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date: 18 November 2019


  • Hugh Davies


A type of theremin controlled by means of an antenna, constructed by George Gascoigne Blake (b England, 25 Feb 1885; d Sydney, Australia, 16 Jan 1961) in London about 1935. It was based on a beat-frequency oscillator and several models were made using oscillators of different high frequencies (e.g. 1.25 MHz and 670 kHz). It had a volume control and an interrupter switch, which articulated the sound and could be used to produce staccato; these were operated by the performer’s left hand. The Ethonium was used primarily for scientific tests, such as those carried out in the treatment of the deaf. In the 1920s Blake was involved with crystal receivers, radio telegraphy, and telephony; he discussed the application of such technologies to music in his article ‘Electrically Produced Music (Heterodyne Method)’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, lxxxiv (1936), 630–31. (C.K. Coogan: ‘George Gascoigne Blake, Gentleman, Scientist and Gadgeteer Supreme’, ...

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