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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Mouth organ degree awarded
Steve Lockwood
Steve Lockwood practises for five hours a day
A young musician, inspired by the work of Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Sonny Boy Williamson, has graduated with a degree in playing the harmonica.

Steve Lockwood, now 33, took up the mouth organ when he was 18 and practises for five hours a day.

I wanted to see how far the instrument could go

Steve Lockwood
After three years of study at Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge - where he specialised in the harmonica - he has gained a 2:1 in music at degree level.

Mr Lockwood said he decided to study for a degree so that he could pursue the instrument "to its limits".

"I wanted to see how much I could do musically with the degree and to see how far the instrument itself could go."

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Lockwood wrote a dissertation on Steve Wonder
Mr Lockwood studied a range of styles from the classical work of Larry Adler to the role of the harmonica in pop music.

He said Stevie Wonder had been a tremendous inspiration and wrote a 2,000-word dissertation on the star's mouth organ work.

"I love the harmonica because of its range. It can sound campfire classically sad or very lively," he said.

"You can play classical, blues, folk and jazz. You can take it anywhere. It can be played by a four-year-old."

Serious business

The musician said his choice of instrument occasionally prompted a joke, but felt his dedication to the harmonica quickly dispelled any sarcasm.

Bob Dylan
Mr Lockwood admires Dylan's style
"It was made an official instrument 50 years ago, and you can't practise for five hours a day and it not be serious," he said.

Mr Lockwood is now considering studying for a masters' degree in harmonica performance.

"It's been a fantastic experience," he said. "I'd now like to look at the role the instrument can play in all sorts of fields."

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