Definition of mellotron in English:



trademark in US
  • An electronic keyboard instrument in which each key controls the playback of a single pre-recorded musical sound.

    • ‘His distinctive voice resonates like polished grit over a combination of searing strings, Hawaiian lap steels, mellotrons and even enchanted lyres.’
    • ‘Frith piles up layers of sharp, melodic guitars, woozy mellotrons or mournfully folky violins, with results that range from the infectiously melodic to the fearsomely dense.’
    • ‘The band picks up the pace a few tracks later on ‘Heart of Darkness’ with an unusually fractured drum break, topped by ferocious, almost raga-like guitar and a subtly employed choir sound on either a mellotron or a chamberlain.’
    • ‘You have to follow where the innovations are coming from, delving into different sounds and instrumentation, working with electronic synthesizers and mellotrons, even banjos.’
    • ‘While acoustically based, he beefs things up with tons of keyboards and mellotrons, giving the songs a majestic feel despite their simplicity.’


1960s: from mellow + -tron, element of electronic.