Melodica is a free-reed instrument related to the pump organ and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top and is presented by blowing air within a mouthpiece that suits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Holding a key begins a hole, enabling air to pass through a reed. The keyboard includes normally two or three octaves. Melodicas are small, light, and portable. They are accepted in music education, especially in Asia.
The common form of the instrument was developed by Hohner in the 1950s, though related instruments have been identified in Italy since the 19th century.
The melodica was initially used as a serious musical instrument in the 1960s by composers such as Steve Reich, in his piece titled Melodica (1966). Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal originated a method consisting of singing while performing the melodica, occurring in a broad tonal and harmonic palette.
Melodicas with various ranges have slightly different shapes are Soprano melodicas, alto melodicas, Tenor melodicas, Bass melodica, Wooden melodicas.
The melodica is recognised by different names, usually at the whim of the manufacturer Melodihorn (Samick), Diamonica (Bontempi), Pianetta (Guerrini), Melodion (Suzuki), Triola (Seydel), Melodika (Apollo), Melodia (Diana), Pianica (Yamaha), and Clavietta (Borel/Beuscher) are simply some of the exceptions.
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