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

It was invented by Constant Martin in 1947 in Versailles.[1] 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. The Clavioline used a vacuum tube oscillator to produce a buzzy waveform, almost a square wave, which could then be altered using high-pass and low-pass filtering, as well as the vibrato. The amplifier also deliberately provided a large amount of distortion.[2]

Several models were produced by different companies; among the more important were the Standard, Reverb, and Concert models by

  1. ^
  2. ^ Reid, Gordon. “The Story of the Clavioline.” Sound on Sound (March 2007)
  3. ^ Vox Electronic OrgansMusic Soul, .
  4. ^ All About Electronic & Electric Musical Instruments.  
  5. ^ Interview with Charles Chilton on “Round Midnight”, BBC Radio 2, 1989.
  6. ^ , Issue 5 ISSN: 1754-9892.Journal on the Art of Record ProductionCarlo Nardi (July 2011). "The Cultural Economy of Sound: Reinventing Technology in Indian Popular Cinema".
  7. ^


The clavioline has been utilized on a number of recordings in popular music as well as in film. A selection follows.


[4] (1962) was designed based on Clavioline.Canary S-2's first prototype, Ace Tone Also in Japan, [3]