It is said that music has been an integral part of human society for the past 35000 years. The people of the active community used music as a source of entertainment and sometimes used it to scare away wild animals. Since then, over 1500 different musical instruments are said to have developed throughout history.
There are many popular musical instruments we come across now and then, for example, piano, harmonium, guitar, sitar, tabla, etc. But one question may arise: what is the world’s best-selling musical instrument? Let us try to find an answer to this question.
Musical instrument with the highest number of sales
Among the most popular musical instruments, the one with the highest sales is the harmonica, the mouth organ. In the 18th century, this musical instrument is said to have emerged for the first time in China and was known as ‘Sheng’. Gradually, the popularity of harmonica started spreading throughout Europe and America. By the late 1800s, the harmonica was one of the most popular musical instruments in the west.
Today, south-east Asian countries are leading manufacturers of the harmonica. Every year around 3 million harmonicas are sold on average. The leading countries with the most harmonica sales are the United States and China.
Hohner is the leading harmonica manufacturing company that has manufactured more than 3 billion Harmonicas since the 19th century. The average cost of a harmonica ranges from 50 to 100 USD making it one of the cheapest and most easily affordable musical instruments in the world.
Types of Harmonica
There are three types of Harmonica in the market, namely, Tremolo, Chromatic and Diatonic. Tremolo, or the 24-hole harmonica, is the most popular type of harmonica in the world. Almost every tune can be played on a harmonica quite easily.
The main reason why the diatonic harmonica is not so popular is that it can play all tones at almost a similar scale and lacks specific variations. Similarly, the chromatic can also play all techniques at only a chromatic scale. But on the other hand, the Tremolo can change scale and bring variations to all the styles played.
Reasons for Harmonica Being So Popular
Despite having so many types of popular musical instruments, the harmonica is the highest-selling musical instrument in the world. This is because of several reasons mentioned below.
Easy to available
The easy availability of the harmonica makes it a popular musical instrument. All musical instruments might not be available in all music stores, but the harmonica will be available at all the stores.
Easy to carry
The Harmonica is a small musical instrument whose average length is only 15 to 20 cm. This makes it easy to carry. One can easily fit the harmonica in the pocket. It is lightweight and user-friendly.
The low cost of the harmonica makes it easily affordable for all. So everyone can buy a harmonica easily.
Easy to learn
The harmonica is easy to learn. It is not a musical instrument that requires years of practice for expertise. With just training for a year or so, one can quickly learn to play the harmonica. This is a significant reason why sales of the harmonica are on the rise.
Style for youth
In Hollywood and Bollywood movies of the 60s, 70s and 80s, the harmonica was portrayed as a style element for the youth. Often the actors were seen playing the harmonica in the movies. This made the musical instrument popular among youth and boosted its sales.
Lastly, the music of the harmonica is lovely and soothing to the ears. Everyone wants to learn how to play the instrument, and so they are seen buying the harmonica.
Advantage of Harmonica over other Musical Instruments
The harmonica is a tiny and lightweight musical instrument that is easy to carry. It is an instrument which has almost zero maintenance cost. The device is readily available in nearly all music stores and is cheap and affordable. All tunes and scales can be played on this instrument very quickly, and it is also straightforward to learn to play it. The device has emerged as a style icon for the youth and is also one of the most popular musical instruments in the world.
So, considering all the above factors, we see that the harmonica is very successful in becoming the best-selling musical instrument in the world.
The harmonica, which emerged in the 18th century, gradually gained popularity and has successfully become the world’s highest-selling musical instrument. Be it western music or Indian music; harmonica looks fit everywhere. Every genre of music can be played using the harmonica. It is cheap, affordable and has zero maintenance cost. It is readily available in almost all music stores. It is easy to carry and learn anywhere at any time. It is, therefore, indeed the world’s highest-selling musical instrument.
1. In which country did Harmonica originate?
In the 18th century, this musical instrument is said to have emerged for the first time in China and was known as ‘Sheng’.
2. What is the cost of a Harmonica?
The average cost of a harmonica ranges from 50 to 100 USD making it one of the cheapest and most easily affordable musical instruments in the world.
3. What are the types of Harmonica?
There are three types of Harmonica in the market, namely, Tremolo, Chromatic and Diatonic.
4. Which type of harmonica is the most popular?
Tremolo, or the 24-hole harmonica, is the most popular type of harmonica in the world.