Magnus Chord Organ Model 890 (after 1960s)
The chord organ is a kind of home organ that typically has a single short keyboard and a set of chord buttons, enabling the musician to play a melody or lead with one hand and accompanying chords with the other, like the accordion. It was invented by Laurens Hammond in 1950 (model S-6) as an electronic home organ based on vacuum-tube circuits, similar to his earlier Novachord and Solovox models. In addition to Hammond, also Wurlitzer, Farfisa and Estey Organ made electronic chord organs.
In 1958, Magnus Organ Corporation introduced its electric chord organs, similar to electrically blown small home reed organs. Since then, chord organs were generally designed as instruments for beginners, and separated from the mainstream of home electronic organs. In addition to Magnus, also Emenee, Bontempi and Belcanto made electric chord organs.
Chord organ musicians
||This section does not cite any sources. (November 2015)
Chord organs have seen a recent revival amongst minimalist and ambient musicians.