The word “electronic keyboard” describes any instrument that produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some way, to facilitate the creation of that sound. The usage of a digital keyboard to produce music follows an unavoidable 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 known as the hydraulis. The hydraulis produced sound by forcing air through reed pipes, and was powered by means of a manual water pump or a natural water source like a waterfall.
From it’s first manifestation in ancient Rome up until the 14th century, the organ remained the sole keyboard instrument. It often failed to come with a keyboard whatsoever, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that have been operated using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance from the clavichord and harpsichord within the 1300’s was accelerated through the standardization from the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys seen in all keyboard instruments of today. The recognition of the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed through the development and widespread adoption from the piano in the 18th century. The electric piano price was actually a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards because a pianist could vary the volume (or dynamics) in the sound the instrument created by varying the force in which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology in the 18th century was the following essential step in the growth of the present day electronic keyboard. The first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. It was shortly followed by the “clavecin electrique” invented by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The previous instrument was made up of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to enhance their sonic qualities. The later was actually a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, that were activated electrically.
While being electrified, neither the Denis d’or or even the clavecin used electricity being a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this kind of instrument called the “musical telegraph.,” that was, essentially, the very first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray found that he could control sound from the self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, therefore invented a fundamental single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from your electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them more than a telephone line. Grey proceeded to include an easy 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 creation of the electronic keyboard. In 1906 he invented the triode electronic valve or “audion valve.” The audion valve was the first thermionic valve or “vacuum tube,” and De Forrest built the initial vacuum tube instrument, the their explanation in 1915. The vacuum tube became a necessary element of electronic instruments for the next fifty years till the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade from the 1920’s brought an abundance of new electronic instruments on the scene such as the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, as well as the Trautonium.
The next major breakthrough inside the history of electronic keyboards arrived in 1935 with the development of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the first electronic instrument capable of producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so till the invention in the Chamberlin Music Maker, and also the Mellotron within the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin as well as the Mellotron were the very first ever sample-playback keyboards designed for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance in the 1940’s with the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). It was a three as well as a half octave instrument created from 1946 until 1948 that came designed with self-amplification. In 1955 the Wurlitzer Company debuted their first electric piano, “The 100.”
The increase of music synthesizers in the 1960’s gave a powerful push to the evolution in the electronic musical keyboards we now have today. The initial synthesizers were extremely large, unwieldy machines used only in recording studios. The technological advancements and proliferation of miniaturized solid state components soon allowed producing synthesizers that have been self-contained, portable instruments able to being used in live performances.
This began in 1964 when Bob Moog produced his “Moog Synthesizer.” Lacking a keyboard, the Moog Synthesizer had not been truly an electronic keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his “Minimoog,” a non-modular synthesizer using a built-in keyboard, which instrument further standardized the appearance of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, like the Minimoog as well as the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, competent at producing just one single tone at a time. A few, like the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones at the same time when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones which allow for the playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, initially, using electronic organ designs. There was numerous electronic keyboards produced which combined organ circuits with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, and the ARP Omni.
By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the look of polyphonic synthesizers such as the Oberheim Four-Voice, and also the Yamaha series CS-50, CS-60, and CS-80. The very first truly practical polyphonic synth, introduced in 1977, was the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. This instrument was the first one to utilize a microprocessor being a controller, and also allowed all knob settings to get saved in computer memory and recalled simply by pushing some control. The Prophet-5’s design soon had become 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 become connected into computers and other devices for input and programming), and also the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in all aspects of here, construction, function, quality of sound, and price. Today’s manufactures, including Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are now producing a good amount of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and definately will continue to do this well to the near future.