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Author Topic:  Trautonium
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2022 7:14 pm    
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I had never heard of this instrument before, until today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium

Here's a performance on the original instrument:

https://youtu.be/uIGBaYcIuEI

And here's a video of a more modern one being played:

https://youtu.be/KqnLZXOySyY
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Last edited by b0b on 20 Jun 2022 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2022 11:28 pm    
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More fun than a Theramin!

The two links sound much alike....
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 12:19 am    
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They're the same - please update
This is interesting
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 6:29 am    
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A synthesizer that predates the keyboard-oriented concept. It certainly is a lot of technological complexity for making music, but it is a unique sound. The hand on the top bar seems to be playing mostly chords and the one on the bottom bar handles single note lines, and it sounds like a pedal steel playing accompaniment for a lap steel. There is some technique that makes sense and some that doesn’t. Do you think those things that look like levers are pitch reference markers? That seems a little over the top if that’s all they do.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 8:05 am    
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Ian Rae wrote:
They're the same - please update
This is interesting

Sorry. Fixed the first YouTube link. It's a piece by Paul Hindemith played on an early trautonium. I shows a lot of closeups of the technique used to play it.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 11:45 pm    
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The new video reveals that every preconception I had about what this thing is and how you play it was wrong. It’s even stranger. I guess it is sort of a keyboard, though.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 11:45 pm    
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On further reading the article I saw that the trautonium was featured in the soundtrack for Hitchcock's The Birds. I think at the scene at 24:00 the instrument is used:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-7d029UR0k&t=1470s
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2022 12:12 am    
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It isn't a keyboard. The whole point of it is that it doesn't have keys. Instead it has continuous contact plates to give infinitely variable pitch, like a steel guitar or an ondes Martenot (q.v.)
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2022 7:44 am    
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Ian Rae wrote:
It isn't a keyboard. The whole point of it is that it doesn't have keys. Instead it has continuous contact plates to give infinitely variable pitch, like a steel guitar or an ondes Martenot (q.v.)

Correct. The black "keys" are actually just tabs to land on pre-defined pitches. You can use your fingers without the tabs to get any pitch in between.

A trio of them sounds great in classical chamber music. It's like a string or woodwind trio where each musician can change instruments at will.

https://youtu.be/k0UA0-heeFo
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 7:31 am    
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Imagine what people would call it if you showed up for a gig with one.
Wow, cool slide keyboard, man...
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2022 2:27 am    
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... and is hard to play?
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2022 7:48 am    
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Joachim Kettner wrote:
... and is hard to play?
Doesn't look any harder than a steel guitar.
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