In 1881, Charles Zimmerman invented the Autoharp.  In the 1960’s, Rhythm Band began to import Chromaharps from Japan.  They are much the same instrument.  Both have 36 strings and buttons on bars to press down, each bar pressed down produces a different chord.  Elementary music teachers nearly always have one or the other in the instrument cabinet in the classroom.  Much more can be done with an Autoharp or Chromaharp than simple strumming.  Fancier strums can be employed, and there is a way to do some picking. Folksingers often include an Autoharp in their collection of  instruments they use to accompany themselves. Mother Maybelle Carter is one of the best known autoharp players. It’s a much more versatile instrument than many people realize.  Mel Bay’s Complete Method for Autoharp or Chromaharp has 48 lessons teaching everything from learning to read music and tuning to advanced strumming.  This book of sheet music for Autoharp was written by Meg Peterson, and includes a CD.  For more information about this or other Autoharp music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Categories: Folk Music, Staff Picks

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