The Sweet Zone

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    Alan Brinton

    Quetscher suggested moving this (revised here) to a new thread, and this seems like the Forum for it. I’m including the chart of vocal ranges:

    I have thought for some time that there is a “sweet range” of notes that sound the best and play most comfortably on the melodica. This can be said, I think, roughly of melodicas in general; but it is also, to some extent, relative to the model and to the individual player. The relevance of the concept seems also to depend on the skill level of the player. Among current standard sized melodicas, a 32 key alto most closely approximates the sweet range for me, which is probably one of the reasons that I prefer, say, the Yamaha P-32D to the Yamaha P-37D: those additional five keys take me slightly beyond my melodica sweet range, which is not an issue for the more skillful players on this site, who are more comfortable than I am playing those additional five notes and are more easily able to maintain consistent quality of sound at the high end of the P-37.

    Actually, the whole idea of a “sweet range” on the melodica may have no meaningful application for some Melodica World regulars. Choices by professionals about which melodica range to use will depend upon other considerations. But I think “sweet range” or “sweet zone” is a useful concept in relation to beginning-intermediate players. For those players, the concept may be useful in choosing a melodica, for example in choosing an alto over a soprano, or a 32 key model over a 37 key model.

    But there are also implications for melodica design. Thinking now in terms of the low end, there should be such a thing as a tenor melodica, namely one that starts at B3. It will be a “true” tenor melodica if it has 25-27 keys. A 32 key melodica that begins on B3 also should, I think, be regardedas a tenor melodica. I would love to have 25-27 and 32 key tenor melodicas. I also think a 37 key melodica starting on B-3 would suit me better than the standard 37 key alto.

    Consequently, I think a tenor range is an attractive alternative for future melodica design and might be a possible innovation for Daren’s ideal melodica. In the earlier version of this posting, I suggested the possibility of having a tenor option cartridge for a melodica designed like the Suzuki MA-32 “Super II,” but obviously that would also require interchangeable keyboard modules.


    Alan, my wife says the sweet zone for my Hammond 44 is in the garage with the doors closed.

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