Thursday, 6 October 2016

Practice Models

Flauta paleolítica What I most ached for on the mountain was a musical instrument. They're like languages, each complete and distinct and irreplaceable. Sadly, of the several I play, only the harmonica is easily carried. Which is why I learned it, but as I never acquired the true harpist's seatbelt-sense of "nowhere without it", I'd managed to forget mine before leaving. And I missed it every day.

Flautists have it figured out: a simple tube, and a jackknife with a reamer, and you've got music. Archaeologists believe that, percussion excepted, the transverse flute was the first instrument we invented.

Of course, simplicity on that order demands complexity on another. I tried to learn, once.

And so, the harmonica. Because anything your instrument won't do for you, you have to find in yourself.

(Photo of 43,000-year-old Aurignacian bone flute, which clearly demanded more talent than I have, courtesy of José-Manuel Benito, Parque de la Prehistoria de Teverga, and Wikimedia Commons. Photo of my old Hohner Chromonica model also courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)
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