I love vintage children’s instruments, and I try to collect them. (It goes along with the edutainment thing, I guess.) I really like miniature accordions, toy pianos, and different types of glockenspiels.
Usually I troll YouTube for ukulele covers, but tonight I figured, hey. Ukulele is stale. I ought to listen to melodica covers instead.
Now, the melodica is an interesting instrument. It looks like a child’s instrument, like some common recorder or penny whistle, but it has a really warm, organic sound that hints at its relation to the accordion and harmonica. But it doesn’t sound quite like any other instrument—the melodica is inscrutable. With both the melodica and the accordion, you get the sound of breathing, of little air valves pumping, which lends these instruments a “voice” that you don’t usually get either with wind instruments or with keyboards.
And that is why I like the melodica.
With no more ado, here are a handful of classic Nintendo songs as played on the melodica.
This is the Super Mario Bros theme.
Just a snippet of the underwater theme from Super Mario Bros.
By no means the best of the Mario themes, but this guy wins for pure pizazz. (Nice hat.)
The music from Tetris is a popular choice for fledgling YouTube performers. Here’s one of the best, augmented by a truly odd comedic performance.
This rendition of the Zelda theme isn’t perfect, but it’s my favorite. Also, it looks like an awesome house party.
This cover of Zelda’s “Song of Storms” really benefits from its higher production values! (I’m also into the eye contact thing.)