Invented in 1968 by Brian Jarvis, co-founder of Dubreq Studios, the Stylophone has become one of the best selling single musical instruments of all time, having sold three million units in the 1960’s and 70’s, and almost a million further units since it’s re-launch in 2007.
Envisaged originally as a ‘toy synthesiser’, the instrument’s unique method of play and classic synth sound, coupled with it’s uniquely small size, made it popular with professional musicians as well as the public, and it has become a truly cult instrument with fans in the very highest echelons of the music industry.
The basic premise of the Stylophone design was simple; to create a keyboard instrument that was cheap to manufacture (by eliminating the need for physical keys and replacing them with the plated circuit board touch-pads it is now so famous for) and which was easy for anyone to pick up and learn. To intentionally cut out the esoteric ‘need to be taught’ that put so many youngsters and newcomers off picking up a musical instrument.
In 1969 David Bowie famously used the Stylophone in the track ‘Space Oddity’ and it’s popularity sky-rocketed even further. The Stylophone was subsequently used many famous artists of the day including the Beatles, Kraftwerk, Queen, Vangelis , The Osmonds and many more.