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date: 13 December 2019

Ondium Péchadrelocked

  • Hugh Davies


A monophonie electronic instrument developed by Henri Camille Robert Péchadre in France about 1929. It was roughly heart-shaped and was light and easily portable. In performance the base rested on the knees of the seated player and the instrument was supported against the edge of a table. The sound was generated by a beat-frequency oscillator, the pitch of which was controlled by the right hand by means of a pointer moved around a calibrated semicircular dial; the range was about six octaves. Sound was heard only when a push-button was depressed by a finger of the left hand; the amount of pressure affected the volume. Another left-hand control produced sharp attacks like those of plucked string instruments; the timbre could also be modified. Péchadre filed for patents on this ‘wave operated musical instrument’ in France in 1929 and in the USA in 1930; the patent claims that the instrument can be played for a long time without fatigue, since it provides support for the player’s elbow and forearm. (E. Weiss: ‘Un appareil de musique radioélectrique: l’Ondium Péchadre’, ...

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