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Who is Robert Moog, and what's this Google Doodle all about?

Robert Moog’s synthesiser was one of the world’s first widely-used electronic instruments; he also popularised the theremin.

YOU MAY ALREADY have spotted Google’s unusually interactive Doodle today, but you may not realise exactly what it is.

What you’re seeing on the homepage today is a Moog Synthesiser – one of the world’s most seminal, but still little-known, musical instruments.

Moog (pronounced as if it rhymed with ‘vogue’) was one of the first people to create musical instruments which turned electric currents into sound.

Essentially, Moog – who would have turned 78 today; hence the Doodle - pioneered the mechanism that fathered the modern electronic keyboard, by producing a synthesiser with buttons resembling a harpsichord (or piano) keyboard.

His synthesisers played a major role in the emergence of progressive music in the 1970s, thanks to his company’s industrial-scale production of affordable synthesisers including a keyboard with which many musicians were already familiar.

Among his other achievements were his role in popularising the theremin as a relatively mainstream musical instrument: though he did not invent the instrument, he built his own at the age of 14, and his company produced one of the first affordable models.

Looking to show off your musical skills? Share links to your recorded Moog ditties below.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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