Hear That Country Harmonica!

by eager-herschel

If you’ve ever been in the countryside and taken a bus, train or plane, you have no doubt heard the final note in the “U” chord played over the loudspeakers. In fact, it has become a national pastime to create a unique sound of its own.

Many of these local musicians and songwriters collect notes from people they meet. They make up different chords and melodies, and sometimes incorporate other instruments into their composition.

When you are in the countryside, pay attention to the local events that occur. You may be able to hear their unique sound and play a little of it.

One note. Sounds like a few notes? It’s when all of the notes change, starting off slowly, with only one note and then picking up the tempo over time.

This unusual and unique sound is called baritone harmonics. They are also called “common tones”. The way they sound is when a piece of music contains a chord or the same notes as another piece of music.

Sometimes, when you’re in the vicinity of a strange sound, you may see people talking about it, not knowing what it is or how to identify it. In some places, a note-quality is simply a rumble, but in others, it is accompanied by a pitched-down, shrill noise. Whatever the case, all local people will know what you’re talking about.

It is this sound that comes from a country song. The next time you travel to the countryside, pay attention to any unusual noises and try to pick up on the note.

Maybe you heard a strange country church organist singing at a serene Sunday morning gathering. After all, he was in a rural area, too. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to match his sound and match his melody.

Or, it could be a strange sound you heard on the back roads near a mountain lake. In the woods, it is hard to make out a song when the winds are picking up. The occasional rustle of leaves is usually enough to identify the music.

It could be the harp player strumming her melody while she sings to the villagers. Or, it could be the sound you heard when walking along a road at night. There may be cars honking and light vehicles in the area too, which can be heard through the woods.

As you listen, you may come to find out that you’re hearing the strange sound for the fourth time. Sometimes, this is because of its unique sound and some people want to duplicate it, so they start writing music of their own.

In the rural events I attend, I listen for notes, chords and melody. I am always amazed at the sound the chord makes when played along with the melody. Often, I may hear it twice and the third time, the sounds are an odd mixture of notes and chords.

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