Monday, August 22, 2005

Robert Moog dead at 71

Robert Moog
Robert Moog

On the day that we start our instrumental theme on our Focus half hours, comes the news that the man who invented one of the most important instruments of the 20 century has passed away.

The official press-release says:
"Bob was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) in late April 2005. He had received both radiation treatment and chemotherapy to help combat the disease. He is survived by his wife, Ileana, his five children, Laura Moog Lanier, Matthew Moog, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog, and Miranda Richmond; and the mother of his children, Shirleigh Moog.

Bob was warm and outgoing. He enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. He especially appreciated what Ileana referred to as "the magical connection" between music-makers and their instruments.

Synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog's interest in electronic music began at an early age when he and his father built theremins, one of the earliest electronic musical instruments. As a student at Cornell University in 1963, he created the Moog Modular Synthesizer, his first prototype. After successfully introducing it at the Audio Engineering Society Convention and working with composer Herbert Deutsch, it was made commercially available in 1964.

Moog's place in music history was cemented after Wendy Carlos prominently featured his synthesizer on her 1968 Grammy-winning album Switched On Bach, giving his creation fame and respect.

More on his MiniMoog and his career can be read here.

The original MiniMoog:
The original MiniMoog

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