The term “electronic keyboard” refers to any instrument which produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some way, to facilitate the development of that sound. The use of an electronic keyboard to produce 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 designed 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 like 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 include a keyboard whatsoever, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that have been operated by using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance in the clavichord and harpsichord within the 1300’s was accelerated from the standardization in the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys found in all keyboard instruments nowadays. The buzz from the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed from the development and widespread adoption of the piano within the 18th century. The best digital grand piano was 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 with which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was another essential part of the development of the current electronic keyboard. The first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. This is shortly accompanied by the “clavecin electrique” designed by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The previous instrument consisted of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to boost their sonic qualities. The later had been 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 being a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this type of instrument known as the “musical telegraph.,” that was, essentially, the 1st analog electronic synthesizer. Gray learned that he could control sound from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, therefore invented a simple single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them spanning a telephone line. Grey proceeded to include an easy loudspeaker into his later models which consisted 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 reason for the growth 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 initial vacuum tube instrument, the this in 1915. The vacuum tube became an essential component of electronic instruments for the upcoming half a century till the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade of the 1920’s brought a great deal of new electronic instruments to the scene like the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and also the Trautonium.
Another major breakthrough inside the background of electronic keyboards came in 1935 with the introduction 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, as well as 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 designed for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance within the 1940’s with all the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). This was a three along with 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.”
An upswing of music synthesizers within the 1960’s gave a strong push towards the evolution of the electronic musical keyboards we 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 producing synthesizers that have been self-contained, portable instruments competent at being utilized in live performances.
This began in 1964 when Bob Moog produced his “Moog Synthesizer.” Lacking a keyboard, the Moog Synthesizer had not been truly a digital keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his “Minimoog,” a non-modular synthesizer using a built in keyboard, and also this instrument further standardized the design of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, including the Minimoog and the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, able to producing only one tone at a time. A few, such as 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 creation of multiple simultaneous tones which permit for your playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, in the beginning, using electronic organ designs. There have been a number of electronic keyboards produced which combined organ circuits with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, and also the ARP Omni.
By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the appearance of polyphonic synthesizers like the Oberheim Four-Voice, and the Yamaha series CS-50, CS-60, and CS-80. The very first truly practical polyphonic synth, introduced in 1977, was the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. This instrument was the first to use a microprocessor as a controller, as well as allowed all knob settings to get saved in computer memory and recalled by just pushing some control. The Prophet-5’s design soon took over as the new standard within the electronic keyboards industry.
The adoption of Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) since the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to get connected into computers as well as other devices for input and programming), and also the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in every facets of best weighted piano keyboard, construction, function, quality of sound, and price. Today’s manufactures, such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are actually producing an abundance of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and can continue to accomplish this well in to the foreseeable future.