The term “electronic keyboard” identifies any instrument that produces sound by thepressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some manner, to facilitate the roll-out of that sound. Using digital piano price to generate music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the very first musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is definitely 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 even 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 keyboard instrument. Many times, it did not feature a keyboard in any way, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that were operated using the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance in the clavichord and harpsichord in the 1300’s was accelerated by the standardization from the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys seen in all keyboard instruments of today. The recognition from the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed from the development and widespread adoption of the piano inside the 18th century. The piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards just because a pianist could vary the amount (or dynamics) in the sound the instrument made by varying the force with which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology inside the 18th century was another essential part of the development of the current electronic keyboard. The initial electrified musical instrument was regarded as the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. It was shortly accompanied by the “clavecin electrique” invented by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The previous instrument consisted 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 the clavecin used electricity as a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this type of instrument referred to as “musical telegraph.,” that was, essentially, the very first Kawai piano. Gray found that he could control sound coming from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, and so invented a simple single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds through the 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 consisted 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 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 first vacuum tube instrument, the “Audion Piano,” in 1915. The vacuum tube became a necessary component of electronic instruments for the following half a century until 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 including the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and also the Trautonium.
Another major breakthrough within the background of electronic keyboards started in 1935 with the creation of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the initial electronic instrument able to producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so till 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 designed for making music.
The electronic piano made it’s first appearance in the 1940’s with the “Pre-Piano” by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). It was a three as well as a half octave instrument produced 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 within the 1960’s gave a strong push for the evolution in the electronic musical keyboards we have now today. The very 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 that were 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 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, like the Minimoog and also the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, capable of producing only one tone at a time. Several, including 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 that playing of chords) was only obtainable, initially, using electronic organ designs. There were several electronic keyboards produced which combined organ izlcdl with synthesizer processing. These included Moog’s Polymoog, Opus 3, as well as the ARP Omni.
By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the appearance of polyphonic synthesizers like 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 a controller, as well as allowed all knob settings to become saved in computer memory and recalled by simply pushing a control button. The Prophet-5’s design soon became the new standard inside the electronic keyboards industry.
The adoption of Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) since the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to become connected into computers as well as other devices for input and programming), and also the ongoing electric piano keyboard have produced tremendous advancements in most facets of electronic keyboard design, construction, function, quality of sound, and expense. 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 do so well into the foreseeable future.