… and on keyboards …

January 11, 2009

I grew up outside of New York City, so it was inevitable that I would be dragged to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I resisted what I thought would be a day-long exercise on boredom, changing my opinion only when I discovered the early music collection. From then on, every visit to the museum had to include a stop to look at the instruments. It was in this room that I first saw a Stradivarius violin, and the oldest existing piano, constructed by its inventor, Bartolomeo Christofiori.

Last week the MMA put a large portion of its musical instrument collection online. I encourage everyone toi have a look, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. While randomly browsing through the keyboard instruments, I found this claviorganum:

Claviorganum, constructed 1598

Claviorganum, constructed 1598

I was immediately struck by how much it reminded me of a much more modern instrument:

Moog Modular 55 synthesizer, constructed 1975

Moog Modular 55 synthesizer, constructed 1975

I’m a mediocre keyboard player at best, but I remain fascinated by the developments in keyboard technology.

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