If you’re a brass player, you may have heard of the Mellophone before. This instrument is often lumped into the French horn family, but it has its own unique qualities that set it apart. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Mellophones and learn everything there is to know.
What Is A Mellophone?
The Mellophone is a brass instrument that is often used in school marching bands and drum corps. It is often referred to as the “marching French horn” and is designed to be played while a musician is on the move. The Mellophone is played by holding it upright and blowing into the mouthpiece while pressing down on the valves with your other hand.
The Mellophone is larger than a trumpet but smaller than a French horn. It has a conical shape and is made of brass, like most other brass instruments. It produces a rich, mellow tone which makes it perfect for playing in a brass ensemble or marching band.
What Are The Parts Of A Mellophone?
A Mellophone consists of several parts that work together to create sound. The main parts of a Mellophone are the mouthpiece, leadpipe, valves, tubing, and bell. Here’s a breakdown of each part.
1. Mouthpiece- The mouthpiece is the part of the Mellophone where the musician blows into to create sound. It is usually made of brass or stainless steel.
2. Leadpipe- The leadpipe is a curved piece of tubing that connects the mouthpiece to the rest of the instrument. It is responsible for directing the airflow into the Mellophone.
3. Valves- There are three valves on a Mellophone, just like on a trumpet. They are responsible for changing the pitch of the instrument.
4. Tubing – The tubing on a Mellophone is long and winding. It is responsible for carrying the sound from the valves to the bell.
5. Bell- The bell is the flared opening at the end of the Mellophone. This is where the sound comes out of the instrument.
What Are The Different Types Of Mellophones?
There are two main types of Mellophones: the marching Mellophone and the French horn Mellophone. Let’s learn more about each of these types.
1. Marching Mellophone- As mentioned earlier, the marching Mellophone is designed to be played while on the move. It is made with a more upright shape to allow the musician to hold it comfortably while marching. Marching Mellophones are also designed to be more durable to withstand the wear and tear of being carried and played on the move.
2. French Horn Mellophone- The French horn Mellophone is an adaptation of the French horn. It is used in concert bands and orchestras and is the closest to the French horn in tone quality. The French horn Mellophone is perfect for musicians that want to play the French horn but need a more portable option.
What Are The Best Brands Of Mellophones?
There are several brands of Mellophones on the market. Here are some of the best brands to consider:
1. Yamaha- Yamaha is one of the most recognized names in musical instruments. They make several models of Mellophones that are perfect for marching bands and drum corps.
2. Jupiter- Jupiter makes high-quality brass instruments, including Mellophones. Their Mellophones are designed with durability in mind, making them perfect for marching bands.
3. Conn- Conn has been making brass instruments for over a century. Their Mellophones are perfectly designed for students.
4. Kanstul- Kanstul is a lesser-known brand, but their Mellophones are highly regarded by professionals. Their Mellophones are perfect for those looking for a high-quality instrument with a unique sound.
The Mellophone is a unique brass instrument that is often overlooked. It is perfect for marching bands, drum corps, and concert bands. If you’re in the market for a Mellophone, consider one of the brands mentioned above. No matter what brand you choose, the Mellophone is sure to add a unique sound to any brass ensemble.