Reply To: Melodica reeds – harmonica or accordion style?


Johan – I’d also like to see some experimentation on how to achieve a good sound, it seems that there just hasn’t been much research

Adam – I also find the my Hohner Pro 36 takes more breath to make a sound. This is interesting, as it has quite a small air chamber. Does this mean that it’s the actual reeds that are hard to blow through?

Quetscher – ok, let’s say harmonica-style reeds are lots of thin bronze (or occasionally stainless steel) tongues on a long plate, and an accordion style reed is a single thicker steel tongue on an individual aluminium plate.

So yes, it could be the large air chamber of the Vibrandoneon that I’m not keen on. It means that the air from my lungs has a long journey to travel before meeting the reeds. Whereas I like to be as close to the reeds as possible. I find this gives me a greater degree of control. I did try putting Vibrandoneon reeds in a Yamaha Pianica once, but found that there wasn’t much difference in the sound!

Maybe it’s the thin tongues that I like. Could they respond faster to the breath, in comparison to reeds designed to be used with bellows?

Like you, I also prefer the tone of accordion reeds, but harmonica reeds seem to me to have the larger dynamic range. They sound at the smallest whisper, and then provide a lot of volume when blowing hard. But they never have the fullness of tone of an accordion reed.

I would really like a combination of the two! I think we really need some special reeds designed for the melodica. They need to have a full and stable tone, but also be light enough to respond easily to the human breath.

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