Claviola

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Where can I get a one?
Good luck. They’re out of production. Hohner only made a handful of them, and they’re extraordinarily hard to find.

How did ORZ get a claviola?
We worked for the company that made them.

How does a claviola work?
The simple answer is this: You blow into a tube and press keys. You can bend the pitch by moving your hands across the pipe openings. Other techniques such as flutter tongue can be applied.

How did you guys learn how to play the claviola.
We had never seen anyone else play a claviola. All the techniques we use have been developed by ourselves. Fortunately, we both have backgrounds in piano.

Can you get a little more technical with the construction of the claviola?
The claviola was invented over thirty years ago by Hohner technician and designer Ernst Zacharias (inventor of the pianet and clavinet). It was finally put on the market in 1996, and discontinued almost imediately thereafter. The claviola, much like an accordion, works by forcing air into a chamber, which is then directed to any number of chosen reeds. With an accordion, the air is forced by bellows; with a claviola, the air comes from the player’s breath. The main difference in design from the accordion or melodica, is in the reed layout and pipe chambers. In combination, these items contribute to the unusual sound created by the claviola–a tone simlar to a mellotron (the opening sound in “Strawberry Fields” by the Beatles). Normally, with accordions, harmonicas, and melodicas, the reeds receive air from the opposite side of the reed plate from which they lie. On the claviola the airflow comes from the same side. This also creates a different and unique tone quality, which can then be shaped by the length of the pipes. The range of the claviola is 2 1/2 octaves, or 30 set tones from g to c3. More than one pitch can be played at a time, but alas, only one hand can play.
Now you can write some music for the claviola and send it to us.