Saturday, June 09, 2007

SO MY BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP.... August. Who is going to be my best friend this year & buy me one of these--

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

The clavioline was an electronic keyboard instrument, a forerunner to the analog synthesizer.

It was invented by Constant Martin in 1947. It consists of a keyboard and a separate amplifier and speaker unit. The keyboard usually covered three octaves, and had a number of switches to alter the tone of the sound produced, add vibrato, and provide other effects. Several models were produced by different companies; among the more important were the Standard, Reverb, and Concert models by Gibson and Selmer in the 1950s. The Bode 6-octave model employed octave transposition.


The clavioline has been utilized on a number of recordings in popular music, including:

* The 1953 tune "Little Red Monkey" by Frank Chacksfield's Tunesmiths, featuring Jack Jordan on clavioline. This was the first record featuring an electronic instrument to feature on the UK pop chart (April 1953).
* The 1961 song "Runaway" by Del Shannon. The song features a famous solo by Max Crook, performed on a heavily-modified clavioline that Crook called the "Musitron".
* The 1962 hit instrumental "Telstar" by The Tornados.
* The 1965 jazz albums The Magic City and The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume Two by Sun Ra.
* The 1967 hit "Baby You're a Rich Man" by The Beatles.

Van Phillips also composed music for the clavioline for the science-fiction radio trilogy Journey Into Space.

It hasn't been updated on Wikipedia yet, but this is also the organ used to make the cool snake charmer sounds on The White Stripes' new single "Icky Thump".


greg davis said...

claviolines are awesome.
matthew de gennaro played one of those when he came through town. good luck finding one!

the le duo said...

the clavioline solo on 'runaway' is one of my all time favorite whistle-along-to songs ever.

casey said...

My birthday has passed, but I still want this.

Cheaper, and more readily available! said...

"Runaway" — now I know where I've heard it before. Am I crazy or did the Cowsills use it once, too?

jay said...

Damn...I'd like to have that Abbey Roads package too. I've been really big on the Leslie sound lately.