A monophonic electronic instrument. Invented in 1928, the Trautonium was based on the subharmonic scale. The sounds it created were used to emulate that of bells or gongs. In 1942, Richard Strauss used it for the bell- and gong-part in the Dresden première of his Japanese Festival Music. To play the Trautonium, you press on a resistor wire over a metal plate. Volume is controlled by the pressure placed on the wire. The sound was first produced by neon tube relaxation oscillators which produce sawtooth waveforms. Pitch was determined by the amount of resistive wire chosen by the player, and volume was controlled by a foot pedal.
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Jump to 1:12 to see the Trautonium played