How is a Mellophone similar to a trumpet

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by bengela7, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. bengela7

    bengela7 Pianissimo User

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    How does the Mellophone resemble to the trumpet. i know the Bach Mellophone resembles to their cornets, but i dont see how it is like a trumpet. people also say it is like a bugle. i dont understand that instrument
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I'll first presume that you are speaking of a marching mellophone of the type mine mfg by Yamaha is made, and my first statement is that they are larger. Mine is in the key of F and is sometimes also referred to as a marching French horn, that while I do play the French horn parts, having once played a true French horn I don't believe they truly sound the same but then it has been so long since I played a French horn my memory more likely has failed me. Originally, these were also made also in Eb, that also was just a switch for a fully compensated French horn. Of course, a true French horn is fingered left handed with rotary valves. I believe it was so that trumpeters could double that the right hand operated piston valved Mellophone arrived still is mostly a circular arrangement like a French horn. It was Stan Kenton's orchestra that used them extensively and Tony Scodwell played them with Kenton's orchesta, thus I'd defer to him for more insight, but I'll not give mine up now that I can play it again. It doesn't take much for me to say, since Stan Kenton used them, that they can present a wow factor and tone color in some songs or by some performers. I will say the marching configuration does become much more tiring to hold as you would a trumpet or cornet, and seems awkwardly balanced forward to the bell. This latter is why I now play mine with a Larry Kerchner very heavy weighted mouthpiece marketed by IYM.
     
  3. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

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    How a mellophone is like a trumpet:

    1) It is a brass instrument.
    2) It has 3 piston valves.
    3) You can hold it pretty much the same way.

    How a mellophone is not like a trumpet:

    1) Different key.
    2) Different sound.
    3) Different musical uses.

    These days, mellophones are generally used as a marching "substitute" for french horns. They don't quite have the same tonal characteristics as a french horn, but it comes a lot closer than tubas, trombones, trumpets, or even flugelhorns. On a few rare occasions, you might see one being used for solo purposes (jazz, brass ensembles, etc...).

    They are pretty fun instruments though! I played one as a secondary instrument/for fun in high school, and sometimes switched instruments with a friend during marching rehearsals (trumpet to mello).

    Kujo
     
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    And if one is talking about the older ones, there's the (harrump) intonation.
     
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Vintage Conn mellophone players had to be "masters of the lip" IMO, Tony Scodwell among them. The first I attempted to play in the mid 40s was in key of Eb (not mfg by Conn, but I can't remember by whom) which I'm told had better intonation than an F, but you can't prove it by me.
     
  6. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Mezzo Piano User

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    Mello is similar to the trumpet in that you can pick it up, read the music, and use the same fingerings to play. It looks like a bigger trumpet usually. It is pitched in F, just a 4th below the trumpet. It also is played with a cup shaped mpc like a trumpet is.

    French horns, including the marching french horn are played with a regular deep conical mpc. They are pitched a fourth PLUS an octave below the trumpet, and the fingerings are different.

    Both have their virtues and strengths, but I will have to be forced to do a french horn!
     
  7. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

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  8. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Mezzo Piano User

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    The ain't mellophones, they be Mellophoniums! They were designed partially by Kenton himself just for his band originally. They are pitched like a regular mello, but with vastly better intonation than the others of the time. the mouthpiece for these are unique, a large conical piece like french horn, but the shank is much larger, like a cornet. The nice thing of switching to a cornet mpc on these horns is that your range WILL jump at least an octave, I gaurantee it.

    A further difference, normal mello mpcs have shanks that are sized like trumpet mpcs, but shorter with larger cups.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Yes, for the era what Stan Kenton's orchestra used what was then labeled a Conn Mellophonium in lieu of a "mellophone" but for the rest if the story I'll again defer to Tony Scodwell who was then playing the Conn "Mellophonium" with Kenton's orchestra. As for mouthpieces, just as they are for trumpets the choice was up to the player. Too, Tony is noted now for building his own brand of trumpets.

    For my Yamaha mellophone, I've 6 different mpcs of different brands, types and sizes, 7 if you include a Farkas French horn mpc with adapter that I often have played with it.
    Having once played a few vintage mellos and a French horn in addition to my present mello as I'm sure others who have played them will agree, intonation is a "beast" to control on them all.
     
  10. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

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    I did not know that.
     

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