The term “electronic keyboard” refers to any instrument which produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, somehow, to facilitate the roll-out of that sound. The use of an electronic keyboard to produce music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the first musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is the oldest of these, initially designed by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C., and called the hydraulis. The hydraulis produced sound by forcing air through reed pipes, and was powered through a manual water pump or a natural water source like a waterfall.
From it’s first manifestation in ancient Rome until the 14th century, the organ remained the only real keyboard instrument. Many times, it did not feature a keyboard in any way, instead utilizing large levers or buttons which were operated by utilizing the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance in the clavichord and harpsichord inside the 1300’s was accelerated by the standardization from the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys seen in all keyboard instruments these days. The buzz in the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed from the development and widespread adoption in the piano within the 18th century. The portable keyboard piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards because a pianist could vary the amount (or dynamics) of the sound the instrument produced by varying the force with which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was the next essential step in the growth of the current electronic keyboard. The first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. This was shortly then the “clavecin electrique” introduced by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The former instrument was made up of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to boost their sonic qualities. The later was actually a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, which were activated electrically.
While being electrified, neither the Denis d’or or perhaps the clavecin used electricity as a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this type of instrument known as the “musical telegraph.,” which was, essentially, the first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray discovered that he could control sound from the self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, and thus invented a simple single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds through the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them spanning a telephone line. Grey went on to incorporate a basic loudspeaker into his later models which was comprised of a diaphragm vibrating in a magnetic field, making the tone oscillator audible.
Lee De Forrest, the self-styled “Father Of Radio,” was the following major cause of the growth of the electronic keyboard. In 1906 he invented the triode electronic valve or “audion valve.” The audion valve was the very first thermionic valve or “vacuum tube,” and De Forrest built the very first vacuum tube instrument, the Read More Here in 1915. The vacuum tube became a necessary part of electronic instruments for the following fifty years until the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade from the 1920’s brought an abundance of new electronic instruments onto the scene such as the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and also the Trautonium.
Another major breakthrough inside the background of electronic keyboards came in 1935 with the creation of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the first electronic instrument able to producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so until the invention in the Chamberlin Music Maker, and also the Mellotron inside the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin and the Mellotron were the first ever sample-playback keyboards designed for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance inside the 1940’s using the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). It was a 3 along with a half octave instrument made from 1946 until 1948 that came equipped with self-amplification. In 1955 the Wurlitzer Company debuted their first electric piano, “The 100.”
The rise of music synthesizers inside the 1960’s gave an effective push for the evolution of the electronic musical keyboards we have today. The first synthesizers were extremely large, unwieldy machines used only in recording studios. The technological advancements and proliferation of miniaturized solid state components soon allowed the production of synthesizers that have been self-contained, portable instruments capable of being used in live performances.
This began in 1964 when Bob Moog produced his “Moog Synthesizer.” Lacking a keyboard, the Moog Synthesizer was not truly a digital keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his “Minimoog,” a non-modular synthesizer with a built-in keyboard, and also this instrument further standardized the style of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, such as the Minimoog as well as the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, able to producing only one tone at the same time. Several, such as the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and also the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones at once when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the creation of multiple simultaneous tones which permit for your playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, initially, using electronic organ designs. There have been numerous electronic keyboards produced which combined organ circuits with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, as well as the ARP Omni.
By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the appearance of polyphonic synthesizers like the Oberheim Four-Voice, as well as 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 one to utilize a microprocessor as a controller, and in addition allowed all knob settings to get saved in computer memory and recalled simply by pushing a control button. The Prophet-5’s design soon became the new standard inside the electronic keyboards industry.
The adoption of Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) because the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to get connected into computers along with other devices for input and programming), and the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in every aspects of see this, construction, function, sound quality, and cost. Today’s manufactures, such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are producing a great deal of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and definately will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future.