The phrase “electronic keyboard” describes any instrument which produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some manner, to facilitate the roll-out of that sound. The use of an electronic keyboard to create 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 such, initially developed 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 such as a waterfall.
From it’s first manifestation in ancient Rome till the 14th century, the organ remained the only real keyboard instrument. It often failed to feature a keyboard in any way, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that were operated by using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance from the clavichord and harpsichord inside the 1300’s was accelerated from the standardization from the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys present in all keyboard instruments these days. The buzz from the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed from the development and widespread adoption from the piano in the 18th century. The digital baby grand piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards since a pianist could vary the volume (or dynamics) in the sound the instrument made by varying the force that each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology inside the 18th century was another essential part of the development of the modern 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 accompanied by the “clavecin electrique” designed by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The first kind instrument was comprised of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to enhance their sonic qualities. The later was a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, that were activated electrically.
While being electrified, neither the Denis d’or or perhaps the clavecin used electricity being a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this kind of instrument known as the “musical telegraph.,” that was, essentially, the very first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray learned that he could control sound coming from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, therefore invented a basic single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them spanning a telephone line. Grey went on to add a simple loudspeaker into his later models which was made up of a diaphragm vibrating in a magnetic field, making the tone oscillator audible.
Lee De Forrest, the self-styled “Father Of Radio,” was another 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 initial thermionic valve or “vacuum tube,” and De Forrest built the first vacuum tube instrument, the This Site in 1915. The vacuum tube became an important part of electronic instruments for the upcoming 50 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.
Another major breakthrough in the history of electronic keyboards came in 1935 with the development of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the very first electronic instrument capable of producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so up until the invention from the Chamberlin Music Maker, and the Mellotron within the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin and also the Mellotron were the very 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 was a 3 as well as 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 increase of music synthesizers inside the 1960’s gave a strong push towards the evolution from 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 the creation of 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 was not truly a digital keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his “Minimoog,” a non-modular synthesizer having a built-in keyboard, and this instrument further standardized the appearance of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, including the Minimoog as well as the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, capable of producing just one tone at any given time. Several, including the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, as well as the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones at once when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones which permit for the playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, at first, using electronic organ designs. There have been several 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 including the Oberheim Four-Voice, as well as 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 one to utilize a microprocessor as being a controller, as well as allowed all knob settings to be saved in computer memory and recalled by just pushing a button. The Prophet-5’s design soon took over as 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 and other devices for input and programming), and also the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in most elements of best home digital piano, construction, function, sound quality, and price. Today’s manufactures, like Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are producing a good amount of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and can continue to do so well to the near future.