The Eolina looks beautiful, but it is so heavy for a mouth blown free reed music instrument. 2,9 kilogram is heavy for a mouth blown music instrument.
On the same website, there is a “SILVERTONE ITALY” melodica with 25 keys, weight: 550 grams
That’s about 5,3 times lighter.
And what about one of the champions of economic free reed aerophones (and concertinas), Charles Wheatstone.
His symphoniums were minimal in size/dimensions, but had from 12 reeds, over 24, 30, 36, yes even up to 44 reeds.
with minimal weight
Check out this video:
the fragment with the little symphonium (with 24 reeds !) starts at 2’45’’ tot 3’40’’:
Charles Wheatstone concertina, sound vibrations, telegraph
(the symphonium in this video has no back plate, and no bottom plate (a minimum amount of parts; on the other hand: a rather complex button action mechanism); other designs including back and bottom plates are explained in his 1829 patent)
Another 30 seconds video with a 12 reeds:
Why don’t they make these beauties in Castelfidardo ?
In a simplified form, one could imagine putting 2 mouth harmonicas with aluminium Combs together. A comb with 12 holes.
So one would only make the casing, and a simplified button action, or even a slide mechanism per button.
I think these symphoniums must be around 200 grams up to 400 grams (?) (I didn’t find exact information on the weight on the internet)
C. Wheatstone was a champ in efficiency and economy. The weight and size of a Wheatstone symphonium is a fraction of an Eolina or a melodica.
Info and pics:
The patent can be downloaded in pdf here:
“Improvements in the Construction of Wind Musical Instruments (1829)”
I wonder: Do the Ballone Burini people know of the Wheatstone symphonium…?