Russian Melodicas

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    AvatarAlan Brinton

    There has been some earlier discussion of melodicas manufactured in Russia, but after receiving some photos from Oscar of his recent acquisition, a малыш 26 key model, I thought it would be worth starting a new thread on this topic. Let me first explicitly identify The Melodica Annex, a region of my Lucy421 Smugmug photo site.

    The Melodica Annex began as a collection of photos of instruments in my personal collection of vintage melodicas, mainly photos that I wanted to link at Melodica World. It has grown to include some historical information and commentary, and also photos that have been shared with me by other Melodica World participants and photos downloaded otherwise from the Internet. Some of us have toyed with the idea of creating an Internet Melodica Museum, which would of course have to meet professional standards of consistency, quality of photography, more authoritative historical information, and so on.

    The Russian department of The Melodica Annex

    is rather limited, but it presently includes the following photos provided by Melodica-Me.

    AvatarAlan Brinton

    The label on this instrument is “Малыш”, which means “kid” or “little baby”. Of special note are the use of wood in its construction and the double reeds, i.e. two reeds to a plate. It seems likely that these Russian models (pre-1991, I’m guessing from the 1970s) were produced by one or more accordion manufacturers. Hohners and Japanese keyboard harmonicas trace their roots mainly to the harmonica. It is interesting to ask what significant differences in the instruments appear as a result of having been designed by accordion makers as opposed to harmonica makers. It would be interesting to know who designed an manufactured these Russian models.

    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë

    Nice chunky looking instrument – is it playable?


    Hi Daren, yes it’s playable, (2) of the reeds need proper gapping as the volume is a little muted. there is a small rattle that I have not figured out yet, just to many projects on the bench, this one only made it to the pile next to the bench lol. I will get to it sometime in the next few months. The tone is OK, nothing out of this world just an interesting design, not quite as chunky as a base melodica but close. As Alan mentioned it has a wood interior with hard plastic and tin covers. This one even had nails, not sure if they were original to the design but they were on there solid.


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