RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord

RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord

The RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord was an electronic piano and the most popular instrument created by RMI. Often serving as a substitute for a grand piano in live performance, it didn't actually sound like one. It had its own distinctive sound that separated it from other electric alternatives to the piano, like the Fender Rhodes or the Wurlitzer, in that its sound was generated by transistors (like an electronic organ, which RMI started out making), instead of a hammer hitting a reed or tine.

It featured distinctive organ-like control tabs. It had 3 different sounds which could be mixed in combination (Piano, Harpsichord, & Lute, plus 2 variations called Piano PP and Harpsichord PP), an organ mode (which decreased the decay of the sound generated by the keyboard), and Accenter mode (which was similar to the percussive harmonic effect of a Hammond Organ).

It was featured prominently on Delaney & Bonnie's hit single "Only You Know and I Know", on Yes's albums "Fragile", "Close to the Edge", and "Yessongs", on Rick Wakeman's "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", and most liberally on Genesis's masterpiece "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". Other famous players include John Lennon on "" (although it's almost unnoticeable underneath the signature Grand Piano lick), Stevie Wonder ("Isn't She Lovely"), Blood, Sweat & Tears ("You've Made Me So Very Happy", "And When I Die"), Ray Manzarek of The Doors ("Hello, I Love You", "Waiting For The Sun"), LaBelle ("Lady Marmalade"), Leon Russell, & Sparks. Alan Price also played this piano in the movie "O Lucky Man!" and on the soundtrack. Chick Corea played an RMI on Miles Davis's 1968 album "Filles De Kilimanjaro" (while Herbie Hancock plays a Fender Rhodes on other tracks of the same album, so this album is a good example to compare both pianos). Keith Jarrett played one during his tenure with Davis, most prominently at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival.

There was a variation called the 368x produced in 1971, called "bass", that oscillated the tone. It was also given the nickname "The Warbler," due to the sound that was produced with rapid oscillation of the knob.

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