Melodica ~ Picasso Styling By Jepps

Melodica ~ Picasso Styling By JeppsLadies & Gentlemen, indeed gracious Boys & Girls also, please welcome into the world the divine and most beautiful face… of the Melodica Picasso.

If you have been following my custom Melodica posts you will notice I have specifically chosen to title this post with the official term ‘Melodica’, rather than my own term ‘Keytoy’. This is because I feel that this, my latest design, namely the Melodica Picasso, is the truest portrayal of the instrument in a professional light.

It is this portrayal which I feel gives divine utterance unto the authentic term ‘Melodica’ and with it a long awaited endorsement of its orchestral designation.

The problem with the Melodica is, unlike all other orchestral instruments, it has always appeared ‘unhappy’ or ‘uncomfortable’ with its own face. This is because having originally evolved from a child’s toy, it never had a professional face to begin with.

For as long as it has existed, the Melodica has retained the same appearance as that with which it was born with. Thus it has always harboured the toy-like face of its original conception.

Yet the Melodica is without shadow of a doubt one of the most professional instruments you may ever have the sacred pleasure of hearing. Make no mistake.

And I myself, a lounge pianist for over twenty years, I have heard this instrument crying to me in the night, pleading for me to please, please, please create and reveal unto the world… its true face.

It says, “I was born a child but I am now a sage. Please adorn me a garment worthy of my name.”

I believe therefore, if there were a standard, as there is with a clarinet, a saxophone or a trumpet, then the Melodica Picasso is where the Melodica finally stands up, puts on its dinner jacket and exclaims, “Listen! I am the embodiment of Jazz itself!”

I built the Melodica Picasso much in the same way as my other custom Melodica stylings, by mixing and matching components from various Hohner branded Melodicas. It’s all Hohner.

The Melodica Picasso features genuine Hohner white & black naturals, white & black sharps, both a genuine black casing and brilliant white mouth piece. Again, it’s all Hohner.

Now you ask, “Why did you call it the Picasso?”.

Well first of all let me explain why the design. A Piano has white naturals and black sharps. A Harpsichord has black naturals and white sharps. The Melodica however is a relatively modern instrument in comparison and until what I feel is this day, today, it had not yet evolved a true relative identity within the keyboard family.

Jazz. To answer the question. The Melodica is the very embodiment of jazz and so, it occurred to me that therefore the instrument should portray that element of its character in relation to the other keyboard instruments in the family.

Thus the Melodica Picasso is a blending of both Piano and Harpsichord styling, whereby alternating octaves display an alternating pattern of white on black and black on white. This 37 key instrument features two half octaves at each end, similarly alternating with the pattern, each embracing the two full center octaves in splendid glory.

I believe absolutely that the Melodica Picasso portrays the instrument’s character completely.

And so… unto Picasso.

It is not merely an artistic ‘label’. Nor do I consider myself a ‘picasso’ in like-mindedness. No, it is because firstly, I genuinely have an adoration for the artist and secondly, I happen to have met and dined with some of his closest friends. Some of whom painted with him at college.

Melodica ~ Picasso Styling By JeppsAt the turn of the millennium I was living and working in Italy as an English teacher, where on my joyous travels, I met many artists with whom I became closest friends. It was here during this time, that I happened to discover how these artists were also close friends of Pablo Picasso himself.

Here, the International Academy Of Art in Turin, of which my friends were administrators, awarded me a 1st Place Certificate In Sacred Art for an abstract illusionary pencil drawing of an “infinite garden painter”. Whilst I wouldn’t claim my “sketch” to be a masterpiece, I am certainly most honoured for the prize.

So there you have it. Good times.

Oh… there is also of course the fact that Pablo Picasso happened to be famous for wearing striped shirts. Yes, that’s it. Striped shirts. Well what do ya know.

God bless and goodnight.

Keytoy ~ Rainbluew Styling By Jepps

Keytoy ~ Rainbluew Styling By Jepps
The Rainbluew Keytoy By Jepps
Ladies and gentlemen, this little beauty you see right here is my most recent and beloved creation.

Readers of my blog will know I have dabbled in custom styling of melodicas before. Yet even whence dancing with the radioactive moon in the grace of the night, I still felt my one true love to be amiss.

I have discovered gradually over many years that my “problem” with the melodica is nothing to do with its performance, or that it is a “one handed” instrument.

Nay, for even a trumpet is a one handed instrument and besides, the performance of a melodica is purely a question of decent reed quality and adjustment.

Indeed, the base model featured here is a Hohner Superforce 37. Give the reeds a personal tweak and she will be your spouse for life.

No, my “problem” in the end all crunched down to aesthetics. How does it look and feel to hold?

Thus after experimenting a few times, I decided it was high time I actually put in some serious effort to design my own “Jepps” style.

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KEYTOY {Melodica/Pianica/Melodion}

Jepps Keytoy Hohner Superforce 37
This all black Keytoy is the superior Hohner Superforce 37. I own more than one of these, for spare parts and for the security of a decent instrument. Both sweet and powerful, in my opinion, the SF37 is the best reasonably priced professional Keytoy on the market.
Here’s an illusive little known wonder ~ the Melodica.

Call it what you will, what I call the Keytoy is actually a divine messenger of God, born from the heart of a Child.

Once upon a time the Melodica was only found in toy stores, or fairly selective music shops. It was by no means seen to be a professional instrument, not in any way.

It was however embraced rapidly by the Reggae communities and in time became a hallmark of their music.

It was here and then whence stage pianists became interested in the possibility of a more academically encompassing Melodica, with a greater scope for novelty accompaniments and indeed teaching.

Once the guys at Hohner became aware of the interest, they set themselves a little side project, just to test the waters… of a performance grade Melodica.

Hohner released a couple of these “scouts” onto the market… they watched… and waited… looking for any sign of a cultural rustling.

And when it came… it came from the top.

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