The phrase “electronic keyboard” describes any instrument that creates sound by thepressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, somehow, to facilitate the roll-out of that sound. Using Kawai piano to create music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the 1st musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is definitely the oldest of these, initially created by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C., and referred to as 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 until the 14th century, the organ remained the only real keyboard instrument. Many times, it failed to come with a keyboard in any way, instead utilizing large levers or buttons which were operated by utilizing the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance of the clavichord and harpsichord inside the 1300’s was accelerated by the standardization of the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys seen in all keyboard instruments these days. The popularity of the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed through the development and widespread adoption in the piano within the 18th century. The piano had been a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards since a pianist could vary the amount (or dynamics) of the sound the instrument produced by varying the force that each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was the following essential part of the development of the present day 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. This was shortly followed by the “clavecin electrique” designed by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The first kind instrument was made up of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to improve 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 the clavecin used electricity as a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented such an instrument referred to as “musical telegraph.,” which had been, essentially, the very first portable electric piano. Gray learned that he could control sound coming from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, therefore invented a simple single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from your electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them over a telephone line. Grey went on to add a simple 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 next major cause of the growth 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 very first vacuum tube instrument, the “Audion Piano,” in 1915. The vacuum tube became an essential element of electronic instruments for the upcoming half a century until the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade from the 1920’s brought a wealth of new electronic instruments to the scene such as the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and the Trautonium.
Another major breakthrough within the history of electronic keyboards arrived 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 until the invention of the Chamberlin Music Maker, and also the Mellotron inside the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin and the Mellotron were the initial ever sample-playback keyboards meant for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance within the 1940’s with the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). This is a three and a half octave instrument made from 1946 until 1948 that came designed 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 an effective push towards the evolution in the electronic musical keyboards we 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 which were self-contained, portable instruments capable of 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 having a built-in keyboard, and also this instrument further standardized the appearance of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, like the Minimoog and also the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, competent at producing only one tone at a time. A couple of, like the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, as well as the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones simultaneously when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones that allow for that playing of chords) was only obtainable, in the beginning, using electronic organ designs. There were numerous electronic keyboards produced which combined organ izlcdl with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, and also the ARP Omni.
By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the look of polyphonic synthesizers like 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 one to make use of a microprocessor being a controller, and also allowed all knob settings to become saved in computer memory and recalled by just pushing some control. The Prophet-5’s design soon had become the new standard within 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), as well as the ongoing portable electric piano have produced tremendous advancements in most elements of electronic keyboard design, construction, function, quality of sound, and price. Today’s manufactures, such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are producing a great deal of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and definately will continue to accomplish this well to the foreseeable future.