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Bill Price: To the Critics

  (The field of my invention includes the full tone formula)

It seems the premise for challenging my invention (the coupled 20 hole Richter diatonic harmonica) is predicated on the fact that I didn’t invent the harmonica itself and that others in the past used multiple diatonic harmonicas. Of course, none joined them permanently in order to form a new instrument in either semi or whole combinations. All the arguing, conjecture and criticism is irrelevant now, a moot point. My video evidence featuring the 20 hole Richter buries the critics.

The first thing some of these critics fail to see is that each variety of harmonica is an individual instrument. The chromatic, diatonic, tremolo, etc., are instruments in their own right. All these harmonicas do things that the other harmonicas are not suitably equipped for, or simply cannot do. The tremolo is a superb individual instrument and a harmonica, but it cannot adequately deliver in genres like country or the blues because of its particular design.

The “coupled” Richter 20 hole diatonic can do what other harmonicas cannot. (This is the first characteristic necessary for qualifying any instrument as unique in its own right.) In other words it would be impossible to copy such without the coupled whole tone design and a facilitating method to animate its particular reed arrangement. The chromatic harmonica borrowed from already existing individual harmonicas and combined the semi-tone key order to consolidate a chromatic scale into a smaller space.  So was this a true invention? Answer: Of Course! All that was needed was a method for facilitating this different idea into another unique instrument with its innovative valves and a slide apparatus. Can the chromatic do what other harmonicas cannot? Answer: Absolutely! Is it a new harmonica instrument? Yes!

It’s apparent that once the Buschmann 21 blow reed harmonica was invented the foundation for all the other modern harmonicas had been given birth. So, did Joseph Richter subsequently invent a new harmonica? Absolutely! Did he invent it from scratch? Absolutely not! It can be said that once the free reed, breath actuated concept was conceived and then invented, that all other future designs were latent products. In other words future harmonicas were waiting for innovators to rearrange and develop methods for playing these specialized/rearranged free reed instruments.

Coupled whole tone Richter diatonic harmonicas present a more full reed arrangement that requires yet another method for playing.. The 20 hole, whole tone offspring possesses all  the necessary characteristics to qualify it as an instrument in its own right, just like the chromatic and the  tremolo. It can do what the others cannot. It provides a distinct niche recognizable among the other instruments in the harmonica family. I took what was already in existence since 1826 and rearranged a design through combinations not in common use. Four years ago I made permanent whole tone key arrangements and developed/invented the “Coupling Method” creating a new Richter 20 hole diatonic harmonica. It can do things other harmonicas cannot do.

This is my public notice: I have filed my invention in the U.S. Patent office. The field of my invention includes the whole-tone formula. After doing an international patent search I received a green light, (no other filings using my concept for the Coupling Method were found). I finally began my public demonstrations (see my video and technique pages) and I am proud to present the new 20 hole Richter diatonic harmonica. My two and a half year video history features unique and exciting exhibitions of this new invention.  The newest harmonica in the family is the 20 hole, whole tone Richter diatonic harmonica.

Finally, where have the other whole tone coupled diatonic demonstrators been? Have such kept their video evidence archived in some remote music catacomb? Why the mysterious silence till just recently?  Answer: Probably busy watching me for the last 30 months and absorbing my research and development.

Bill Price, inventor of the Coupling Method for the 20 hole Richter diatonic harmonica



Date →
Dec 26
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  • Tom McCara Says:

    I am VERY interested in your invention! The harmonica (aka Blues Harp) has been my instrument of choice for many years now, and I’m excited to experience an innovation that could revolutionize the harp!

    I’m excited for the chance to work with you.

  • My Nick Name Says:

    Mr. Price, well said 😀

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