History of Electronic Musical Instruments

The electronic music style is one the most popular modern music genres. It includes songs which are created by electronic musical instruments. The most important events in the history of electronic music took place from the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. It is interesting to know that the first electronic musical instruments were invented at the beginning of the 20th century. Here, we are going to talk about the history of electronic musical instruments.

It is necessary to say that the first instruments were used only for recording music. However, the idea of using instruments for creating electronic music appeared later. The first sound recording device (known as autograph) was invented in 1857. However, the problem was that the autograph was not able to produce sounds that it recorded. The new autograph was invented and took 10 years to develop for use. It could record and produce sounds. In 1906, the new musical instrument, “audion,” was invented.

Obviously, composers wanted to use more advanced technologies in their work. As a result, the first attempts to create electronic musical instruments were made at the beginning of the 20th century. The American inventor, Tadeusz Kahl, was working on the Telharmonium for 14 years. Finally, the musical instrument was introduced to the world in 1906. However, due to its huge sizes the instrument didn’t become very popular. The weight of Telharmonium was approximately 200 tons! Also, the electronic musical instrument occupied 18 square meters. So, it was difficult for composers to use the instrument in their work.

In 1920, another musical instrument, Theremin, was invented by Leon Theremin. This musical instrument was equipped with two antennas. Theremin used electromagnetic field to produce the sound. Special attention should be drawn to the fact that the movement of hands was required to produce the sound via Theremin.

Later, several simple electronic musical instruments were invented by the Russian composer, Obuhov. Moris Morteno created his legendary electronic musical instrument in 1926. Later, the electronic instrument was used for playing the popular Turangalîla Symphonie. Many famous French composers used the electronic musical instrument created by Moris Morteno at the beginning of the 20th century.