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Early Synthesizers, Keyboard and Performance Instruments

Conclusion to Part 1

Instruments for performance have to be relatively small and operable in "real time" by a single performer. Both of these factors posed major technical obstacles until very recently. Earlier electronic performance instruments tended to be more limited in scope and often emulated traditional instruments, most often the organ. Although Le Caine's instruments were intended for use primarily in live performance, they were also useful in an electronic music studio to generate sounds that would then be recorded and treated further in the studio. As composers became interested in direct exploration of sound beyond traditional approaches, the electronic music studio began to flourish.

Hugh Le Caine in the National Research Council (NRC) lab, 1974. (National Library)