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Aharon Wheels Bolsta

Aharon wheels bolsta with evan fraser calabash tabla ngoni world music kalimba

Jaw Harp

The jaw harp, an ubiquitous yet rare instrument, also known as the dan moi, morsing, maranzano, and “scacciapienseri”: the banisher of thoughts. Small yet powerful. 

Morsing, Dan Moi, Vargan, Khomus, Doromb. Jaw harps are also known as mouth harps (but that can be confused with a reference to the harmonica). A long time ago — and some people still use this term– they were called Jew’s harp in English, for unknown reasons (many theories exist but they are not an instrument common in any Jewish genre of music). I will add some links to scholarly articles on the subject. In England and Ireland, they are sometimes called trumps or trump harps, but for obvious reasons, this term is to be avoided… at least til we’re out of this mess in the USA! 

Aharon jaw harp genggong Bali-1
Aharon Wheels Bolsta Jaw Harp-Dan moi with Brian Carter

More About Jaw Harps

I specialize in the South Indian or Carnatic “morsing” which is focused entirely on rhythm, using the Konakul rhythmic language that is the foundation of all Carnatic rhythm.  I have also been developing some melodic skills as well on the “Doromb, Vargan, Khomus, Genggong, and Parmupill” which are from Hungary; Russia and Belarus; Altai, Tuva, and Kyrgyzstan; Bali; and Estonia, respectively.

Besides short engagements studying with masters such as Pak Nyoman Suwida (Bali), Subash Chandran (Chennai, India), and visiting teachers from Central Asia, I’ve had the chance to perform in the San Francisco Jaw Harp Ensemble under the guidance of the inimitable Mark Growden since 2018. My early mentors were friends Evan Fraser, Neptune Chapotin, and Jim Santi Owen.



Jaw Harp is one of several instruments I Play & Teach

Sound Healing

Aharon is a sound healer, offering emotional and energetic healing through sound and voice as well as musical support to healing salons, ceremonies, and sessions.

Aharon practicing jaw harp genggong in Bali – 2017

Jaw Harp Videos

Ta Synkoketa - The S.F. Jaw Harp Choir

Live concert at SF Mission Basilica with Evan Fraser, Mark Growden and the rest of the crew!

Aharon Wheels Bolsta - Jaw Harp Improvisation

Live concert improvisation playing with 5 against 4 pattern and 10/8 juxtaposition.