Click the photo to hear the sound.
The ah2

(Autoharp 2)

by Matthew H.

I made a instrument very similar to an auto harp. I got the idea for this from playing a instrument called the auto harp, (as above) in music class it seemed rather hard to hold, but it seemed that it would make a good instrument. My version of the auto harp (lets call it ah2) is a stringed instrument, strung with a large rubber band. The strange thing about this instrument is that you look at it and the first thing that comes to mind is the color brown. It has a medium large range of tones, varying with the key that was pressed. Unfortunately there is a down side to it. The tone quality is not the greatest, and its general volume is soft.

The ah2 is made from a shoe box, a piece of wood, a rubber band, craft sticks, and some tacky glue. I got these materials from the craft shelf in my house. The piece of wood has a not so appealing brown edge, although the multiple colored craft sticks go very nicely with the rest of this instrument.

I made the ah2 from a brown shoe box that I had already poked holes in for the keys, and the keys tug the string acting as a bridge for the instrument. I placed the wood board over the back end of the shoe box making a area for the music book to be placed. The string is pushed or pulled to make the bridge, and then the string is plucked.

The ah2 is played with one or two people. Technically it is easier with two players, but both players must time it perfectly or a note is double played or isn't played at all. It is played by having a key pulled or pushed and, having the band plucked. To change the tone just move to a different key. With two people you would have each of them play part of it (one would push the keys and the other would pull the string). To alter the volume you would pull the string back further and release from there.

My first reaction to this project was to find supplies. All that day that's what I thought about , but over that week it rapidly went farther down on the list of things to do, (which in my case is mental). As it turned out I just made do with the stuff on the craft shelf that my mother made. The part I liked most was just thinking about all the possible instruments to do. I learned queit a bit about music by building my own instrument. First I learned that a thin flap of wood or paper helps the sound quality. I also learned that a key can work as a bridge. I really enjoyed making this instrument and I would like to make another.