or jaws harp, Maultrommel, guimbarde, mondharp, etc
The 5-tone jew’s harp is a newly developed instrument. Like a regular jew’s harp, you shape the overtones with your mouth, but it has 5 different fundamental tones, instead of one single drone tone.
This makes it possible to play basic melodies and bass lines, while accessing the overtones of each tone played. It is like playing 2 instruments simultaneously, and great fun.
The instrument has 5 differently tuned tines made of tempered spring steel, held on a brass frame. The size is 20 x 8 cm. The tips of the tines are placed close to each other, so you can alternate between the tones quickly and easily.
You hold the 5-tone jew’s harp with both hands, the right thumb pressing against the pointed end. With the index- and middle finger of the right hand you pluck the different tines.
The mouth is positioned behind the tine being played, and by changing the shape of your mouth and oral cavity, the tone is varied and you play through the overtone series of each tine, like with an ordinary jew’s harp.
As you pluck different tines, you move the instrument so your mouth stays right behind the tine being played. This takes some practising.
With 5 tones there are lots of tunings possible between the bass notes. I found that a basic pentatonic scale makes the most sense musically, though many sorts of tunings are possible. The standard tuning is: C D F G A (C2 - A2).