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Clavinet

From Academic Kids

A clavinet is a musical instrument, manufactured by the Hohner company. Its distinctive sound has appeared particularly in funk and rock songs of the last fifty years.

The clavinet is essentially an electronically amplified clavichord.

Various models were produced over the years, and include:

  • Clavinet I
  • Clavinet II
  • Clavinet L
  • Clavinet C
  • Clavinet D6
  • Clavinet E7

Most models consists of 60 keys and 60 associated strings, giving it five-octave range from F0 to E5.

Each key uses a little rubber tip to do a "hammer on" to a guitar-type string when it is pressed, just as the clavichord did in the old days. The end of each string farthest from the pickups passes through a weave of yarn. When the key is released, the yarn makes the string immediately stop vibrating.

Most models have two sets of pickups, which are positioned above and below the strings. The clavinet has pickup selector switches, and a guitar-level output which can be patched to a guitar amp. Early clavinet models featured single-coil pickups; the D6 introduced a six-core pickup design.

Originally the instrument was designed for home use and aimed at playing early European classical and folk music. The Clavinet L, introduced in 1968 was a domestic model and featured a wood-veneered triangular body with wooden legs, reverse-colour keys and a plexiglass music stand. The final E7 model saw the culmination of several engineering improvements to make the instrument more suitable for use in live amplfied rock music, where its use had become commonplace.

Other Hohner keyboard products, the Cembalet and Pianet, work by different principles (hammers strike mechanical reeds), and are not like the Clavinet at all.

The archetypal clavinet sound can be heard on Stevie Wonder's track "Superstition," from Talking Book, as well on Dr. Emmet's Rhoades to Funk.

External links

de:Clavinet

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