List of electro-mechanical keyboard instruments

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Two electro-mechanical keyboard instruments: above: A Hohner Clavinet D6; below: a Fender Rhodes

An electro-mechanical keyboard instrument is a musical instrument in which a mechanical movement causes a resonance body to vibrate. The sound is picked up electrically, by a piezo or electromagnetic pickup . The sound is usually, since it is otherwise hardly audible, amplified by a loudspeaker system and brought to any loud level. Since the first electromechanical keyboard instruments in the first half of the 20th century, these have enjoyed great popularity and some of them have had an enormous impact on all of popular music. Although they are rarely built today, their sound is imitated in many digital instruments, and some of the original instruments are resold among connoisseurs at very high prices. The models most sought after and used today are the Hammond organ , the Wurlitzer Electric Piano , the Fender Rhodes , the Yamaha CP series and the Hohner Clavinet and, albeit significantly less, the Hohner Pianet .

Most of these instruments were originally designed as a portable and cheaper alternative to acoustic keyboard instruments. The Hohner Clavinet , for example, was intended to imitate a harpsichord , while the Fender Rhodes or the Wurlitzer Electric Piano were intended as a replacement for a piano . The Hammond organ was designed as a cheap alternative to church organs . Due to their very independent sound, which was very far from the original, many of these electromechanical keyboard instruments themselves developed into originals.

Well-known electromechanical keyboard instruments

  • Vivi-Tone Clavier (late 1920s - early 1930s)
  • Neo-Bechstein (1929)
  • Hammond organ (1934–1974)
  • Selmer Pianotron (first series from 1938; second series from the early 1960s)
  • Wurlitzer Electric Piano (1954–1982)
  • Fender Rhodes (1959–1985)
  • Hohner Pianet (1962–1982)
  • Hohner harpsichord (from 1962)
  • Columbia Elepian (1962-1982)
  • World Champion Claviset (from 1963)
  • Hohner Clavinet (1965–1980)
  • Hohner Electra-Piano (late 1960s to early 1980s)
  • Maestro (late 1960s)
  • Baldwin ElectroPiano (early 1960s to early 1970s)
  • Baldwin Combo Harpsichord (mid to late 1960s)
  • Musser Electric Celeste (late 1960s)
  • Yamaha CP series (1977–1987)
  • Lindner Lawrence (late 1960 to 1970s)
  • LeSage (late 1960s to 1970s)
  • Helpinstill (mid 1970s to early 1980s)
  • Kawai grand piano and upright piano models (early to mid-1980s)

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