Kevin, good counterpoints. I would say yes, I do not give the standard-design melodica in the hands of a professional enough credit for being expressive. It can be expressive and create beautiful music when played properly. Mostly it is not played properly as Kevin suggested.
I just want the melodica to be more expressive.
I also agree that a handsome sexy player in the spotlight would go a long way in popularizing the melodica and giving it a more professional image. But why, as we approach 60 years of melodica production, don’t we have scores of such people?
Finally, I would respectfully disagree with the comparison to the Hammond organ. I have owned two B-3s, two M-3s, three Leslies, and every digital version of the tone wheel organ made by Hammond. I have played Hammond organ for about 40 years off and on in blues, R&B, and soul bands.
You really can’t compare a melodica with a Hammond. It is like comparing a trout pond on a farm with the oceans of the world. Without going into loads of details, let’s just say a good soul or gospel or rock organist on stage, solo, with a B-3 and Leslie can burn the house down. It is doubtful that a solo melodica player will ever do that.
An interesting thought, however, is that I have seen solo harmonica players bring down the house. Huey Lewis does this at a huge arena concert on YouTube. That says a lot about the expressive capability of the $34 dollar Hohner Marine Band.
I just bought a Marine Band harmonica just so I can immerse myself in the techniques to try and transfer them to the melodica.