Tag Archives: Instruments of Rock & Roll

Eye On Design: Keith Emerson’s Moog Synthesizer

Keith Emerson Moog Synthesizer
Photos By Gail

In the mid-1960s, electric music pioneer Robert Moog created modular synthesizers using transistor technologies. His early synths featured modules that generate and modify the pitch, timbre, and volume of sounds when connected, or “patched” by cables. This allowed for unprecedented control of sonic parameters but made it difficult to replicate the same sound twice. Moog’s inventions came to the attention of the rock world when they were demonstrated at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The following year, Wendy Carlos’s album Switched-On Bach became the first chart-topping hit utilizing a Moog synthesizer. The instrument has its performance debut at a 1969 concert in the Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, where Moog introduced a quartet of synthesizers built specifically for live events.

Inspired by Wendy Carlos, Keith Emerson of the then-new band Emerson, Lake and Palmer sought out one of the synthesizers that Robert Moog had built for the 1969 concert at MoMA. The band’s 1970 hit single, Lucky Man,” with an expansive Moog solo by Emerson, helped to establish the synthesizer as a lead instrument in popular music. Emerson collaborated with Moog to expand the synthesizer and optimize it for live performance, adding additional components and preset modules that recall sounds.

Hammond L-100 Organ with Moog Synthesizer
Installation View: Moog Synthesizer with Emerson’s Hammond L-100 Stunt Keyboard (Left

Photographed as Part of Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll, on Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum Art in NYC Through October 1st, 2019.

Keith Moon’s Pictures of Lily Drumkit

Keith Moon Drumkit
All Photos By Gail

If you can make it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before the October 1st, 2019 closing date of its attendance record-setting exhibit, Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll you will find that it is so much more than just a collection of famous guitars. For me, the Oh, Wow factor is summed up in the true work of art that is Keith Moon’s Pictures of Lily Drumkit circa 1967. Jesus god, look at this beautiful thing. Just look at it. Continue reading Keith Moon’s Pictures of Lily Drumkit