The word “electronic keyboard” describes any instrument that produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, somehow, to facilitate the creation of that sound. Using an electronic keyboard to produce music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the very first musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is the oldest of these, initially developed by the Romans within the 3rd century B.C., and called 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 such as a waterfall.
From it’s first manifestation in ancient Rome up until the 14th century, the organ remained the only real keyboard instrument. It often did not feature a keyboard at all, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that were operated by using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance from the clavichord and harpsichord in the 1300’s was accelerated from 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 in the piano in the 18th century. The the best electric piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards since a pianist could vary the amount (or dynamics) of the sound the instrument created by varying the force that each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was another essential step in the growth of the modern electronic keyboard. The very first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. It was shortly then the “clavecin electrique” invented by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The first kind instrument consisted of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to improve their sonic qualities. The later was a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, that have been 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 such an instrument called the “musical telegraph.,” which had been, essentially, the 1st analog electronic synthesizer. Gray found that he could control sound from the self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, and thus invented a simple single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from your electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them more than a telephone line. Grey went on to add 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 contributor to 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 very first vacuum tube instrument, the digital piano for sale in 1915. The vacuum tube became a necessary component of electronic instruments for the upcoming fifty years up until the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade in the 1920’s brought a great deal of new electronic instruments on the scene like the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, as well as the Trautonium.
The following major breakthrough within the background of electronic keyboards started in 1935 with the introduction of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the first electronic instrument able to producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so till the invention in the Chamberlin Music Maker, and the Mellotron within the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin and also the Mellotron were the first ever sample-playback keyboards meant for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance in the 1940’s using the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). This is a 3 and 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.”
An upswing of music synthesizers in the 1960’s gave a strong push for the evolution in the electronic musical keyboards we have now today. The very 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 creation of synthesizers which were self-contained, portable instruments competent at 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 and also the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, able to producing just one single tone at any given time. A couple of, such as the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and also the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones simultaneously when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones which permit for that playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, initially, using electronic organ designs. There were 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 appearance of polyphonic synthesizers like the Oberheim Four-Voice, and also the Yamaha series CS-50, CS-60, and CS-80. The initial truly practical polyphonic synth, introduced in 1977, was the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. This instrument was the first to make use of a microprocessor being a controller, and also allowed all knob settings to become saved in computer memory and recalled simply by pushing a control button. The Prophet-5’s design soon had become the new standard in 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 as well as other devices for input and programming), and the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in every aspects of electric piano price, construction, function, audio quality, and expense. Today’s manufactures, like Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are actually producing a good amount of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and can continue to accomplish this well to the foreseeable future.