Hohner Piano 26

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Hohner is a musical instrument manufacturer with a reputation for innovative design and invention. The company was founded in Germany by Matthias Hohner in 1857, who began making harmonicas with his wife and one other employee. During the 1950s the Hohner company added a newly invented instrument they named ‘melodica’ to their catalogue. The melodica was a success, and was soon copied by several other companies around the world.

Make: Hohner
Model name: 26
Reed type: Multi reed plates
Dimensions: Unknown
Weight: Unknown
Keys: 26
Country of manufacture: Germany
Player level: Beginner
Features: None
Year of manufacture: Unknown. Now discontinued

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Please only rate this instrument if you have had experience of playing it

6 Reviews

  1. Avatar


    For me this one is a must have, a true classic.rnI have played a few melodicas, the first one I had was from an unknown brand, but with a good quality (I buy it at a second hand shop). Unfortunately, for my personal taste, it sounded more like a accordion. So than I bought a vintage hohner 26( not this one, a black one made out of plastic). Now the hohner sound is more what like, but the problem with that one where the high notes. I needed to blow really hard for them to sound. So, finally I decided to try this hohner piano 26, and let me tell you, this is a really good melodica. The reasons I choose this one where because I like to play roots reggae, and this model was the one used by the great Augustus Pablo in is early years and first albums. Hits like Java and East of the river Nile, for ex. where played with this model. And his son Addis Pablo released an album also recorded with this model. So this was definitely the sound I was looking for. rnNow for the hohner melodica piano 26, I think is a really good model, with professional sound. To start the reeds are made of brass, witch made them sound really good and the resonance case is also made of metal witch made this melodica sound much better that the ones made out of plastic. The inside has a kind of rubber to absorb humidity. Witch helps a lot to keep the instrument clean and preserved . The keys are really well made with great quality and refinement, compared with other melodicas I tried. They all play well, none of them fails. Quick response in the low and high notes. The high notes (especially) play really really well. It is a small melodica, so if you are used to play with large keys, you will need a couple of days to get used to this small ones. But it makes it lighter and I like that, because you don't get tiered. Now the mouth piece could be more like a trumpet, that is for me the single con. rnThese melodicas where made in the "good old days", and now no one made this metallic cases and reeds of brass., so you can´t get a new one. This is an example of the renamed Hohner (and German) quality, that unfortunately doesn't apply anymore (regarding melodicas). rnYou can buy it on ebay, there are lots of them, just make sure you get one in pristine conditions. Of course they are old so you will have to tune it, just check some videos on youtube on how to do it.( watch out, the reeds are made of brass, this is a soft metal and you need to be careful not to break one)rnAs I said the before, the ideal sound to play reggae. (in my opinion a true melodica sound, not like an accordion nor like a harmonica.) rnProfessional sound quality rnOne of the best melodicas to start playing. (next one I will get will be the Hohner 36)

  2. Avatar

    Adam Tombs

    Wow, not too much to add to what andre has already written. The good old Hohners with metal bodies are cool and the sound is quite different to the newer Chinese made Hohners (which are ok I guess, I have one) and even the later Plastic bodied Hohners made in Germany. rnrnIn one word, Quality. I have the same model with the funky shape and it's a lot of good things in a little package. Yes the keys are smaller, but easily adapted to, especially if you are playing dub/reggae style sounds. rnrnI am now chasing the red metal bodied piano 27, which is an alto ;-) rnrnConsidering that these are relatively plentiful still and easily obtained off auction sites, they are well worth the effort to pick on up for yourself.

  3. Avatar

    Ras Livity

    Where to start with this melodica? This is the perfect melodica, everything from the metal body , the sound and the unique shape. Its no wonder that Augustus Pablo always carried this melodica with him to the studio to record all his timeless classics! Its a shame that Hohner refuses to re release these models or at least attempt to take the melodica serious anymore... anyways I highly recommend this model!

  4. Avatar


    The Hohner Piano 26 is a great instrument. It should not be considered a beginner melodica. It has the same build quality of Hohner’s Piano 36 and a tone that is smooth and clear. It was played by Augustus Pablo on numerous albums and in concerts. It is my second favorite melodica. I think the Hohner Piano 26 is misunderstood. I assume it was designed small so it would fit the hands of children. But the materials and workmanship are as good as anything Hohner was building at the time. And subjectively speaking, the tone is absolutely the best of any melodica I have played. That is how good this instrument is. I explored the Piano 26 last of all melodicas because it looked like a toy. It had small keys. Then I finally bought one and said, “Where have you been all my life girl?” The tone was superb in my opinion. Sweet, well rounded, and clear. The downside is it is not as loud as most melodicas. Tone is subjective. Others may not like the tone at all compared to the brighter, wider, wilder tone of many melodicas. The tone of the Piano 26 may not fit some styles of music. It took me a couple of days to get used to the short keys that are also just a bit narrower than standard melodica keys. But after that, I really began to appreciate the compactness of this instrument. There is a subtle shock element involved when playing the Piano 26 for a couple of days and then picking up a Piano 36 or big long Yamaha. Kind of like driving around in a Porsche and then getting into a 1965 Cadillac. I have always preferred the compactness and quick handling of the 25 to 27 key melodicas as I wave them about to play the microphone and get some other modulations. I feel more connected to smaller instruments that I can hold close. Finally, you should know there was an engineering change to this melodica at some point. Early ones have five screws on the back (one hides under the handle) and weigh about 23 ounces. Later ones have three screws on the back and weigh about 21 ounces. Early ones have slightly more harmonic content than later ones. I have taken an early one apart, but not a later one, so I cannot comment any more on the design change. That is it. Five stars. I will publish photos and recordings of my new girlfriends soon.

  5. Avatar

    Stuart Goodall

    All that's said above about covers it. I have one that has previously done service in an Irish folk band, so it's seen a few nights and drank a few drinks. Resilient is the word, and it possesses that harmonic development you find on the better accordions and American organs. Only keyboard carp is the narrow distance between the black keys. I've also struggled a bit to keep the extreme top notes in tune, and every approach is done with a little fear of breakage and wearing the brass thin. This old one I have (grey) now plays a more bluesy style and - for a wee spring-clean - smells less of the pub.

  6. Avatar

    Alan Brinton

    Not much to add here, but three things especially stand out for me. One is the truly distinctive sound of this, the original Hohner Piano 26 (HM-926). The sound is unlike any other melodica or keyboard harmonica I have played. Closest would be its mate, the HM-927. I personally like the range and sound of the 26 better. Second is how readily available and inexpensive these are, easy to obtain at under $30 delivered. And third, this Piano 26/27 is very well constructed and durable, so that the chances of getting one that's relatively air tight and in good working order are excellent. The small size of the keys can be regarded as a negative, but also as a positive in terms of an increase in hand span.

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