The term “electronic keyboard” refers to any instrument which 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 create music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the very first musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is the oldest of such, initially developed by the Romans within 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 up until the 14th century, the organ remained the only real keyboard instrument. It often failed to come with a keyboard in any way, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that have been operated by utilizing the whole hand.
The subsequent appearance of the clavichord and harpsichord in the 1300’s was accelerated through the standardization from the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp/flat keys found in all keyboard instruments these days. The buzz of the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed by the development and widespread adoption in the piano inside the 18th century. The home digital piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards since a pianist could vary the amount (or dynamics) in the sound the instrument created by varying the force with which each key was struck.
The emergence of electronic sound technology within the 18th century was the following essential element of the growth of the modern electronic keyboard. The first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d’or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. It was shortly followed by the “clavecin electrique” designed by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The former instrument consisted of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to boost 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 perhaps the clavecin used electricity as being a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented this kind of instrument referred to as “musical telegraph.,” which had been, essentially, the very first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray discovered that he could control sound coming from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, therefore invented a basic single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds through the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them over a telephone line. Grey continued to add a basic 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 next major reason for the creation 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 very first vacuum tube instrument, the buy digital piano in 1915. The vacuum tube became an important component of electronic instruments for the upcoming fifty years until the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.
The decade of the 1920’s brought a great deal of new electronic instruments on the scene including the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and the Trautonium.
The following major breakthrough inside the background of electronic keyboards arrived in 1935 with the development of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the initial electronic instrument competent at producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so up until the invention in the Chamberlin Music Maker, and also the Mellotron within the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The Chamberlin and 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 with 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 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 an effective push to the evolution in 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 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 a digital keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his “Minimoog,” a non-modular synthesizer having a built-in keyboard, which instrument further standardized the design of electronic musical keyboards.
Most early analog synthesizers, like the Minimoog and the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, capable of producing just one single tone at a time. A couple of, such as the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones at the same time when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones which allow for the playing of chords) qhscvn only obtainable, in the beginning, using electronic organ designs. There was 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 appearance of polyphonic synthesizers like the Oberheim Four-Voice, and also 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 use a microprocessor being a controller, and in addition 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 within the electronic keyboards industry.
The adoption of Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) since the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to be connected into computers and other devices for input and programming), and also the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in every aspects of best home digital piano, construction, function, sound quality, and expense. Today’s manufactures, such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are now producing an abundance of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and can continue to do this well in to the near future.