Reply To: Melodica range

Alan Brinton

Good information from Quetscher. To simplify: The standard 32 or 37 key melodica typically starts at the F below Middle C. The octaves are numbered. The F below Middle C is F3. Middle C is F4. The range beginning at F3 is commonly referred to as Alto. For the most part, this is the easiest range to play on a melodica, especially the range of the 32 key model that ends at A-5. By easiest to play, I mean that on a melodica it is, other things being equal, easier to get good sound than in a lower or higher range.

The most common range referred to as “Soprano” on current melodicas begins at F-4. A good soprano is harder to find. Some people speak highly of the Suzuki S-32. Suzuki also makes an MX-27S. In my collection I have a few vintage sopranos, and a I prefer couple of the older Suzuki sopranos over others.

I’m speaking of Japanese brands. Older Hohner models are differently identified, with “soprano” used for models beginning at B-3, which is closer to alto by the Japanese standard.

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