The last instrument of the Givelet – Coupleaux collaboration was the ‘Coupleaux -Givelet Organ’ or ‘Givelet’. The Givelet was a unique instrument that combined vacuum tube oscillators with a sound control system using a punched paper roll in a way similar to a player piano to define the sound synthesis. Pitch, volume, attack, envelope, tremolo and timbre could be controlled by cutting and splicing paper rolls and like the “Wave Organ“, the Givelet was polyphonic. The technique of using punched paper “programs” was not exploited until fifteen years later in the 1950′s with the RCA Synthesiser. Givelets and Coupleaux’s instrument was designed to be a commercial and cheap replacement for pipe organs and utilise the ability for ‘silent recording’ or direct injection into radio transmitter. The Givelets were installed in churches around France and at a broadcasting radio station in Paris. The Givelet eventually lost out commercially to the more efficient and less complex Hammond Organ.
L. Lavalée’s ’Sonothèque’ or “sound library” was a ”coded performance electronic instrument using photo-electric translation of engraved grooves”. The instrument was capable of reading music and sounds encoded graphically with conductive ink sensed by a set of electrically charged brushes
Thomas LaMar Rhea. ‘The Evolution of Electronic Musical Instruments in the United States’ 1972
By the late 1930′s with the advent of reliable vacuum tubes and octave divider techniques it became possible to create small, portable electronic instruments that could, despite their size and simplicity, deliver a complex and variable sound. The Ondioline was part of this new family (which includes the Clavioline, Tuttivox, Univox and others) and was designed as an affordable, versatile piano-attachment that could extend a solo pianists tonal range and repertoire – as such, the Ondioline became hugely successful with pianists, dance bands, light orchestras and cabarets throughout the 1940′s and 50′s.
Videos of the Ondioline
‘Ondioline’ Book. Georges Jenny 1957
The Clavioline was designed to be a light portable electronic keyboard aimed at pop musicians of the time and became one of the most popular electronic instruments during the fifties. The Clavioline was a monophonic, portable, battery powered keyboard instrument. The first version of the instrument appeared in 1947 and was originally designed by M. Constant. Martin in 1947 at his factory in Versailles, France. The Clavioline consisted of two units: the keyboard with the controllable sound unit and a carrying case box fitted with an with amplifier and speaker. By using an octave transposer switch the single oscillator could be set within a range of five octaves (six in the Bode version). The keyboard unit had 18 switches (22 in the Selmer version) for controlling timbre ( via a high pass filter and a low pass filter ), octave range and attack plus two controls for vibrato speed and intensity. The overall volume was controlled by a knee lever. Martin produced a duophonic model of the Clavioline in 1949 shaped like a small grand piano and featuring a 2 note polyphonic system, the duophonic model never went into production.
The Clavioline made brass and string sounds which were considered very natural at the time and was widely used throughoput 1950′s and 60′s by pop musicians such as the Beatles, Joe Meek’s ‘the Tornadoes’ (on’Telstar’)and by experimental the jazz musician Sun Ra.
The Clavioline was licensed to various to various global manufacturers such as Selmer (UK) and Gibson (USA). An expanded concert version was produced in 1953 by René Seybold and Harald Bode, marketed by the Jörgensen Electronic Company of Düsseldorf, Germany. In the 1940′s Claviolines were also built into large dance-hall organs by the Belgian company Decap and Mortimer/Van Der Bosch.