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Guide to the Best Mellophones of 2019

Kayla Carstens

The mellophone is a brass instrument that is often used to substitute the french horn in various bands and ensembles when playing certain pieces. It is a three-valved horn that is pitched in either the key of F or E♭. The mellophone was created in the early 19th century, the earliest model being created by Herman Koenig, and it was called the Koenig horn. The mellophone is used instead of the French horn in instances such as marching bands as, unlike the French horn, the mellophone has a frontward facing bell, allowing the sound to be directed in a more desirable direction. If you are interested in playing in brass or marching bands, then the mellophone might be the horn that's most suitable for you.


We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a mellophone. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of mellophone,

  • See useful tips about that type of mellophone,

  • Select the right brand of mellophone,

  • Find accessories you may need for your mellophone.

Types of Mellophones

Types of Mellophone:

  • Traditional Mellophone:

    • The traditional mellophone has a rear facing or side facing bell.

    • The traditional mellophone has 3 valves and is played with the same fingering as a trumpet or french horn.

    • The traditional mellophone, unlike the French horn, can adjust its sound by using a tuning slide instead of changing hand positioning within the bell.

  • Marching Mellophone:

    • The Marching mellophone, unlike the traditional mellophone or french horn, has a frontward facing bell, to project the sound in a more desirable direction.

    • The marching mellophone, like the traditional mellophone, has 3 valves and is played with the same fingering as a trumpet or french horn.

    • The marching mellophone, like the traditional mellophone, can adjust its sound by using a tuning slide instead of changing hand positioning within the bell.

What reviewers say

Items that Can be Used with Your Mellophone:

  • Polish cloth:

    • This is a cloth that you use to polish your brass instrument and ensure that it has no smudges or fingerprint marks.

  • Mouthpiece brush:

    • This is a specially designed brush that is used to clean your instruments and ensure that it is clean and won't sustain any damage from dirt or fluids.

  • Mellophone Case:

    • This is a specially designed case for you to store your mellophone in so that it is easily transportable and does not sustain any damage whilst it is being transported.

  • Valve Oil:

    • This is an oil that you use on your mellophones valves in order to ensure that continues to be in working order and don't stick.

  • Lyre:

    • This is music stand that many marching band or brass band instrumentalists use to hold up their sheet music whilst they are playing.

Important Features

Tips for Consumers:

  • Materials:

    • Gold Brass:

    • Yellow Brass:

    • Sterling Silver:

    • It is important to consider the material that your mellophone is made of as it can affect the sound and also impacts the affordability and the amount of maintenance that the horn needs. For example, sterling silver may sound better but needs more maintenance than brass horns and is more expensive.


  • Parts of a mellophone:

    • Mouthpiece:

      • Mouthpieces for most brass instruments can be detached and come in many different shapes and sizes, that all, of course, affects the sound of your horn.

    • Lead pipe:

      • Be sure to check that if you are a beginner that your mellophone has an easier difficulty leadpipe.

      • Lead pipes can be changed and different ones provide different difficulties.

    • Bore:

      • It is important to keep in mind, that the larger the bore, the tubing within your horn, the harder it is to play.

      • Mellophones contain a conical bore, which means that the bore gradually expands as it goes along the horn.

    • Valves:

      • Most beginners valves are made with nickel plated material and thus are more durable, affordable and require little maintenance.

      • Professionals use monel valves which look better and also provide a better sound but require more maintenance and are expensive.

    • Slides:

      • The mellophone uses its slides to adjust the tuning of the instrument and ensure it is playing at the correct pitch.

    • Bell:

      • As with all horns, the bigger the bell, the louder and farther the sound of your horn will reach but it also requires more effort.

  • Finishes:

    • Lacquer Finish:

      • This is the most common type of finish for all horns and is cheaper and does not affect the horns sound.

    • Silver Plated Finish:

      • This is a more expensive finish but it allows for a better sound, as it increases the vibration of the horn.

Top-Rated Brands

Different Brands of Mellophones:

  • Yamaha:

    • Founded in 1887 Yamaha produces a wide array of instruments for consumers globally. With the humble beginnings of designing an organ, they now manufacture and produce drums, pianos, horns, guitars and so on. Their headquarters are located in Hamamatsu Shizuoka, Japan.

  • Jupiter:

    • Jupiters mission is to share the beliefs of reliability and involvement to every musician. Jupiter began in 1979 and today creates a large array of band instruments from brass instruments, like mellophones, to wind instruments, like flutes. They are currently located in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

  • Ravel:

    • Named after the French composer Maurice Ravel, Ravel aims to provide High-quality instruments at low prices. They began over 63 years ago and are currently located in the United States of America.

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