" – 7:47 "Tennessee Jed" – 10:35 "Cassidy" – 6:26 > "Deal" – 9:48 "Samson and Delilah" – 8:10 "Iko Iko" – 10:15 "Looks Like Rain" – 8:47 "He's Gone" – 16:26 > "No MSG Jam" – 7:50 > "Drums" – 8:59 > "Space" – 10:49 > "Standing on the Moon" – 9:28 > "Lunatic Preserve" – 5:45 > "I Need a Miracle" – 5:19 > "Morning Dew" – 13:12 "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" – 7:35 Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia – lead guitar, vocals Mickey Hart – drums, percussion Bruce Hornsby – accordion, synthesizer, vocals Phil Lesh – bass guitar, vocals Bill Kreutzmann – drums, percussion Bob Weir – rhythm guitar, vocals Vince Welnick – keyboards, vocalsProduction Dan Healy – recording Dick Latvala – tape archivist Jeffrey Norman – CD mastering John Cutler – ferromagnetist Gecko Graphics – package design Susana Millman – photography Dick's Picks series Grateful Dead discography
The harmonica known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, country, rock. There are many types of harmonica, including diatonic, tremolo, octave and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth to direct air into or out of one or more holes along a mouthpiece. Behind each hole is a chamber containing at least one reed. A harmonica reed is a flat elongated spring made of brass, stainless steel, or bronze, secured at one end over a slot that serves as an airway; when the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to produce sound. Reeds are pre-tuned to individual pitches. Tuning may involve changing a reed’s length, the weight near its free end, or the stiffness near its fixed end. Longer and springier reeds produce deeper, lower sounds. If, as on most modern harmonicas, a reed is affixed above or below its slot rather than in the plane of the slot, it responds more to air flowing in the direction that would push it into the slot, i.e. as a closing reed.
This difference in response to air direction makes it possible to include both a blow reed and a draw reed in the same air chamber and to play them separately without relying on flaps of plastic or leather to block the nonplaying reed. An important technique in performance is bending: causing a drop in pitch by making embouchure adjustments, it is possible to bend isolated reeds, as on chromatic and other harmonica models with wind-savers, but to both lower, raise the pitch produced by pairs of reeds in the same chamber, as on a diatonic or other unvalved harmonica. Such two-reed pitch changes involve sound production by the silent reed, the opening reed; the basic parts of the harmonica are reed plates and cover plates. The comb is the main body of the instrument, when assembled with the reedplates, forms air chambers for the reeds; the term comb may originate from the similarity between this part of a hair comb. Harmonica combs were traditionally made from wood but now are made from plastic or metal.
Some modern and experimental comb designs are complex in the way. There is dispute among players about; those saying no argue that, unlike the soundboard of a piano or the top piece of a violin or guitar, a harmonica's comb is neither large enough nor able to vibrate enough to augment or change the sound. Among those saying yes are those who are convinced by their ears. Few dispute, that comb surface smoothness and air-tightness when mated with the reedplates can affect tone and playability; the main advantage of a particular comb material over another one is its durability. In particular, a wooden comb can absorb moisture from the player's breath and contact with the tongue; this can cause the comb to expand making the instrument uncomfortable to play, to contract compromising air tightness. Various types of wood and treatments have been devised to reduce the degree of this problem. An more serious problem with wood combs in chromatic harmonicas, is that, as the combs expand and shrink over time, cracks can form in the combs, because the comb is held immobile by nails, resulting in disabling leakage.
Much effort is devoted by serious players to sealing leaks. Some players used to soak wooden-combed harmonicas in water to cause a slight expansion, which they intended to make the seal between the comb, reed plates and covers more airtight. Modern wooden-combed harmonicas are less prone to swelling and contracting. Players still dip harmonicas in water for the way it affects ease of bending notes; the reed plate is a grouping of several reeds in a single housing. The reeds are made of brass, but steel and plastic are used. Individual reeds are riveted to the reed plate, but they may be welded or screwed in place. Reeds fixed on the inner side of the reed plate respond to blowing, while those fixed on the outer side respond to suction. Most harmonicas are constructed with the reed plates bolted to the comb or each other. A few brands still use the traditional method of nailing the reed plates to the comb; some experimental and rare harmonicas have had the reed plates held in place by tension, such as the WWII era all-American models.
If the plates are bolted to the comb, the reed plates can be replaced individually. This is useful because the reeds go out of tune through normal use, certain notes of the scale can fail more than others. A notable exception to the traditional reed plate design is the all-plastic harmonicas designed by Finn Magnus in the 1950s, in which the reed and reed plate were molded out of a single piece of plastic; the Magnus design had the reeds, reed plates and comb made of plastic and either molded or permanently glued together. Cover plates cover the reed plates and are made of metal, though wood and plastic have been used; the choice of these is personal. There are two types of cover plates: traditional open designs of stamped metal or plastic, which are there to be held