Do you know melodica original compositions?

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    André Sant’Anna

    Hello Melodica friends. I hope you can help me.
    I’m doing academic research and would like to know if you have any indications of original compositions for melodica that you might know. I’m not talking about arrangements or adaptations of the repertoire of other instruments, neither melodic lines played by a melodica on pop music, but compositions that were written for melodica. The compositions can be in any instrumental formation as long as it has a melodica and must be written in a score.


    Hi André

    This sounds really interesting! Tell us more…

    I have several compositions for melodica which I recorded many years back. I’ll have a look for the scores – mainly with string quartet. I’m also working on a large scale work which may be of interest

    André Sant’Anna

    Hello Daren,
    The research aims to investigate the learning process of the melodica, from initiation to becoming proficient, that is, to deeply know the idiomatic characteristics of the instrument.
    And I don’t need the scores, just the name of the compositions and the composers. If possible, where they can be accessed in some way (for example in an online stores, sites, etc). The big question is: is this material accessible and can it be used in this learning process?
    Many of us are learning to play through trial and error, exploring the melodica, transferring and adapting our knowledge from other instruments, among other strategies and experiences. And this happens because of the little material available. Are they really few? Or do they exist but are not accessible? Or are they not organized?
    For example, when we learn flute, piano, violin, there is a canonical repertoire of the instrument. It’s not that the idea is to stifle the learning process, but to have options because not everyone who wants to learn to play the melodica from the beginning has the necessary musical knowledge to compose new songs or create arrangements as a way of learning the melodica (which was the path that most of us took).
    Despite the main objective of the research being learning the melodica through creative processes, this survey of composition data may be available for consultation and thus facilitate the learning of our beloved instrument =)
    This research is not intended for any kind of self-promotion or profit, but academic purposes only.

    Thanks in advance.


    Sounds like a great project André – is it personal research or are you doing it as part of a course, or with an institution?

    Terry Riley wrote a piece for melodica. I can put you in touch if you like.

    There’s Nathan De Broize-King’s MA (2018) on melodica, which is I believe the first academic writing on the instrument. Some advanced compositions in it explore extended techniques.

    I have some beginner compositions on my Melodica Lessons book. But most of my melodica pieces were composed and recorded for TV, with no published score. And a set was composed and performed as part of my course at Trinity Laban, again with no published scores.

    I don’t think you’ll find a canon for melodica, but interested to see what you come up with…

    André Sant’Anna

    You’re probably right, Daren. It is unlikely that there will be a canonical repertoire for melodica and, to be honest, I think this opens up more possibilities than it closes. However, as it is a research, I need to somehow demonstrate that this does not exist for the melodica and describe the situation.

    The research is being carried out at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

    I was already aware of Nathan’s research, which is quite interesting, by the way. And I think he did what many of us do, we created compositions (in his case) or arrangements based on our experiences with the melodica.
    I also already have your melodica initiation books, which I like very much. They will certainly be cited in this research.

    About your compositions, the ideal is that they are published somewhere that people have access to, however, even if they have not been published, this is also important data. I understand from your description that they were written for a specific context. For me, it seems to me that there are many unpublished compositions for melodica, so describing this situation is important. Perhaps the set of compositions you wrote as part of your Trinity Laban course could be listed, if you want. Maybe you already know, but at you can publish them.

    And please, I would be very grateful to talk to Terry Riley.

    Andrew Yoon

    My melodica ensemble has been gradually building up a collection of original music for us to play. At the moment I can share four pieces:

    We’re hoping to commission more music in the coming year. It’s a beautiful instrument with lots of unique capabilities just waiting to be tapped by composers!

    André Sant’Anna

    Thank you, Andrew!

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