The Structure of the Harmonica
Materials of a harmonica
Everything from plastic to wood
The body encased by the metallic covers is often made of plastic, but it is sometimes made of wood. The model in the photograph uses maple wood. A single board has been carved with numerous channels to let air through. Compared to other types of wood, maple is harder to chip and has excellent workability. Another benefit is that the texture warps very little even after absorbing saliva during play. It is also very responsive when played.
The plates and reeds are made from brass. The reeds, in particular, are made from a highly malleable alloy called reed brass that contains around 0.7% zinc.