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The melodica is a free-reed instrument similar to the accordion and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. The keyboard is usually two or three octaves long.


[edit] Types of melodicas

  • Tenor melodicas are a lower-pitched type of melodica. The left hand holds a handle on the bottom, and the right hand plays the keyboard. Tenor melodicas can be played with two hands by inserting a tube into the mouthpiece hole and placing the melodica on a flat surface.
  • Soprano and alto melodicas are higher-pitched and thinner sounding than tenors. Some are designed to be played with both hands at once; the left hand plays the black keys, and the right hand plays the white keys. Others are played like the tenor melodica.
  • Bass melodicas (lower-pitched than the tenor type) also exist, but are less common than other types.
  • The accordina uses the same mechanism, but with accordion-like buttons instead of keys.

Popular melodica manufacturers include Hohner, Suzuki, Yamaha and Samick. Melodica is also known by various names such as melodion (Suzuki), melodia (Diana), pianica (Yamaha) or clavietta.

[edit] Notable Instrumentalists

[edit] Trivia

In the anime Gate Keepers, Reiko Asagiri uses a melodica as a portable weapon (in place of a piano), in consonance to her Gate ability, the Gate of Sound.

[edit] See also

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