The Hohner Melodica is a free-reed instrument like an accordion or a harmonica - and it is in fact a combination of them both. It has a keyboard like an accordion, but instead of squeezing a bellows, you blow into it, giving it a dynamic responsiveness like a harmonica. It also has only one reed per note, which adds to the harmonica-like quality of the sound. But it is fully chromatic, so you can play music in any key. For a while I didn't have an accordion, so I got by with the Melodica. Its main advantage is that it is compact and lightweight; you can take it anywhere. But because you have to blow into it, you can't sing along with yourself. And you look kind of dorky blowing into this thing. Not that an accordion doesn't also look dorky, but I think this is worse. Chicks do not dig the Melodica. But it is very useful musically and should be part of every eclecticist's collection.

The Hohner Melodica

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Contents copyright 1994-2009 by JW Kennedy.