Suzuki Melodions

Melodion The Suzuki Melodion;  No other musical instrument combines so many diverse playing techniques, such as keyboard skills, breath control, as well as solo/ ensemble performance capability in a truly portable instrument.

In Asia, the Melodion has become the primary instrument for music education, whilst in the West it has developed a new market with professional musicians and solo artists.

Whatever your musical tastes, a Suzuki Melodion offers an exciting addition to your instrument selection. Video demonstratios can be viewed here.

Using the navigation on this web page, select between the Melodion types. If you are a Solo performer we recommend Alto Melodions which cover the mid range with middle C located in the first Octave. Our amazing Bass Melodion is pitched in the two Octaves below middle C and is suitable not only for ensemble use, but a way to add a very cool and distinctive bass line to your performance.

The Andes stands out in its unique shape and sound. Unlike the traditional reed based Melodion the Andes employs pipes...25 of them to be exact.

A History Of Success

Suzuki Melodion - designFrom the 1930s, Japans Ministry of Education had adopted the Harmonica as a primary educational instrument and with great success. By the 1950s Mr. Suzuki recognized the Harmonica had limits in certain aspects of musical education; for example scales and keyboard skills. Whilst the electronic organ would be useful as a teaching instrument, it was both costly and too big for classroom use.

In 1954 development began of a new instrument, one that could be used in ensemble or solo on a desktop. The aim was to present an instrument suitable for teaching scales, keyboard skills and breath control (useful for those moving on to play woodwind and brass instruments). This proved to be a great challenge due to the indirect way air moves across the reeds. But finally Suzuki had an instrument that was consistent across the keyboard range and easy for even the youngest of students to play. The next two years were spent conducting workshops and visiting schools across the country to show the prototype instruments, demonstrating to educators the benefits of Suzuki's new design.

Hard work and perseverance paid off when in 1956 the Japanese Ministry of Education agreed to the adoption of this exciting new design as the foundation instrument for schools. By 1961 full scale production began and The Suzuki Melodion was born. Soon, almost every child in Japan would own one of these wonderful instruments.

Ongoing Development

Rosalind with MelodionSuzuki continues to pioneer its 'keyboard harmonica' and we have seen the results with introductions of more instruments and more beautiful sounds.

Various types of materials have been used for the instruments body such as resin covered metal.  Mouthpiece design has also changed in the past 50 years and we now have a range of mouthpieces available to help perfect your own playing style. Improvements in tonal 'colour' and tuning make for better sound quality.

As a direct result of customer feedback, new models with different number of keys have been developed and recently, Melodions with a built in pickup (microphone) have opened up a completely new direction for the professional musician.

We are confident the Melodion Story is far from over.

...to be continued.
 

Melodion Note Range

Melodion note RangeSuzuki Melodions are voiced in three distinct ranges for ensemble playing: Soprano, Alto and Bass voices combine to produce full, vibrant sounds.

For your convenience, here is a guide indicating the note range of each instrument. This is particularly useful if you intend to purchase instruments for ensemble use.

We recommend Alto Melodions for Solo use.