In 2004 Phillip took up playing the melodica as a second instrument to the piano/organ/electronic keyboard. Although widely thought of as a toy/educational instrument, it is extremely versatile, and highly portable. The 37 note variant (with a 3 octave range starting on the F below middle C) has the same range as an oboe (except that the oboe has one further note – a high G) and can also play much flute and violin music (including double stops). The sample tracks here were performed on his 37 note instrument. He later bought a Hammond 44 instrument, which has that missing high G, and which can be seen and heard on his YouTube channel.
Here are some sample tracks Phillip created to show something of what it can do (unless stated they are all RealMedia files):
Bravade (2” 43') – from Van Eyck's 'Der Fluyten Lust-Hof' (the flute's garden of delights), a collection of flute music from the mid-17th c .
Syrinx (2' 44”)– the famous flute solo by Debussy. It is often played on the saxophone, but works well on melodica too. Click here for a higher quality MP3 version.
Three improvisations: the first (1' 55”) shows alia how the melodica can play chords and can be used for semi-contrapuntal writing rather like a violin); the second (1' 14”)and third (1' 54”) show the scope for agility: The fourth (1' 32”), fifth (1' 46”), and sixth (1' 36”) combine agility and contrapuntal writing.
More information on the melodica can be found on
Phillip Sear playing his 37-note melodica in the upright position.