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Mellophone: Fingering Chart

Updated on October 7, 2011

Mello-tone?

Is This A Joke?


For some reason there is a huge canon of folks who think that the Mellophone should be the butt of all band related jokes. In fact, there are a fair number of websites that make fun of Mellophones and the poor, degraded folks who play them. This mentality seems to stem from the late 19th century up until the early 1950’s however. It seems that a distinction needs to be made between this period and the period directly after. And the main distinction is that the Mellophone gained some sort of respect once it left the indoor state of the substitute French horn and became the go-to instrument for drum and bugle cores.

Mellophone Fingering Chart

The Vintage Mellophone


The original mellophone was just a French horn with a bent bell. In the early years of its creation, the horn was used inside and outside almost equally. Although not many people played the mellophone as a standard instrument, they did appear in a fair amount of bands and concert ensembles. The instruments themselves have a smooth, bright tone that resembles other brass instruments. They were mostly used to play the in-between notes and often were left out of carrying the melody.

The Modern Mellophone


The more modern mellophones are modeled after marching horns and are used strictly for that purpose. They have a striking resemblance to the flugelhorn, tuba and euphonium. They have a wild design that is predisposed to play the articulated notes that is required by martial music. It is this horn that gained popularity and respect, even though the parts they receive are still a far cry from the melody of the trumpet section.

Mellophone Jokes

Q: How can you make a trombone sound like a Mellophone?
A: Stick your hand in the bell and play a lot of wrong notes.

Q: What's the definition of perfect pitch?
A: When you huck a Mellophone in the trash, and it hits a trumpet.

Q: What's the difference between a mellophone player and a director?
A: Two measures.


Q: What is the difference between a mellophone section and a '57 Chevy?
A: You can tune a '57 Chevy.

Q: What do you get when you cross a mellophone player and a goalpost?
A: A goalpost that can't march.

Q: What is the difference between a squirrel and a mellophone player in the back of a taxi?
A: The squirrel is probably going to a gig.

Jokes -- Only Jokes!

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