The Harmony Company
In the 1930s, even the venerable Harmony Company,
manufacturers of a wide variety of conventional stringed
instruments, got into the fretless zither business. They produced
two types. The first was an attempt to cash in on the Hawaiian
music craze - its melody strings were tuned to an A chord and played
with a slide, and it was labeled either Hawaiian Harp or Honolulu
The second, the Hill Country Harp, was a startling throwback to the
Harp-O-Chord of the early 1900s - it used
a harmonica, clamped in a
swiveling bracket, for its melody. And it used probably the most
economic means ever of generating accompaniment chords, producing 4
chords out of only 9 strings. There
were individual bass notes for each chord, and a single set of 5
for the remainder of the chord. A set of keys, reminiscent of
those on the oriental bulbul
tarang, fretted vaying subsets of this
group to change their notes into chords which fit with the different
The 1931 catalog from the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. included a listing
for the Hawaiian Guitar Harp (although the instrument itself was
labeled "Hawaiian Harp"). The 1934 Sears catalog lists the Hill
These don't appear to have been on the market very long, but there
are still plenty of examples around - often they can be found with
their original instruction books.
Drop me a line.
Go back to the Guitar-Zither Clearinghouse, or home.
This page was last updated with Mozilla Composer 20 Apr 05.