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ondes Martenot. Elec. instr. (originally named ondes musicales) developed by Maurice Martenot, a Fr. musician, who patented it in 1922 and produced it in 1928. Looks like a spinet, with a kbd. of 5 octaves but can produce only one note at a time. Uses oscillating valves like theremin, but is operated by a wire across the kbd., the player producing the desired pitch by manipulating the wire which moves a variable condenser, the kbd. serving as a guide. The signal is amplified through a loudspeaker. Tone-colour and timbre are obtained by pressing a button, and vol. is controlled by a key. First demonstrated in Paris 20 Apr. 1928; first comp. to use it was Poème symphonique by Dimitri Levidis, 23 Dec. 1928. The instr. is used in Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony and in Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher.

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ondes Martenot

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