Melodica in Action

George Duke

What is a Melodica?

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Melodica wind pianos are blown into like a horn while played like a piano as it sounds like a harmonica or an accordion!

The Melodica, also known as the Wind Piano can be described as a free reed system with a mouthpiece, air chamber, and keyboard. The Melodica sounds very much like a keyboard harmonica (although it is a tad more difficult to bend notes on it as you are further from the reeds) and it produces sound only exhaling into not inhaling.

When playing more than one note at a time (polyphonic) the Melodica can sound very reminiscent of an accordion. Aside from these two analogies the instrument has an identity of its own. The miscellaneous versions of wind pianos cover ranges from soprano, alto, and the hard to find bass in 1 to 3 octave boards. Tone, action, key-size as well as dynamic range vary from manufacturer. All are incased in plastic with an exception of the Wood Mylodica. The reeds are made of metal (like an accordion or a harmonica).

Melodicas have a rectangular shape and they are held with one hand (a handle is located underneath most of the instruments). And the keyboard is played with the other hand. Most of the melodicas we sell have a flexible tube that allows the board to be played horizontally on a table.  On the left side is a hole/mouthpiece. To the far right of the keyboard some melodica’s have an air release button. This button can be depressed while holding the melodica so the mouthpiece area in facing downward. Gently shaking the melodica allows gravity to expel moisture from the instrument. In a playing situation, by holding the release button down while playing, you can reduce the volume coming from the melodica like the soft pedal on a piano.