1 Describe Some Of The African-American Musical Creations Pre-Jazz Electronic Keyboards – Their History and Development

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Electronic Keyboards – Their History and Development

The term “electronic keyboard” refers to a musical instrument that produces sound by pressing or striking a key and uses electricity in some way to facilitate the production of that sound. The use of electronic keyboards to produce music was a natural evolution from the earliest keyboard instruments such as the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is the oldest of these, first developed by the Romans in the 3rd century BC and called the hydralith. Hydropower produced sound by forcing air through reed pipes and was powered by a manual water pump or a natural water source such as a waterfall.

From its first appearance in ancient Rome until the 14th century, the organ remained the only keyboard instrument. Often there was no keyboard at all, instead large levers and buttons operated by the whole hand.

The subsequent advent of the clavichord and harpsichord in the 1300s was accelerated by the standardization of the 12-tone keyboard with white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys found on all keyboard instruments today. The popularity of the clavichord and harpsichord eventually faded with the development and widespread adoption of the piano in the 18th century. The piano was a revolutionary advance for acoustic music keyboards, as the pianist could change the volume (or dynamics) of the sounds produced by the instrument by varying the force with which each key was struck.

The advent of electronic sound technology in the 18th century was the next significant step in the development of modern electronic keyboards. The first electric musical instrument was thought to be the Denidor (manufactured by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from around 1753. This was followed by the “clavecin electric”, invented by Jean Baptiste Thilaie de Laborde around 1760. It consisted of over 700 strings that were temporarily electrified to improve sound quality. The latter was a keyboard instrument featuring an electrically operated plectra or pick.

While electrified, neither Donidore nor Clavecin used electricity as a source of sound. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented an instrument called “Music His Telegraph”. This was essentially the first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray discovered that sound from a self-oscillating electromagnetic circuit could be controlled and invented the basic monotone oscillator. His musical telegraph made sounds from the electromagnetic vibrations of steel reeds and transmitted them over telephone lines. Gray incorporated simple loudspeakers in his later models. This loudspeaker consisted of a diaphragm vibrating with a magnetic field, making a tone oscillator audible.

The self-proclaimed “Father of Radio”, Li de Forest, was the next major contributor to the development of electronic keyboards. In 1906, he invented the triode electronic valve or “audion valve”. The audion valve was the first thermionic valve or “vacuum tube”, and De He Forrest built his first vacuum tube instrument, the audion piano, in 1915. The emergence and spread of transistor technology.

The 1920s brought a number of new electronic instruments onto the scene, including the theremin, ondes martenot and troutonium.

The next big breakthrough in the history of electronic keyboards came in 1935 with the introduction of the Hammond organ. The Hammond was the first electronic musical instrument capable of producing polyphonic sound, and was able to do so from the late 1940s until the invention of the Chamberlin Music his maker and the Mellotron in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Chamberlin and Mellotron are the first sample-playback keyboards aimed at music production.

Electronic pianos first appeared in the 1940s with Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes) “pre-pianos”. This was his 3.5 octave instrument that he manufactured from 1946 until 1948 and had a self-amplifying function. In 1955, the Wurlitzer Company introduced the first electric piano, “The 100”.

The rise of musical synthesizers in the 1960s gave a powerful boost to the evolution of today’s electronic music keyboards. Early synthesizers were very large and cumbersome machines used only in recording studios. Advances in technology and the prevalence of miniaturized solid-state components quickly made possible the production of synthesizers, self-contained portable instruments that could be used in live performances.

This started in 1964 when Bob Moog created the “Moog Synthesizer”. The Moog Synthesizer had no keyboard and was not a true electronic keyboard. Then in 1970 Moog introduced his non-modular synthesizer “Minimoog” with a built-in keyboard, and this instrument further standardized keyboard design for electronic music.

Most early analog synthesizers such as the Minimoog and Roland SH-100 were monophonic and could only produce one tone at a time. Some, such as the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and Moog Sonic Six, allowed him to generate two different tones simultaneously by pressing two keys. True polyphony (the generation of multiple simultaneous tones that allow chords to be played) was initially only obtained using electronic organ designs. Many electronic keyboards were produced that combined organ circuitry with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, and ARP Omni.

By 1976, further design advances led to polyphonic synthesizers such as the Oberheim Four-Voice and the Yamaha series CS-50, CS-60 and CS-80. The first truly practical polyphonic synth introduced in 1977 was the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. This instrument was the first to use a microprocessor as a controller, allowing all knob settings to be stored in computer memory and recalled at the touch of a button. The Prophet-5’s design quickly became a new standard in the electronic keyboard industry.

With the adoption of the Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) as a standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to be connected to computers and other devices for input and programming) and the ongoing digital technology revolution, electronic devices tremendous progress has been made in all aspects of Keyboard design, structure, function, sound quality, and cost. Today’s manufacturers such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Roland, and Kurzweil produce a wealth of well-made, lightweight, versatile, great-sounding, affordable electronic keyboard instruments that are close to We will continue to do so in the future. .

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