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date: 14 November 2019


  • Hugh Davies


A miniature monophonic electronic keyboard instrument developed by Brian Jarvis in 1967 and manufactured by Dubreq (founded in 1967 by brothers Brian and Ted Jarvis and Burt Coleman; the name derives from ‘dub’ and ‘record’) in London between 1968 and 1981. The 20-note solid keyboard, made up of metal touch-plates, is played with a stylus, which makes an electrical contact and completes a circuit. Model 350S (1970) has a range of 44 notes and a second stylus which permits legato phrasing and hocketed quasi-two-note chords. The sound is generated by an electronic oscillator. Two settings are selectable by a slider switch: ‘straight’ tone and vibrato. There is no volume control, but the sound, likened to ‘a wasp in a tin can’, can be muted by placing a hand over the small loudspeaker. Although intended as a toy, the pocket-sized instrument has been used effectively in combination with a synthesizer and with tape treatments, and in ...

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