was engaged exclusively for the instrument as late as 1818.
Attempts have been made to improve or modify the harmonica by substituting a violin bow for the hand, or by reducing the peculiarly penetrating and exciting tone which is said to be so prejudicial to the nerves of players—but without success. An account of these and of much more than can be included in this short statement will be found in C. F. Pohl's 'Zur Geschichte der Glasharmonica' (Vienna, 1862). One Method only exists for this instrument, that of J. C. Müller, Leipzig, 1788. A specimen of the harmonica, built by Emanuel Pohl of Kreibitz, Bohemia, is in the South Kensington Museum.
The following little piece for the Harmonica was composed by Beethoven for the 'Leonora Prohaska' of his friend Duncker in 1814 or 15. The autograph is preserved in the Library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde at Vienna, and has not before been published.
The name Harmonica is now used for a toy-instrument of plates of glass hung on two tapes and struck with hammers.
HARMONICHORD. A keyed instrument invented in 1810 by Friedrich Kaufmann, the celebrated musical instrument maker of Dresden. In its form it resembled a small square piano; but the sound was obtained not by striking the wires with hammers, but by the friction against them of a revolving cylinder (as in the ordinary hurdy-gurdy), covered with leather, and rosined. This cylinder, which in the effect it produced somewhat resembled the bow of a violin, was set in motion by a pedal worked by the foot of the player. All gradations of tone, as well as the power of swelling or diminishing the sound upon a sustained note were produced by the pressure of the finger. For this instrument Weber composed in the year 1811 a very interesting adagio and rondo, with orchestral accompaniment, which is published by Peters, of Leipzig. Weber wrote concerning this composition—'It was an infernal piece of work to write for an instrument whose tone is so peculiar and strange that one has to call to one's aid the liveliest imagination to bring it suitably forward in combination with other instruments. It is a cousin of the harmonica, and has this peculiarity, that with every sustained note its octave is prominently heard.' On the printed title-page it is said to be 'for Harmonichord or Harmonium
.' This, however, is an addition of the publisher; as not only are the two instruments totally distinct, but the physharmonica, the predecessor of the harmonium, was not invented till about fifteen years later.
HARMONICON, THE, a monthly musical periodical edited by W. Ayrton, commenced January 1823, and continued until September 1833. It contained ably written memoirs of eminent musicians, some of the earlier being accompanied by engraved portraits, essays, reviews of new music, correspondence, criticisms of musical performances of all kinds, foreign musical news, information on all subjects interesting to musicians, and original and selected vocal and instrumental music. It was of quarto size, in 22 vols., and is the best musical periodical ever published in England.
HARMONICS, tones of higher pitch which accompany every perfect musical sound in a regular series. As they ascend they diminish in intensity, and approximate in pitch. If the piano be opened and a note—say D in the bass—be struck smartly and kept down, on listening attentively a succession of faint sounds will be heard, apparently rising out of the principal sound and floating round it. These are the harmonics. They are really constituents of the main musical tone, and are produced by the concurrent vibration of the aliquot parts of the string. Hence Helmholtz proposes to call them 'partial tones' (Partialtöne
). This term is no doubt more appropriate, inasmuch as above the tenth degree most of these notes form intervals dissonant from the prime note and also from each other, and thus become perceptibly inharmonic. On the best musical instruments, however, these high inharmonic tones are not reached, the vibratory impulse being exhausted on the prime note and the lower harmonics, which are consonant