What prompted you to build instruments and what role should instrument builders have in shaping the future of music? Robert Moog

Robert Moog
Photo by John Warner
Courtesy Moog Music

Building electronic musical instruments has simply been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. As a child in elementary school, I loved to go down into my father’s basement workshop and build simple electronic devices with him. Some of these were what you might call musical novelties. I built my first theremin from a hobbyist magazine article when I was 14 years old and then wrote my first build-it-yourself theremin article when I was 19. Over time, my passion grew to be my calling; I’ve never been seriously interested in doing anything else.

Except for singers, musicians have always worked interactively with instrument builders to “shape” music. From the beginning of human history, instrument builders have used the most advanced technologies of their time to meet the needs of musicians, and the instruments they’ve developed and built have enabled musicians throughout the ages to bring us together for deep, powerful, joyous musical experiences. Music as we know it today would not have come into existence without musical instruments having come into existence. Thus, the question of what role instrument builders should have in shaping the future of music cannot be answered, because it is simply not possible to separate the evolution of musical instruments from the evolution of music itself.