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DENVER — The sound is unmistakable and instantly recognizable. The harmonica. Invented in Germany but is now a part of the American fabric.

“Importers on the East Coast had them by about the 1840s, but they really took hold when the mail order catalogs started coming out,” said Winslow Yerxa, president of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica.

Sad or soulful, it’s hard not to feel something when you hear it, and you’re going to hear a lot of them at the SPAH Convention at the DIA Crowne Plaza Hotel in Denver.

“This show is about people who love the harmonica, whether they play it or not. Most do,” Yerxa said.

Thousands of mouth organ lovers will be showing, blowing and going on about the little harp at the five-day show. From tiny four hole harps to the big two fisters, you’ll find them at this show.

“If you like the sound you’re hearing, and you look at that and say, ‘Gee, I’d like to do that,’ well that’s the time to take the step,” Yerxa said.