The diatonic autoharp is a zither-like instrument with a hollow, trapezoid-shaped wooden body. it has 37 strings which are tuned to support a specific key and cover a dynamic range of 2 1/2 to 3 octaves. A series of damping bars, or chord bars, is mounted above the string bed and allows the player to selectively mute strings by applying pressure to a chord bar. The autoharp is held upright against the body and strummed or plucked to produce chords and notes with harp-like tones.
The autoharp had its beginnings as an early twentieth-century parlor instrument. Over the decades, it has evolved into a serious musical instrument capable of producing music of great beauty and complexity. Its ringing, bell-like quality blends well with many different stringed instruments and musical styles. This recording is a testament to the autoharp's versatility and potential.
The tunes recorded on this album are some of my personal favorites, from bluegrass to classical and everything in between. I hope they make you smile, tap your foot, laugh out loud, catch your breath and breathe a sigh. My hope is that you will enjoy this music as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Jo Ann Smith