The melodica as a creative and expressive instrument in the twenty-first century

  • Nathan De Broize-King

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts by Research


The melodica is generally perceived as a toy-like instrument, resulting in its predominant use by children, or as a gimmick in performances. This means that a sparse amount of research on the melodica exists. This thesis explores the melodica’s creative and expressive capabilities through mixed methods of research.

Qualitative arts-based research methods and practiced based research methods have been applied to this research. Arts-based methods involve questionnaires answered by melodica practitioners worldwide, and associated literature on various aspects of the melodica. Using the data from those methods, a more practice-based approach was used to demonstrate the creative and expressive use of the melodica, achieved through compositions for the melodica with supporting musical scores and video material. This thesis opens with an introduction to the melodica, discussing reasons on why this research is necessary, followed by a review of literature highlighting relevant sources for this research. This is followed by the research methods used for this study. The main body of this thesis will focus on the original pieces, analysing the creative and expressive uses of the melodica, closing with a conclusion of findings.

The result of this research highlights the fact that the melodica offers many creative and expressive possibilities, but with much still to be explored. This is demonstrated through both the opinions of melodica practitioners and the original pieces. The original pieces are available to the public online through YouTube. These findings demonstrate the melodica’s potential, thus proving it to be a valuable instrument with capabilities worth exploring, to improve the melodica’s perception and hopefully to inspire future musicians to use the melodica.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorChristopher Hobbs (Supervisor)

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