Mellophones
 

Mellophones

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Mellophones    18:38 on Monday, June 15, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DanTheMaster
(820 points)

I was just curious about what you horn players think about playing mellophone. Do you enjoy playing it? Do you like the sound? Is is difficult?

I never particularly liked the mellophone sound...except when I've heard a professional or a member of a drum corp play it.

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Re: Mellophones    10:28 on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Mellophones and Marching French Horns. They are related but not the same and as with any instrument there are good ones and bad ones. I have seen both. When I was in high school the band director got a hold of several different marching french horns from different makers. He had me play them and rate which ones I thought were best, then he had some professional horn playing friends do the same and he purchased some nice sounding marching french horns.

I have seen other marching horns and mellophones since then and some are awful - just poorly and cheaply made. Then there is also the way it is taught to the student. If you teach it like a french horn it will sound bad, if you teach it like a trumpet it will sound bad. If you teach it like a speciality horn (like you would a descant or special alto horn)you will get a different and more positive result.

Did you know Stan Kenton used a complete section of four mellophones in his orchestra in the 1960's? Yes, and they sounded sweet. A good horn, the correct mouthpiece, and proper technique equals a good sound.

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Re: Mellophones    21:00 on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FrenchHornPlayer
93

Hmmm...mellophones?? Personally, being a mello player, I think it's extremely easy!!! Sometimes it's TOO easy if you know what I mean. But don't get me wrong! I like playing the mello a bunch, especially in marching band and pep band because it makes playing the really difficult songs we play for pep band a breeze. And in marching band...I can't even fathom how hard it would be to march a French horn! I'd rather punch myself in the face! LOL But, I'd like to have like a feature sometime in marching band where I stand still and play French horn for awhile...but never moving and playing at the same time! OH NO! LOL

But, sometimes the sound isn't the best sound in the whole wide world...most things below a C or Bb below the staff sounds like crapp! But it's really easy to for high ranges, I can get up to almost an E above the staff! (which is not even physically possible on a French horn!!!)

So...mellophones have their goods and their bads. But I still like them! =]

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Re: Mellophones    01:11 on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

EnigmusJ4
(122 points)

I played mellophones before, but not that much, I marched tuba in band instead of mello. I've also heard of marching French horns, which have both the Bb and F sides, and it's a bell front instrument. Odd. Never played one, and I'm doubtful as to the quality. I've played a few Olds and Conn F mellophones, but I much preferred the Yamaha Bb mellophones. The trumpet converts that play mello at my school won't switch to the Bb mellophone, they're too afraid of learning the new fingerings, even though I wrote out a whole chart for them in Finale and made it all pretty. Hmmph. Sound is much better than an F mellophone, I think. The longer the tubing, the more horny the sound is.

Did you know Stan Kenton used a complete section of four mellophones in his orchestra in the 1960's? Yes, and they sounded sweet.


Actually, they called them "Mellophoniums" (proper noun.) They were Conn model 16E's and were bell-front versions otherwise identical to the old Conn mellophones of the time - you know, the original bell down versions. Check these out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPG1bDHL6Mg&feature=PlayList&p=16577DEFA3CC3966&index=0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0SpF208M8M&feature=PlayList&p=16577DEFA3CC3966&index=1

I found a Mellophonium hiding in a closet at my high school, so I dragged it home and figured out what it was. I've kept it, it's of no use to the school anymore. It's in fairly good condition, but somebody jacked the original tuning slide for it and exchanged it for a much longer crook that doesn't even fit the tubing, so I've taped it to fill the gap. Also the original mouthpiece was missing, so I'm on the look for one of those Conn 1's. Although it's supposed to be in F, the crook puts it down in Bb so I have to pull the slides way out and even that isn't enough. Here's a pic and recording of me noodling on it, excuse the cheesyness:

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm102/Musicmanj4/instr2003.jpg
http://www.box.net/shared/g1mbt91syx

You'll notice it really growls when I get loud - it's not the mic, the horn actually does change colour that much, which is pretty awesome. Can't wait 'til I can get a new tuning crook made for it and a mouthpiece that actually fits it. Been using a Bach 11 horn mouthpiece.

And in marching band...I can't even fathom how hard it would be to march a French horn! I'd rather punch myself in the face! LOL


You're right... I can hardly walk and play a C scale on a smooth floor! I've seen them in parades before, though, believe it or not. Here's the closest approximation to "marching" I found on YouTube, courtesy of Canadian Brass' amusing skits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPtfoXGSL8k


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Re: Mellophones    15:12 on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Enigmus - - GREAT FABULOUS LINKS!!!!

If you are going to play a mellophone I have heard from several sources the Yamaha Bb is the best instrument out on the market today.

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Re: Mellophones    17:08 on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DanTheMaster
(820 points)

Well, I wasn't planning on picking up mello anytime soon. I just wanted to know more about it. And you guys have given me more info. So thank you.

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Re: Mellophones    18:13 on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Oh Dan,
I think you should start looking for one and then find a group like Lino Patruno and his four blues. I'm pulling mine out of the closet and getting it ready. Dang, this is better than playing an alto horn in an English brass band.

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Re: Mellophones    22:26 on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DanTheMaster
(820 points)

Hahahaha, sounds like fun. Let me know when you're ready to form a mello group and we'll kick trash.

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Re: Mellophones    08:39 on Thursday, June 18, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FrenchHornPlayer
93

Holy crapp!!! I watched that Canadian Brass link and I can't even imagine how that French horn player moved around like that and still had a GREAT qualitly in sound!!! That's like fricking amazing!!!

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Re: Mellophones    19:30 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FrenchHornPlayer
93

Hey!!! I found out this week that I get to play my French Horn in my marching show! I don't know what to expect! My band director said that I get to play a solo on it! I'm soooooooooo freaking excited!!!!!!! YAY!

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Re: Mellophones    19:49 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

EnigmusJ4
(122 points)

I'll assume you are having the horn lay on the side line until your solo moment when you'll play it standing still, and not actually marching it anywhere. :O

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Re: Mellophones    20:00 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FrenchHornPlayer
93

I'm not completely sure...I think my director is going to have me stand on one of our props on the field. HEHEHE! But, I'll find out ALL the details these next few weeks when I learn the show. I assume that I'll have my horn on the side lines or behind a prop or with the pit or something. I would honestly die if he asked me to march it the WHOLE time! LOL

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Re: Mellophones    22:32 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

FrenchHornPlayer93 -
Who told you it was impossible to play a high E above the treble clef?
It is possible. I do it, and I know several others who do; how else would we play the Schuman Konsertstuck?

That being said - LEt us know about your solo when you find out. Those of us who didn't get to do that in school will be envious and yet absolutely exited for you!!

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Re: Mellophones    17:00 on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FrenchHornPlayer
93

Hey! I foung out this week that I have to MARCH my freaking French horn for my solo!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! It's sooo flipping hard!!!! The solo itself is ok, it's some Mozart song I've heard somewhere but idk the title. For the begining of my solo I stand on top of a prop then I have to dismount and march!!!! It's hard...but it's gonna be AWESOME!!!!

   

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