Monday, August 22, 2005

Deceased: Dr. Robert Moog

This article has been everywhere today, and for good reason. Bob Moog was the creator of the Moog Synthesizer - an instrument for sound manipulation that came into existence in the late 1960's, and later became popularized by some of the biggest names in rock n roll. Like Les Paul set new standards for the electric guitar, Dr. Moog created something that has since been of tremendous importance in the music world and beyond. It's important as listeners to realize that music as we know it today has been significantly impacted, not only from the bands who make the music we remember, but also by the inventors who paved the way.

Widely credited as the founding father of modern sound synthesis, Moog built his first instrument, the cult Theremin, aged 14 before going on to establish the MiniMoog, "the first compact, easy-to-use synthesiser", in 1970.

Moog's sound would feature prominently in the music of the Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Doors in the late 60's and early 70's. However, it was Wendy Carlos' 1968 classic "Switched on Bach", which would take the electronic sound to the masses - going on to sell over 1m copies.

Today, 50 years after his initial work in sound, popular bands are still using the MiniMoog and other equipment that has come into existence because of it. Yesterday, after a battle with brain cancer, Moog passed away at the age of 71.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TAE, Nice review and tribute! In 1969 I played his music along with the group, Theramin and the Hand Men, on KYTC radio in the old farm house studio beside Baker Hall. He was the inspiration for a generation of music transition most notedly the Beatles, whose parent company Apple, while owning Entertainment Music Inc., funded research not only into electronics but also medical research (EMI scanner).