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Credits

Harponline - Patrons and Promotors

HARPONLINE.DE was a one man show.

Nevertheless, there are only a few things that I can claim to have found myself.
What I have done: Put the puzzle parts together as they were raining down from the Internet heaven at the change of the millenium.

Some of those parts have been more significant than others and those gave me an idea about the whole picture at an early time. If there is something outstanding in my character at all, then maybe the ability to see the big picture, to find the road and then walk it to the very end.

Therefore I would like to say thank you to all the people who turned out to be the most significant parts of the puzzle. Those who have walked by my side for quite a while and have helped to design the picture.

Michael Timler, former owner

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The Harponline Customers

7000 customers all over the world have been the backbone of Harponline. Many have been our friends. Very often, we have been the emergency accommodation in the middle of the night.
And how often have we been invited ourselves!
The sympathy, patience, the cooperativeness, tolerance and -most cordially- the peacefulness of our community was more than words can say. An inspiration that gave us power during a lot of very long working days.
Some of those contacts lead us to France, Liechtenstein, Switzerland the Netherlands and Italy, later to Brazil, USA and Singapore.
Many of our customers were great musicians and all of them had a musical desire that made their heart beat in away only musicians can understand and some audience can hear.

If you are interested, go to the Harponline Customers Page to get the picture.
(Please excuse broken links)

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Franz Chmel

In my opinion, Franz Chmel is the greatest classical virtuoso on the chromatic harmonica the planet has ever seen. That no one knows him except the insiders of the harmonica scene doesn''t change that fact at all.
I had the good fortune to run into Franz when requesting a CD of his and because he liked me anyway, he told me how he kept his harmonicas in shape. For he practiced up to 8 hours a day his wearout on harmonica reeds was immense. He changed the reeds using a system that Richard Farrell had established in the US and the fact that it worked for Franz was enough field testing for me anyway. He agreed to make his repair system accessable to a large audience by the label ''chmel-classic''. I was the one to built the site and I took the photographs of him at work. Chmel-classic was  a long way runner on the internet among harmonica players within days.

I am deeply indepted to Franz Chmel. He was the initial spark of Harponline.

Franz Chmel Homepage
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Howard Levy

No one will deny that Howard Levy is the most important and best virtuoso on the diatonic harmonica, the most radical innovator in the playing techniques for this instrument. No superlative describes this brilliant musician. Howard Levy has the same influence on the diatonic harmonica as Bach and Paganini for the classical world.

Howard''s performances and workshops at our festivals gave Harponline a tremendous boost. During many common hours on German motorways I got to know him to be extraordinarily educated, a fascinating storyteller and I often wished to not having to hand him over to an audience in the evening.
We have become kind of friends, a top in my life.

Howard Levy Homepage
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Steve Baker

Steve was one of the first people who recognized the potential behind the Harponline project. He ''drilled the wire'' into Hohner company and was responsible for the fact that Harponline  could get hold of individual harmonica reeds from the factory in the year 2003 already.
We were able to further develop this cooperation constantly, whether as a web designer and admin of his Harmonica Masters Workshops webpage between 2011 and 2013 or during the production of the Hohner Harmonica Service Workshop DVD.
Without Steve there would not have been so much oil in the gearbox of the Harponline project and I will be forever grateful for that.

Steve Baker Homepage
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Klaus Rohwer

I met Klaus in the German Harpchat. I was just organizing the Harponline 2001 Harmonica Summit when it turned out that he lived in Ulm, which was exactly where the event was to take place. And he was there, helping always and everywhere, and in 2008 it was the same.
Klaus operates a website http://www.klausrohwer.de/ (German only) with extremely interesting and unique information. Klaus Rohwer''s small harmonica physics is essential reading.

Klaus is not only a real scientist but also an SEO genius. The link from his pages to Harponline acquired 30% of all traffic from Germany in the beginning and I learnt a lot from his experiments and his page.
His willingness to help whenever we needed his help was amazing.

Klaus Rohwer Webpage
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Ken Harrison

The acquaintanceship with Ken Harrison was triggered by a misdirected e-mail. Some emails later, Ken and I were very quick to agree that he would translate the Harponline pages into proper English. Nobody could have done this better than he: He was unbeatable as a native speaker and as a professional jazz drummer and arranger in both music theory and musicianship. We have often been discussing for hours about half a sentence. Ken and I developed an online authoring system to implement the translations promptly and smoothly.
In 2004, we introduced the Ken Harrison Homepage on the net.
It contains, inter alia, his nearly 1,000-page biography in English for download .
Ken died in 2012 at the age of more than 70 years, a friend with whom I, beside the translation works, had plenty of stimulating philosophical discussions and to me, he always was a wise counselor.
By the way: this translation was made by Google, enforcedly, and it doesn''t sound smart, right?
Ken''s smart translations went directly into player''s hearts and were the entrance door to the English speaking part of the harmonica world market.

Ken Harrison Memorial Page
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Dieter Raber

Dieter called me one day, because he wanted to buy a harmonica. But the consultation went the other way around. The call ended up in a project to launch a shop software that could do more:

A key to the implementation of the Harponline service system!

I was very skeptical.........Dieter however was determined to get to work, and without ever having met face by face, just communicating via phone and email, I met a genius of logic and mathematics and a winning spirit, never loosing track.

Without Dieter, the success of Harponline would not have happened.
And the software is still running......

Laurent Vigouroux

Laurent Vigouroux

Laurent was one of the first Harponline customers from France. It turned out pretty fast that he was the chief editor of the French online magazine "Planet Harmonica".

For Harponline always was the first to have hands on latest harmonica launches (sometimes even before the official launch of the manufacturers), I could give him current test models for review for the magazine.Our intensive dialogue led me to southern France in 2004 where I spent some unforgettable days in his home as guest of the family.

Laurent was an enthusiastic supporter of the Harponline service philosophy, and for his well balanced and, with all due benevolence, always critical reporting I owe him a part of the good reputation of Harponline in France.


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Frank Evers

Probably, Frank in his reserved nature does not necessarily agree that I credit him here, however, pushing my luck:Before Frank became a moderator of the German Harpchat and jack-black.de we knew each other already from many threads. We spoke on the phone from time to time and of course Frank was also a customer of Harponline. His calm and deeply rooted character was the wonderful balance to my impulsive mind, and he became - almost unnoticed - my advisor and companion. We got to know each other in person since his participation at the Harponline Harmonica Festival 2008, where Frank moderated the panel discussion. I could always ask him for advice and his counsel was always honest, straightforward and - above all - without taking sides.

Frank, thank you for the many fire fighting rescue missions.

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Dr. Elmar Vitt

Attorney Dr. Vitt has repeatedly saved my ass.

The first time, when the Sony Group via a Munich law office wanted to get an URL out of me along with a huge penalty. Even though using this particular URL had been expressly approved long before in written form by the artist manager involved. However, commercial issuers of cease and desist notices usually do not care about such little negligibilities.

Having right and getting right are therefore two different kind of shoes, and that the case ended up with a well fitting pair was Dr. Vitt''s merit, which he mastered in a showdown-manner worth a cabaret.

By the way: Dr. Vitt is undoubtfully the only person worldwide, that holds patent or trademark rights of certain tuning layouts for harmonicas. All others that claim the same feature are only wannabees.And yes, Harponline was involved there too.

(Tip: Search the page with CTRL+F for 'harponline'.)

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Ciro Lenti

....was and is a true ''Hohner''.One of those veterans that hold the fort at the company Hohner GmbH & Co.KG in Trossingen, sometimes far beyond the pain threshold, no matter whose winds are blowing.

Inititally, he was ''my'' responsible Hohner Key Account Manager, means: my Hohner contact person for the spare part business, and from 2010 on he was my colleague. At the start of our cooperation, none of us would have believed that this could ever happen.

Giro is a pattern picture and model of loyalty and customer orientation, collegiality and always in a good mood. Someone who does not make his personal feelings a the problem of his environment. A piece of gold.

Ciro is always open to the impossible demands of the customers and the particular management, and much of what Harponline could offer has become possible through his active support.

Hohner CShop
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Ong Gim Dee

Mr. Ong Gim Dee is an excellent classical player, Hohner harmonica representative in Singapore and Malaysia. Not only that he was an avid supporter of the Harponline Classic Custom models.

With his splendid understanding of German and European culture, it was a pleasure to do business with him and I am still overwhelmed by the retrospection of the invitations and courteous hospitality I was able to enjoy in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

It was him to open the doors for Harponline into the Asian region and to give me some hints about the backgrounds of good Chinese business practices.

Meet Ong Gim Dee

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Johnny Kuan & Rocky Lok

Johnny Kuan is Vice President of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association ("HKHA"), conductor of the orchestra HKHA harmonica and bass harmonica player of the King''s Harmonica Quintet.

Rocky Lok is a Chromatic virtuoso, President of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association and both men alwaqys appeared to me like a kind of brothers in arms.In order to visualize the importance of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association in the harmonica world: This organization represents thousands of harmonica players and sends passenger planes full of workshop and competition participants overseas to each APH Festival.

For the 2010 Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival Harponline handed over not only 20 Harponline toolsets to the Hong Kong Harmonica Association. We also got the opportunity to conduct several public Harponline Service Workshops in front of some hundred Asian players. With this step, the Harponline Harmonica Service System was established in the fast growing Asian harmonica market.

The personal kindness, the cordial meetings, the incredible hospitality that we experienced in Hong Kong some years later is something I will never forget.

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Joe Filisko

Joe Filisko is one of those celebrated public characters that are beyond all description.

The spiritual leader of the extra-parliamentary opposition of the free spirits among harmonica players?
The Mahathma Gandhi of the harmonica?
King of the Harmonica Customizers?
The virtuoso preserver of the American Prewar Blues?

Select or laugh at me. Doesn't matter.
Joe has accompanied the path of Harponline attentive. He measured the project by its achievements and supported it, wherever it was needed.Marketing and big mouth doesn''t impress him.

I'm very proud having his attention.

Joe Filisko Webpage
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Klaus Stetter

From 2007 to early 2013, Mr. Klaus Stetter was Managing Director of Hohner GmbH & Co.KG in Trossingen.
Under his leadership, the company has made the most innovative leap forward in recent years, both in technical development as well as marketing.  The company developed a sustainable growth, made it to break even and finally lasting profits. He is a wise leader who can create confidence in people that work for him and get the best of their talents with great empathy and openness.
Hohner players and endorsers loved him because he has valued, promoted and honored their art.

He had the courage, to pick up a bronco like me for product manager harmonica at Hohner in Germany. In the harmonica world, the meaning of this position is similar to that of the catholic pope and to be entrusted with this job was a huge vote of confidence. And honestly, I was shaking in my boots.

Klaus Stetter has given me the opportunity to carry Harponline to the Mecca of the harmonica industry. I was able to implement nearly all necessary features regaring harmonica and service. He even leaded me beyond.

It's his responsibiliy, that I could reach the end of the rainbow.

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Andrea

The best wine lies at the bottom of the pail:

What would have been without my wife, love of my life, the center of my heart?

And without our children, that always helped us out?
They learned from Harponline, that money doesn't fall down from clouds in the sky.
That nothing in life comes for free. And how it feels to have some money on the bank and after taxes you can calculate that you have worked for 5 bucks an hour.

I do not want to publish love letters here.Love going as deep as this one is not made for talking.

Well, not as long as you are a Southern German native, like me!