- Hugh Davies
An electronic organ, many models of which were designed by a team including S. Fideli, G. Mazzini, and Orlandoni, and manufactured by the Elka company in Castelfidardo, near Ancona, from 1964. The range consisted chiefly of home organs: some of these have a single manual, but the majority are two-manual ‘spinet’ organs. Some models, like other makes of home organ, include rhythm and ‘walking bass’ units, arpeggiators, small memories, and chord systems; some incorporate a monophonic solo ‘synthesizer’ unit, and for others pre-programmed accompaniments were available on plug-in cartridges. From about 1977 Elka also manufactured string synthesizers, the Elkavox and Concorde electronic piano accordions, the Wilgamat electronic percussion unit, and, from 1982, the Synthex analogue polyphonic syhtnesizer, possibly the most popular Italian synthesizer. In 1989 the Elka brand and factory in Recanati were sold to GEM (Galanti Egidio Mondaino S.r.l.), from 1994 known as GeneralMusic S.p.A., manufacturer of LEM professional audio systems, digital and acoustic pianos (the latter under the brand Schulze Pollmann), synthesizers, and arranger workstations....