(also known as a cabinet organ
or American organ
) is a type of 19th century reed organ
with a foot-operated vacuum bellows
, and a piano keyboard
. It differs from the related harmonium
, which uses a pressure
bellows. Melodeons were manufactured in the United states from 1846 until the Civil War era. While it was sometimes used as a substitute for the pipe organ in small churches, it was primarily used in domestic settings.
In Ireland, the word is found in the commonly used phrase "cat melodeon". This simply means that something is awful. For example, if it is raining, one might say that the weather is cat melodeon.
- The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments, ISBN 1858681855, p140