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date: 18 November 2019


  • Hugh Davies


Monophonic electronic keyboard instrument developed by Harald Bode with the assistance of Oskar Vierling in Berlin in 1938. The circuitry was largely based on that of Bode’s Warbo Formant-Orgel (1937). The four-octave keyboard was touch-sensitive. A dozen knobs and switches on the console (which was the size of an upright piano) operated complex filters, a tuning-transposition control, and controls providing octave doubling and mixtures by means of frequency multiplication and division. A pedal was used to produce vibrato by applying frequency modulation of about 6–8 Hz. For a short period Bode appeared as a performer on the Melodium in music for radio, theatre, and films and as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic, but in 1941 the instrument was cannibalized during the early stages of the work that led to the construction of the Melochord.

H. Bode: ‘Grundsätzliches zum Selbstbau eines Melodiums’, Funk, (1940), 197 T. Rhea: ‘Bode’s Melodium and Melochord’, ...

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