Reply To: Expressiveness


It seems a little strange to me that an instrument itself can be “expressive”, and so I’ll give it a try and re-define „expressiveness“ so that we can have kind of an objective look at the thing:

First we have the side of the instrument meaning all the possibilities it provides (for example bendings, overblowing, chord playing, WahWah’s).
Second is the side of the player, meaning his technical skills as a wind player (flutter tongue, vibrato, circular breathing, double/triple tonguing etc.) and as a keyboard player (chords, scales, all that stuff).

What we call “expressivity” is merely the result of the ability of a player to use both his skills and the possibilities of an instrument to create music.

Now if we want to compare the possibilities of two instruments objectively we could simply use a chart like this:


Bendings up Saxophone: yes Melodica: yes
Bendings down Saxophone: yes Melodica: no
Unlimited bendings Saxophone: yes Melodica: no
Chords Saxophone: no Melodica: yes
Intervals Saxophone: no Melodica: yes
Growls Saxophone: yes Melodica: difficult

What would be the result such a comparison? I guess it would be that all in all you have nearly as many possibilities to play a melodica in an “expressive” way as any other wind instrument. There are things you CANNOT do with a melodica and there are things ONLY a melodica can do.

Nevertheless if we talk about “dream melodicas” we should try to widen the range of possibilities and ease possibilities we already have.

And we as players have to widen our skills (and if I have done this I will make myself sexy and be a guest in talkshows and play festivals)

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