Ondes Martenot with Tubes

Ondes Martenot with Tubes

Thierry Courrier, Grandes écoles, France
Laurent Quartier, Laboratoire d’Acoustique Musicale (Institut d’Alembert, Paris), France

ISBN : 9781786309051

Publication Date : August 2023

Hardcover 332 pp

165.00 USD



The Ondes Martenot is one of the precursors of electronic musical instruments, and is today considered, with the desire for a return to analogue, as a cult instrument. This book, which is the result of several years of research, sheds light on the intrinsic functioning of the Ondes Martenot.

Based on the study of numerous prototypes, the authors trace the historical evolution of the different techniques used: additive, multiplicative and relaxation syntheses. Often, the analysis of the functioning of these instruments demonstrates atypical technological choices, underpinned by a logic that places artistic creation at the forefront. Several models and simulations are built, so as to understand the functioning of each of the different sub-assemblies (keyboard, ribbon, intensity key, timbre filter...). At the end of the book, the complete construction of an Onde (copy of model no. 208) is described in detail. This practical realization of a facsimile is an opportunity to explore the know-how of the electronic luthier Maurice Martenot.

© cover photo: Thomas Bloch


1. Ondes 1928.
2. Ondes No. 15 (1930).
3. Ondes No. 169 (1937).
4. Model ‘47.
5. Ondes No. 208 (1953).
6. Building an Ondes with Vacuum Tubes.
7. Manufacture of the Leather Bag of the Intensity Keyand the Ribbon.
8. Transistorization.

About the authors/editors

Thierry Courrier is Associate Professor of electrical engineering in preparatory classes for the grandes écoles in France.

Laurent Quartier is a CNRS engineer at the Laboratoire d’Acoustique Musicale (Institut d’Alembert, Paris) in France.

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