Mellophone The mellophone is a three-valved brass instrument pitched in the key of F or E♭. The mellophone is used as the middle-voiced brass instrument in marching bands and drum and bugle corps in place of French horns.

These instruments are used instead of French horns for marching because their bells face forward instead of to the back (or to the side), as dissipation of the sound becomes a concern in the open-air environment of marching. Tuning is done solely by adjusting the tuning slide, unlike the French horn where the pitch is affected by the hand position in the bell.

Fingerings for the mellophone are the same as fingerings for the trumpet, alto (tenor) horn, and most valved brass instruments. Owing to its use primarily outside concert music, there is little solo literature for the mellophone, other than that used within drum and bugle corps.