- April 21, 2015 at 4:03 am #4770
I don’t find any record of this instrument being discussed yet, but it is relevant to discussions currently underway. This photo shows a Rosetti melodica, for which this description was given in one advertisement:
You are bidding on an extremely rare type of melodica or blowing accordion. It is constructed like the right hand (treble) side of a small piano accordion. A wedge-shaped shell covers the side where the bellows would have been, effectively forming a sort of resonance chamber (cassotto style). There is one reed block, with two reeds for every key, tuned to the same pitch – you can blow and suck to produce the notes . This is totally unique, any other melodica is blow-only. Through the resonance chamber runs a perforated zinc air-pipe, ending in a water key. The other end is intended to connect to either a mouthpiece or a flexible tube. The reeds are mounted on 4 reed plates (not a single plate per pair as in modern instruments). The reeds are made of brass and the valve strips are plastic, so moisture from blowing is not a problem.
This instrument bears a superficial resemblance to the Suzuki OHP-25 (1974-94), and the Suzuki has been (falsely, it seems) said to be a “suck-blow” melodica, probably because of that. The OHP-25 is a projection model intended for teachers.April 21, 2015 at 4:42 am #4772Melodica-MeParticipant
Wow nice find Alan, these would be a great start for Darens dream Melodica. Are these for sale or was it an old online sale. i would love to see the inside of these.
Melodica-MeApril 21, 2015 at 7:46 am #4775QuetscherParticipant
If you want to poison yourself buy one!
I have purchased a Monika melodica half a year ago. These instruments are made in former GDR and in general these are high quality instruments made of wood. They are really built like a small proportioned keyboard side of an accordion. They have four reed plates with one reed for inhale and another reed for exhale, and what is best, they have a removable reed block, so you can tune the reeds outside of the instrument. You can open them easily just by removing four pins that attach the cover to the body.
These are the pro’s, and there is only one con: the reed plates are made of zinc and react with water, I think it’s called zinc pest, nice word, isn’t it? And you won’t like it, especially when inhaling! I got a beautiful rash in my mouth nearly immediately. So of course I sent it back…
So if you find a cheap Monika (or whatever it may be called) just for examining the construction, buy it, it’ll be worth it. But please don’t play!April 21, 2015 at 9:59 am #4776
These photos are from old online sales. Thanks for the further information, Quetscher, and for the warning. Zinc poisoning (for example, from older dental creams) can cause serious nerve damage, which could, among other things, interfere with one’s melodica technique. But maybe the reeds could be replaced.April 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm #4779OfirParticipant
Daren should have added a requirement: an instrument which will not kill you; surprisingly not obvious..April 21, 2015 at 6:48 pm #4780
This has me thinking-has anyone ever considered converting a small accordion to a melodica? I will admit my general ignorance to the internal workings of an accordion, but what little I remember is that you can detach the bellows. Why not add a sealed air chamber with a mouthpiece? It can’t be much different in size than a Vibrandoneon, probably small, although the ergonomics may stink. Moisture may be an issue, but not necessarily. Old accordions are pretty inexpensive.
Thoughts?April 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm #4781
What an interesting looking instrument. I’d love to get hold of one of these, just to see how it’s put together. And I wonder what the reed sizes are – as Alan says, it’s probably possible to swap the reeds over with something a little less harmful…
I bet you couldn’t resist buying this Quetscher, constructed in your preferred style! Was the sound like a standard harmonica reeded melodica?
Shannon, I have a little Mignon II accordion, which I just got back from the restorers (Martyn White). I’m sure it could be converted it into a melodica. The main problem would be rusting reeds, mouldy wood and large air pressure required. No zinc pest though, as far as I can tell 🙂April 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm #4783
I thought about the rusting reeds, but aren’t accordion reeds stainless? Carbon steel reeds would rust in a humid environment anyway. As for moldy wood, the Pro 36 is wood and doesn’t seem to have that problem. It would need to be able to air out periodically though. I would think the large air pressure might be mitigated by making the air chamber smaller, but if the reeds are a lot stiffer, that obviously wouldn’t work.April 22, 2015 at 11:49 am #4784QuetscherParticipant
OF COURSE I couldn’t resist to buy that instrument, and naturally I was a little disappointed when it tried to kill me…
I’m sorry but I don’t remember the sound, as I said, the rash came quite quickly…
Sometimes they sell these instruments on eBay.de, just a few weeks ago you could bid on one; so if I get any information about an auction I’ll tell you and you can bid (on your own risk!).April 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm #4785
Shannon, try it out! Its the only way of checking if it works 🙂
I’d love to see it in action. I think accordion reeds are made out of various materials, because rusty reeds can be a problem with some older instruments. But maybe it’s possible to chose an accordion with steel reeds?
And with the Pro 36, only a section of it is wood, and I remember reading somewhere that it was replaced with plastic because the wood sometimes warped. I can’t remember where I read this. Has anyone else read this? Alan?
The Vibrandoeon is largely wood, and does get mouldy. But as you say, if it’s aired out properly, I’m sure you could get around this.
Please make one! 🙂April 22, 2015 at 9:40 pm #4786
Thanks Quetscher, let me know if you spot anything on ebay. I’ll probably avoid sucking in!April 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm #4787
Melodica-Me is the authority on the Professional. I think he or someone else recently mentioned that the Professional’s wood was replaced with plastic on the Piano 36.April 22, 2015 at 11:35 pm #4789
If I can pick up a proper accordion at the right price, I just might do that. I think it would be a fun project.
ShannonApril 23, 2015 at 12:04 am #4790Melodica-MeParticipant
Alan, Daren, Shannon, what I read a while back was that the Professional 36 was to costly to make and the market did not warrant the product. Reed plates and plastic mold injection was a way better $$ way to produce the melodica. I don’t believe that Mold has ever been an issue with the Pro-36, it has so much paint, wax and metal, not much raw wood to grown mold on. We constantly use our air conditioner here, so when I use my Vibrandoneon I leave it out, open the moisture release tabs and keep it out of the case for a few days, that usually suck all the moisture out.
Melodica-MeApril 24, 2015 at 7:05 am #4796Adam TombsParticipant
Carbon steel would be a poor choice for any type of reed. I love my carbon steel camp/bush and wood carving knives but they need ongoing care to avoid them rusting away. Stainless reeds are I believe what is in the modern accordion and the Pro 36. Troy is right, accordion reeds have been made of a variety of natural and man made materials over time.
I no longer have my Pro 36 but I cannot part with my Piano 36. I think I got an exceptional early Piano 36 because it suffers from none of the woes I have heard other seem to have, namely the clacky keys thing. Sound to the owners ear is relative, my Piano 36 sounds very nice to my ears.
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