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date: 04 December 2020

Martin, Constant locked

  • Hugh Davies


( 1910–95). French radio engineer and designer of electronic instruments. In Versailles in 1932 he began the research that culminated in 1943 with his first electronic organ, exploring nearly ten methods of sound production. In 1936, in collaboration with the harmonium manufacturer P. Petitqueux, he developed the Mutatone, an electro-acoustic harmonium that used electrostatic pickups to amplify the vibrations of the free reeds; it was demonstrated at St Odile, Paris, in 1939. In 1937 he produced an electric carillon.

After World War II a range of small one- and two-manual electronic organs was manufactured under licence from Martin as ‘Orgues Constant Martin’ (1945–9), including the popular Organium, which has a single splittable manual (the point at which the split occurs can be varied by a selector switch within the range of a minor 3rd). As with all of Martin’s instruments, the sounds are generated by an oscillator for each note. About ...

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