The word “electronic keyboard” describes any instrument that produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some manner, to facilitate the creation of that sound. Using a digital keyboard to generate 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 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 through 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 did not include a keyboard whatsoever, instead utilizing large levers or buttons which were operated by using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance in the clavichord and harpsichord within the 1300’s was accelerated from the standardization of the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys present in all keyboard instruments of today. The recognition of the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed by the development and widespread adoption in the piano within the 18th century. The piano keyboard reviews was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards since a pianist could vary the volume (or dynamics) of the sound the instrument produced by varying the force in which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was the next essential step in the development of the modern electronic keyboard. The very first electrified musical instrument was regarded as 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 former instrument was made up of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to improve their sonic qualities. The later had been a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, which were activated electrically.
While being electrified, neither the Denis d’or or the clavecin used electricity as being a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this type of instrument known as the “musical telegraph.,” which was, essentially, the very first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray found that he could control sound from the self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, and so invented a basic single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from your electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them spanning a telephone line. Grey went on to add an easy 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 the following major cause of the development 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 initial vacuum tube instrument, the digitale piano in 1915. The vacuum tube became an important element of electronic instruments for the following fifty years up 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 including the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and also the Trautonium.
The following major breakthrough inside the background of electronic keyboards started in 1935 with the introduction of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the initial electronic instrument able to producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so up until the invention in the Chamberlin Music Maker, as well as the Mellotron in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin as well as the Mellotron were the very first ever sample-playback keyboards intended 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 created from 1946 until 1948 that came built with self-amplification. In 1955 the Wurlitzer Company debuted their first electric piano, “The 100.”
The rise of music synthesizers within the 1960’s gave a strong push for the evolution of the electronic musical keyboards we now 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 which were self-contained, portable instruments competent at 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, which instrument further standardized the appearance of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, such as the Minimoog and the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, able to producing only one tone at any given time. Several, such as 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 (producing multiple simultaneous tones which allow for your playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, initially, 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 look of 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 make use of a microprocessor as being a controller, as well as allowed all knob settings to be saved in computer memory and recalled by simply 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) as the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to become connected into computers along with other devices for input and programming), as well as the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in most aspects of digital electric piano, construction, function, sound 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 will continue to accomplish this well in to the near future.