clavinet (Electro-mechanical amplified clavichord)

~ String instrument


Originally produced by Hohner from 1964 to 1982, it had keys with rubber-clad metal tines that tapped metal strings and two electric pickups. Its sound has been recreated in many modern synths.


The Clavinet is an electrically amplified clavichord invented by Ernst Zacharias and manufactured by the Hohner company of Trossingen, West Germany, from 1964 to 1982. The instrument produces sounds with rubber pads, each matching one of the keys and responding to a keystroke by striking a given point on a tensioned string, and was designed to resemble the Renaissance-era clavichord.

Although originally intended for home use, the Clavinet became popular on stage, and could be used to create electric guitar sounds on a keyboard. It is strongly associated with Stevie Wonder, who used the instrument extensively, particularly on his 1972 hit "Superstition", and was regularly featured in rock, funk and reggae music throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Modern digital keyboards can emulate the Clavinet sound, but there is also a grass-roots industry of repairers who continue to maintain the instrument.

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invented by:Ernst Zacharias (instrument inventor working for Hohner) (in 1964)
derived from:clavichord
picture: [info]
Wikidata:Q1099153 [info]