Constant Martin


1910 –


Who is Constant Martin?

Constant Martin was a French engineer and inventor who perfected and successfully commercialised radio sets and most famously the Clavioline, a precursor to the synthesizer. He was the grandfather of director Michel Gondry and Oliver "Twist" Gondry.

After having obtained diplomas in 1930 as an electrical engineer and radio technician, Martin began his career working for Victor Martin, a manufacturer of radios, where he developed an original receiver. In 1932 in Versailles, he began to experiment with the creation of electronic music. During 1932 to 1937 he developed an instrument related to the organ which used harmonium reeds. The instrument was demonstrated in the Church of St Odile in Paris in July 1939.

In 1943, he completed the construction of an electronic organ with independent oscillators and harmonic analyzers, which he presented at the Louvre Oratory in Saint-Louis des Invalides and at the Palace of Chaillot. He also made the electronic bells that rang out at the city hall to sound the liberation of the city of Versailles. The Clavioline was launched in 1947 with great commercial success.

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on July 23, 2013


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