Inventors of musical instruments

Posted 6 years ago
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  1. Les Paul

    Les Paul


    Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. Les taught himself how to play guitar and while he is mainly known for rock music, he had an early career in country music. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.

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  3. Robert Moog

    Robert Moog


    Robert Arthur "Bob" Moog (/ˈmɡ/ MOHG; May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005), founder of Moog Music, was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.

  4. Pierre Schaeffer

    Pierre Schaeffer


    Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer (pˈɛər ˈhɛnr məˈr ˈʃfər, 14 August 1910 – 19 August 1995) was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician. His innovative work in both the sciences—particularly communications and acoustics—and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end of World War II, as well as his anti-nuclear activism and cultural criticism garnered him widespread recognition in his lifetime.

  5. Harry Partch

    Harry Partch


    Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer, music theorist, and creator of musical instruments. He composed using scales of unequal intervals in just intonation, and was one of the first 20th-century composers in the West to work systematically with microtonal scales. He built custom-made instruments in these tunings on which to play his compositions, and described his theory and practice in his book Genesis of a Music (1947).

  6. Susumu Hirasawa

    Susumu Hirasawa


    Susumu Hirasawa (平沢 進 Hirasawa Susumu, born April 1, 1954), nicknamed "Hirasawa" (ヒラサワ) and "Shishō" (師匠), is a Japanese music artist and composer.

  7. Leon Theremin

    Leon Theremin


    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Russian: Ле́в Серге́евич Терме́н) (27 August [O.S. 15 August] 1896 – 3 November 1993), or Léon Theremin in the United States, was a Russian and Soviet inventor, most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be mass produced. He also devised the interlace technique for improving the quality of a video signal, still widely used in video and television technology. His listening device, "The Thing", hung for seven years in plain view in the United States Ambassador's Moscow office and enabled Soviet agents to eavesdrop on secret conversations. It is considered a predecessor of RFID technology.

  8. Narciso Yepes

    Narciso Yepes


    Narciso Yepes (14 November 1927 – 3 May 1997) was a Spanish guitarist.

  9. Laurens Hammond

    Laurens Hammond


    Laurens Hammond (January 11, 1895 – July 3, 1973), was an American engineer and inventor. His inventions include, most famously, the Hammond organ, the Hammond Clock, and the world's first polyphonic musical synthesizer, the Novachord.

  10. Luigi Russolo

    Luigi Russolo


    Luigi Russolo (30 April 1885 – 6 February 1947) was an Italian Futurist painter, composer, builder of experimental musical instruments, and the author of the manifesto The Art of Noises (1913). He is often regarded as one of the first noise music experimental composers with his performances of noise music concerts in 1913–14 and then again after World War I, notably in Paris in 1921. He designed and constructed a number of noise-generating devices called Intonarumori.

  11. Ned Steinberger

    Ned Steinberger


    Ned Steinberger (b. Princeton, New Jersey, 1948) is an American creator of innovative musical instruments. He is most notable for his design of guitars and basses without a traditional headstock, which are called Steinberger instruments. He also has a line of electric basses and string instruments through his company called NS Design and was also the designer of the first ever Spector bass, the NS.

  12. Giles Brindley

    Giles Brindley


    Sir Giles Skey Brindley, GBE (born circa 1926), is a British physiologist, musicologist and composer. He made important contributions to the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but is perhaps best known for an unusual scientific presentation at the 1983 Las Vegas meeting of the American Urological Association, where he removed his trousers to show the audience his chemically-induced erection and invited them to inspect it closely. He had injected himself with phenoxybenzamine, an alpha blocker, in his hotel room before the presentation.

  13. Jon Rose

    Jon Rose


    Jon Rose is an Australian violinist born in the UK in 1951. Rose began playing violin at age 7 after winning a music scholarship to King's School in Rochester. For over 35 years, Rose has been at the sharp end of new, improvised, and experimental music and media. A polymath, he is as much at home creating large environmental multi-media works as he is playing the violin on a concert stage. Central to this practice has been 'The Relative Violin' project, a unique output, rich in content, realising almost everything on, with, and about the violin and string music in general. Most celebrated is the worldwide Fence project; least known are the relative violins created specifically for and in Australia.

  14. Andrei Sychra

    Andrei Sychra


    Andrei Osipovich Sychra (Sikhra, Sichra, in Russian Андрей Осипович Сихра Andrej Osipovič Sixra) (born 1773 (?1776) in Vilnius; died November 21/December 3, 1850 in St Petersburg) was a Russian guitarist, composer and teacher, of Czech ancestry. Sychra holds a prominent position within Russia, where he is often referred to as the patriarch of the seven-string guitar, and also as its inventor, disputed though that may be. He was a major force in the development of Russian guitar music and one of its most prolific composers, as well as an important teacher who trained a number of students.

  15. Yuri Landman

    Yuri Landman


    Yuri Landman (born February 1, 1973) is a Dutch experimental luthier and musician who has made several experimental electric string instruments for a list of artists including Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Liars, Jad Fair of Half Japanese, Liam Finn and Laura-Mary Carter.

  16. John Compton (organ builder)

    John Compton (organ builder)


    John Compton (1876 - 1957), born in Newton Burgoland, Leicestershire was a pipe organ builder. His business based in Nottingham and London flourished between 1902 and 1965.

  17. Richard Pockrich (inventor)

    Richard Pockrich (inventor)


    Richard Pockrich , or Poekrich (c.1695–1759), was the inventor of the angelic organ in 1741.

  18. Hans Reichel

    Hans Reichel


    Hans Reichel (May 10, 1949 – November 22, 2011) was a German improvisational guitarist, experimental luthier, inventor, and type designer.

  19. Adolphe Sax

    Adolphe Sax


    Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax (6 November 1814 – c. 7 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is well known for having invented the saxophone. He also invented the saxotromba, saxhorn and saxtuba.

  20. Paul Tutmarc

    Paul Tutmarc


    Paul Tutmarc (May 29, 1896 – September 25, 1972) was an American musician and musical instrument inventor. He was a tenor singer and a performer and teacher of the lap steel guitar and the ukulele. He developed a number of variant types of stringed musical instruments, such as electrically amplified double basses, electric basses, and lap steel guitars. His second marriage was to his former student Bonnie Buckingham, known as Bonnie Guitar.

  21. John Dopyera

    John Dopyera


    John Dopyera (born Ján Dopjera; 1893–1988) was a Slovak-American inventor and entrepreneur, and a maker of stringed instruments. His inventions include the resonator guitar and important contributions in the early development of the electric guitar.

  22. Walther Nernst

    Walther Nernst


    Walther Hermann Nernst, ForMemRS (25 June 1864 – 18 November 1941) was a German physicist who is known for his theories behind the calculation of chemical affinity as embodied in the third law of thermodynamics, for which he won the 1920 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Nernst helped establish the modern field of physical chemistry and contributed to electrochemistry, thermodynamics and solid state physics. He is also known for developing the Nernst equation.

  23. Thaddeus Cahill

    Thaddeus Cahill


    Thaddeus Cahill (18 June 1867 – 12 April 1934) was a prominent inventor of the early 20th century. He is widely credited with the invention of the first electromechanical musical instrument, which he dubbed the telharmonium.

  24. Richard H. Ranger

    Richard H. Ranger


    Richard Howland Ranger (13 June 1889 – 10 January 1962) was an American electrical engineer, music engineer and inventor. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of John Hilliard and Emily Anthen Gillet Ranger, He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I, earning the rank of Major. After the war, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1919 to 1923.

  25. Tom Oberheim

    Tom Oberheim


    Thomas Elroy Oberheim (Born July 7, 1936, Manhattan, Kansas), known as Tom Oberheim, is an audio engineer best known for designing effects processors, analog synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines. He has been the founder of four audio electronics companies, most notably Oberheim Electronics. He was also a key figure in the development and adoption of the MIDI standard.

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