Piano attachment (Ger. Klavierzusatzgerät, Anbauinstrument zum Klavier)
- Hugh Davies
(Ger. Klavierzusatzgerät, Anbauinstrument zum Klavier)
Small monophonic electronic instrument designed for use in conjunction with a piano; invented in the late 1930s, it remained popular until the mid-1950s. It is clamped to, or placed in front of, the keyboard, with notes of the same pitch aligned; the lowest note of the attachment is normally aligned with c′ or f′ on the keyboard. Piano attachments usually have a range of three octaves and the keys are somewhat shorter than those of conventional keyboards. The sound is normally produced by a single oscillator; the three octaves of keys can be set within a total range of five or six octaves (eight octaves in the Ondioline) by means of transposition switches. For reasons of size and weight the electronic circuitry is often housed in the ‘tone cabinet’ with the amplifier and loudspeaker. A series of between 12 and 22 stop-tabs operate comparatively sophisticated timbre, attack, and vibrato controls (and in some cases permit octave doublings); descriptions of the instruments emphasize their realistic imitations of orchestral instruments....