The bending and overbending technique has greatly changed over the last years. Knowledge has grewn, and, thanks to Sebastien Charlier, we now know that we only need 4 tongue positions to get all the bendings and overbendings available on the instrument.

And moreover, we also know that, using the appropriate technique , bended notes can sound good enough to play melodies that sound great. This is a major breakthrough in the way we deem the instrument.

To depict this change, and to encourage diatonic harmonica players to be creative, we decided to start a friendly challenge : the Marche d’Aincourt challenge.

Jérôme Peyrelvade ( ) has composed the Marche d’Aincourt, a piece that you can find in the Valentine Goby’s audio book « Un paquebot dans les arbres ».

We think this piece offers a pretty good way to see what we can do to play melodic using bendings. The piece is in F# minor and features lots of F#, G#, A,C#, F (E#) in the lower range, that you can get using bendings on a C harmonica.

Jérôme kindly agreed to embark on the challenge, and provided the first part of the score (the score is written for a lydian tuning, but it doesn’t really matters since the 5 draw is not played).

You can listen to the theme here :

Click here to listen to the theme in context from the Valentine Goby’s audiobook “Le paquebot dans les arbres”:
























The challenge rules :

  • Play the 24 first bars of the piece on a C Richter or Lydian diatonic harp.
  • No tone effect outside of some reverb or compression effects.
  • Tempo at your convenience, but close enough to the original one.
  • Updload you file (sound or video), using the widget below, before the 15th of December 2018 or give us the link to your sound through in a message to our facebook (
  • Write a message to our facebook account ( to give your name, email and the name of the file you’ve uploaded or send an email at laurent.vigouroux at (replace ” at ” by “@”)

After the deadline, our grand jury will assess each recording through the following set of criteria :

  • Pitch
  • Timbre
  • Attack and note sustainability
  • Expression
  • Overall assessment

The prizes :

  • 1rst prize : a Brodur diatonic harmonica, setup by Jérôme. Big thanks to Raymond Brodur to have offered the harp!
  • 2nd prize : the textbook « Réglages de l’harmonica diatonique » (how to set up a diatonic harmonica), by Jérôme, derived from the brand new series «Les cahiers de l’harmonica », driven by Sébastien Charlier.
  • 3rd prize: The album+partition pack of Somewhere on the Edge of Time, by Jérôme Peyrelevade
  • 3rd prize : a NextGen or a “3 ‘ ‘ ‘=3°” or “4’=6°”  T-shirt

We are waiting for your submissions !!!

Should you have any question, please feel free to contact us through our Facebook.

Laurent Vigouroux