MATRIXSYNTH: Bode exhibit at Estey Organ Museum & a Note on The First Modulars

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Bode exhibit at Estey Organ Museum & a Note on The First Modulars

via el macaco on the AH list:

"I had the opportunity to check this exhibit out this past weekend, and I would recommend it to anyone in the Brattleboro, VT area to stop by and check it out. It is mostly pictures and text, with some of Harald Bode's notebooks and such, and some audio files from his tape recordings of his experiments. The organ museum is small but it has many old organs you can play and a walk through pipe organ, which is really the highlight of the place IMO.

I have heard so many times that Bob Moog and Don Buchla independently and at the same time came up with voltage controlled music circuits and a modular format for their synthesizers/electric music boxes around 1963. But Bode had built a voltage controlled modular system with integrated tape echo and reverb in 1960, and had published an article in Electronics magazine in 1961 about 'transistorized modular synthesis circuits. The web sites this article as a big influence on Bob Moog, and I am sure Don Buchla was aware of the article or at least of Bode's work stretching back to his 1937 formant organ and the melocord built for and used by Stockhausen. Bode appears to have built the first barberpole phaser so the influence on Buchla seems plausible. I would love to read the 1961 article, but I haven't found it in my websearches, if anyone has it please let me know.

It seems odd to me, because it wouldn't take anything away from Bob or Don, but it does take away the truth and the legacy of Harald Bode. It always seemed odd that they both came up with such similar systems independently, but it makes sense if they were drawing from the existing state of electronic design. So it seems to me, first voltage controlled modular synthesizer, Harald Bode 1960.

Anywho, they put out a CD of some of Bode's demonstration tapes which is available at the museum or through amazon. [LINK]

some beautiful music and some interesting demonstrations of his devices."

Update via haroldbodenews in the comments:

"Thanks for this great review!

We just posted the 1961 Electronics Magazine article for download.

http://haraldbodenews.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/123/

enjoy!

bests,
rp"

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great review!

    We just posted the 1961 Electronics Magazine article for download.

    http://haraldbodenews.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/123/

    enjoy!

    bests,
    rp

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article - I've seen this reprinted before 20 or 30 years ago. Now that it's feasible to recreate this setup in Reaktor, I would imagine it's capable of some wonderful sounds.

    ReplyDelete
  3. a) oh looky, vacuum tubes.

    b) whoever prepared that PDF of the article should be slapped---it won't print out at a proper scale.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi metasonix - i put a scaled PDF version up for print. the images are still 150-dpi you might still need to decrease the scale on your printer dialog box. also, i found the tone of your reply quite unnecessary and hurtful. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another neat thing- look at the bottom of that photo, near Mr. Bode's... ahem *hip*.

    It's a clavioline! Time to add a tag, Mr. Matrix?

    ReplyDelete

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