What is the Trautonium?


The Trautonium is an electrical (later electronical) music-instrument whose principal was developed by Friedrich Trautwein in the late 1920s.

You could call it a relative to the synthesizer, but it is much more.

From the early 1930s on the development of the instrument is inseparable connected to Oskar Sala, who developed the Volkstrautonium (with Trautwein), the Rundfunktrautonium, the Konzerttrautonium anf last but not least the Mixturtrautonium.

The Trautonium is not played over a keyboard. The manual consists of a metal rail with a resistance wire. Depending on where that happens a sound will be generated electronically with different pitch. Glissando and Portamento are playable all over the manual, Vibrato also on the auxiliar keys.

The metal rail is moveable down (and self returning up) which controls the dynamic in a superb way.
So it's possible to give subtle nuances on controlling the sound.

The so generated sound passes many electronically Components like Filters etc. what gives many diversities to change the sound.

One further exception of the Mixturtrautonium are the frequency dividers which generates the sub-harmonic sound of the Trautonium.

More on the technique Page.


Copyright ©Jürgen Hiller 2001-2003