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Electronic Music: Ondes Martenot

Information, links, and research resources relating to Electronic & Computer Music


"Looks like a spinet, with a keyboard of 5 octaves but can produce only one note at a time. Uses oscillating valves like the theremin but is operated by a wire across the keyboard, the player producing the desired pitch by manipulating the wire which moves a variable condenser, the keyboard serving as a guide. The signal is amplified through a loudspeaker. Toneā€colour and timbre are obtained by pressing a button, and vol. is controlled by a key.

"First demonstrated in Paris, 20 April 1928; first composition to use it was Poème symphonique by Dimitri Levidis, 23 Dec. 1928."

- Oxford Music Online


photograph showing pieces of Ondes Martenot

Ondes Martenot Demo

"Formule" by Thomas Bloch

Thomas Bloch performs his own composition, "Formule," in a live performance in London, October 2007.

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Christine Adams
Christine Adams, MLS
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