Definition of ondes martenot in English:

ondes martenot


  • An electronic keyboard producing one note of variable pitch.

    • ‘My part is a cold delayed synth part that sounds not unlike Jonny's work with the ondes martenot on the lastest radiohead gubbins.’
    • ‘Messiaen also produced one of the first orchestral scores incorporating an electronic instrument, the ondes martenot: his Turangalîla-symphonie.’
    • ‘The composer has all but been forgotten, but the ondes martenot continues to startle and seduce listeners with its feverish swoopings and shimmerings, thanks largely to the tireless promotion of its leading exponent, Jeanne Loriod.’
    • ‘This 20-minute suite contains a prominent role for ondes martenot.’
    • ‘Rarely heard instruments, notably the ondes martenot, produce colorful, sonorous, and wild tones.’


1950s: from French ondes musicales, literally ‘musical waves’ (the original name of the instrument) and the name of Maurice Martenot (1898–1980), its French inventor.


ondes martenot

/ɒ̃d ˈmɑːt(ə)nəʊ//ɔ̃d maʀtəno/