The History of Moog and Electronic Dance Music

The Moog synthesizer is one of the most iconic and influential instruments in the history of electronic music. In this blog post, we explore the history of Moog and how it helped shape the sound of electronic dance music.


Robert Arthur Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer and one of the most important figures in the history of electronic music, was born on May 23, 1934 in Queens, New York. His father, Ronald Walter Moog, was a piano technician who exposed his young son to the inner workings of keyboard instruments. This early exposure would prove to be an important influence on Moog’s later work. In 1954, Moog began studying engineering at Queens College, where he met Harold Bode, another important figure in the development of electronic music. Bode introduced Moog to the earliest electronic tone-generating machines developed in the 1940s by German engineer Werner Meyer-Eppler. These machines inspired Moog to build his own Voltage-Controlled Music Synthesizer Module (VCSM) in 1963; this was the first voltage-controlled synthesizer ever built.

In 1965, Moog founded his own company, R.A.Moog Co., to manufacture and sell his synthesizers. His first customer was Walter (later Wendy) Carlos, who used a Moog synthesizer on his 1968 album Switched-On Bach, one of the first albums of classical music performed on an electronic instrument. The success of Switched-On Bach made the Moog synthesizer famous and established it as a standard tool in the arsenal of many popular musicians. In 1970,Moog released his groundbreaking book The Psychology of Music, which discussed the psychological basis for why certain sounds are perceived as being musical.

In 1971, Moog partnered with engineer Dick Hyman to develop one of the first commercial digital synthesizers, the Melsonian Arts Model D Davolisint. This instrument was used on several popular recordings in the 1970s, including Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane.”

In 1976, after a legal dispute with former business partner Bill Hemsath over control of his company’s name and product design rights, Moog left R.A.Moog Co. and started a new company called Big Briar Inc., which he ran until his death in 2005. Big Briar continued to produce innovative electronic musical instruments and also became well known for its repairs and modifications of vintageMoogs Synthesizers .

During his lifetime, Robert Moog received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to electronic music; these included Grammy Awards , Guggenheim Fellowships , honorary doctorates from several universities , and induction into boththe National Inventors Hall of Fame andthe Asheville Music Hall of Fame . After his death in 2005 , at age 71 , tributes poured in from around the world from musicians , producers , engineers ,and others who had been influenced by his work . The RobertMoogg Foundation was established in 2006to promote creativityand innovationin music education throughthe useof electronic musical instruments .

The Early Days of Moog

Robert Moog, an American engineer and pioneer in the field of electronic music, created the first commercial synthesizer in 1964. His company, Moog Music, produced a number of ground-breaking instruments that would go on to be used by some of the biggest names in the music industry. In the 1970s, Moog’s synthesizers were used by a new generation of musicians who were experimenting with electronic dance music. These musicians would go on to influence the sound of popular music for decades to come.

The first Moog synthesizer

In 1963, after several years of research and development, Robert Moog debuted his first voltage-controlled electronic music synthesizer. The instrument was capable of producing a wide range of sounds, from simple tones to complex abstractions, and quickly became popular with avant-garde composers. In the 1970s, as electronic dance music began to take shape, Moog’s synthesizers became an essential part of the genre’s sound. Today, Moog’s legacy continues to be felt in the world of electronic music, as his instruments have inspired generations of musicians to explore new sonic possibilities.

The Moog modular synthesizer

The Moog modular synthesizer was one of the first electronic musical instruments. It was developed by Robert Moog in the early 1960s. The Moog modular synth was a revolutionary instrument that changed the sound of popular music. The Moog modular synth was used by many famous musicians, including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Kraftwerk. The Moog modular synth was also used in early electronic dance music, such asrave and acid house.

The Birth of Electronic Dance Music

In the late 1950s, electronic music pioneer Robert Moog created one of the first electronic musical instruments, the Moog Synthesizer. This new invention allowed musicians to create sounds that were never before possible. In the years that followed, Moog’s invention would play a key role in the development of electronic dance music.

The first electronic dance music tracks

The first electronic dance music tracks were made with the Moog synthesizer. In 1968, Walter Carlos released the album “Switched-On Bach”, which featured classical music tracks played on a Moog. This album was a hit, and showed that the Moog could be used to create new and interesting soundscapes.

In the early 1970s, several artists began experimenting with the Moog to create electronic dance music. These artists include Gershon Kingsley, Klaus Schulze, and Jean-Jacques Perrey. These pioneers laid the foundations for what would become a hugely popular genre of music.

The first electronic dance music tracks were fairly simple, consisting of repeating patterns and basic melodies. However, as more and more artists began to experiment with the Moog, the sound of electronic dance music began to evolve. By the late 1970s, electronic dance music had become its own distinct genre, with its own unique sound and aesthetic.

Today, electronic dance music is one of the most popular genres in the world, with millions of fans across the globe. Thanks to its origins in the Moog synthesizer, electronic dance music has a rich history and a bright future.

The rise of disco

The 1970s saw the rise of disco, which was heavily influenced by electronic music. Disco hits like “Last Dance” by Donna Summer and “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees featured synthesizers prominently, and the genre popularized the use of electronic instruments in pop music.

However, disco was largely underground until the release ofSaturday Night Fever in 1977, which popularized disco culture and made it mainstream. The film’s soundtrack, featuring hits like “How Deep Is Your Love” and “More Than a Woman,” became one of the best-selling albums of all time and helped make disco one of the most popular genres of the decade.

Despite its popularity, disco was met with backlash from some sectors of society. In 1979, for example, Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago saw a massive anti-disco riot that led to the cancellation of the event and the eventual decline of disco as a genre.

The Moog in Electronic Dance Music

Bob Moog, the inventor of the eponymous Moog synthesizer, introduced one of the first electronic instruments in the 1960s. This instrument would go on to have a profound impact on the development of electronic dance music. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Moog and its impact on the genre of electronic dance music.

The Moog in early electronic dance music

The Moog synthesizer was one of the first electronic instruments available to musicians, and it quickly became popular in a wide range of genres. In the 1970s, it was particularly popular in progressive rock and early electronic dance music.

Progressive rock bands like Yes and Pink Floyd used the Moog to create long, complex pieces with a wide range of sounds and textures. In electronic dance music, the Moog was used to create simple, catchy melodies that were easy to dance to.

The Moog continued to be popular in electronic dance music throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it is still sometimes used in EDM, but its role has been largely taken over by newer synthesizers and computer software.

The Moog in contemporary electronic dance music

The Moog in contemporary electronic dance music refers to the use of analog synthesizers, such as the Moog synthesizer, in electronic dance music (EDM). Although the Moog is not the only type of synthesizer used in EDM, it is certainly one of the most popular, due in part to its unique sound.

The Moog has been used in a variety of genres within EDM, including house, techno, trance, and drum and bass. In recent years, it has also gained popularity within the dubstep and trap genres.

Despite its relatively simple design, the Moog is capable of creating a wide range of sounds, from deep basses to high-pitched lead melodies. This versatility has made it a favorite among producers and DJs looking to add a unique edge to their tracks.


The history of Moog and electronic dance music is a long and fascinating one. Moog’s synthesizers have been used by some of the biggest names in the industry, and they continue to be popular today. While some may see electronic dance music as a relatively new genre, it has actually been around for decades. Moog has played a major role in shaping the sound of this genre, and its influence can still be heard in today’s music.

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