Trumpet Call harmonicas


The harmonica (nicknamed “harp” by blues players) has been used by generations of rock and roll musicians influenced by blues tradition, especially Little Walter Jacobs’s of the Muddy Waters band. This set of harmonicas in a repurposed clarinet case was used by Paul Butterfield, founder and bandleader of the Butterfield Blues Band. He kept his main harps in common keys on top of the case’s red cover, with backup instruments in the interior. The large decorative harmonica was a gift from Hohner. Butterfield’s group, also featuring influential guitarist Mike Bloomfield, performed at iconic events such as the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, 
the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and Woodstock in 1969.

Technical Description:
Collection of diatonic harmonicas in all keys, different Hohner models including Trumpet Call, Golden Melody, and Pocket Pal; stored in clarinet case

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199

Public Domain

Object Details

Artist: Hohner (German, Trossingen founded in 1857)

Artist: Paul Butterfield

Date: ca. 1967

Medium: Wood, metal

Dimensions: Case:
Length: 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
Width: 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)

Classification: Aerophone-Free Reed-mouth organ

Credit Line: Courtesy of Kathy Butterfield

The harmonica set and case was used by Paul Butterfield throughout his career and became passed along to Kathy Butterfield on his death in 1987.