Harmonica and Orchestra: a magic encounter.

At times, before a performance, conductors glance at me somewhat anxiously. 

In the backdrop of a powerful orchestra, with an eminent theatre behind them, they look at the tiny harmonica in my hand with a bit of doubt.  But as the music begins, the little instrument soon liberates the magic of its captivating sound.   Considering the small size and acute pitch of the harmonica, one might not easily imagine this instrument as part of an orchestra concert.  But the orchestra's texture supports and mellows the harmonica's sharpness and the result is surprisingly harmonious.  

Great instrumentalists of the past, such as Tommy Reilly or Larry Adler have been of great inspiration to composers, enabling them to create a surprising and evocative repertoire for this instrument.

Below is a partial list of original pieces written for harmonica.  They have been subdivided by ensemble type (symphonic and chamber orchestra repertoire).


Repertorio Sinfonico

Heitor Villa Lobos

Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra


Darius Milhaud

Suite Anglaise for Harmonica and Orchestra


Malcom Arnold

Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra


Arthur Benjamin

Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra


Robert Farnon

Prelude and Dance for Harmonica and Orchestra.


Repertorio Sinfonico-Cameristico

Gordon Jacob

Five Pieces for Harmonica and Strings


Gordon Jacob

Divertimento for Harmonica and Strings

(Originale per Harmonica e Quartetto d’Archi)


Luciano Chailly

Improvvisazione nr. 9 per Harmonica Orchestra d'Archi Percussione


R. Vaughan Williams

Romance for Harmonica Strings and Piano


Ennio Morricone

Immobile nr. 2 per Harmonica ed Archi

(World Premiere G.Littera Tokyo Maggio 2001)


Vilem Tausky

Concertino for Harmonica Strings Harp and percussion


Alan Hovhaness

Seven Greek Folk Dances for Harmonica and Strings



Las 4 Estagiones para Harmonica y Orquesta de Cuerdas

(Arrangiamento G.Littera)



Pavana per Harmonica e Archi

(Trascrizione e arrangiamento G.Littera)




(Trascrizione e arrangiamento G.Littera)


James Moody

Toledo per Harm. e Archi

(Riduz. dall'originale per Harmonica e Orchestra).