The Evolution of Electronic Instruments

Do you love all things acoustic, but have a special place in your heart for the plugged-in, turned-up, booming bass? How did we reach this point in time when all styles of electronic music have crossed world boundaries and brought so many cultures and generations together? Dive into the history of electronic music with us, below.  

First things first. What is the true definition of electronics when it comes to shaped sound? "An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronic circuitry."

As you know - there's so many layers to all things electronic when it comes to music. Today, we are going to focus solely on the birth and shift of the amplification of the instruments. Next time, we'll discuss the boom & controversy of the electronic music genre and industry.  electric synthesizer .jpg

So, how about the history behind this seemingly futuristic circuitry? "
In the 18th-century, musicians and composers adapted a number of acoustic instruments to exploit the novelty of electricity. Thus, in the broadest sense, the first electrified musical instrument was the Denis d'orkeyboard, dating from 1753, followed shortly by the clavecin électrique by the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste de Laborde in 1761. The Denis d'or consisted of a keyboard instrument of over 700 strings, electrified temporarily to enhance sonic qualities. The clavecin électrique was a keyboard instrument with plectra (picks) activated electrically. However, neither instrument used electricity as a sound-source."

"The first electric synthesizer was invented in 1876 by Elisha Gray. The "Musical Telegraph" was a chance by-product of his telephone technology when Gray accidentally discovered that he could control sound from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit and so invented a basic oscillator. The Musical Telegraph used steel reeds oscillated by electromagnets and transmitted over a telephone line. Gray also built a simple loudspeaker device into later models, which consisted of a diaphragm vibrating in a magnetic field."

To some, the electronic evolution has almost become blasphemous to some music lovers. Some believe that the purest form of music is in the invigoration of a violin string, while an 808 synth is "phony". People often speak of others with this opinion, although while it may be a myth, it is an interesting philosophy to consider. 

 electric synthesizer 2.jpegAs a final note, to those who may still have not found their fondness of the electronic sound - take into consideration what style may strike your fancy. If it's not a drum machine, you may be able to appreciate the intricacies and beauty in the ability to recreate instruments of the past - such as synths that were played on some of the greatest songs of all time - rebuilt into versions within sound sample libraries such as Arturia. 

It is truly a creative miracle if you realize how in depth and dynamic some of these scientific sound colors, simply made up of circuit boards & wires, have been created to be!