The development of different technical innovations during the beginning of the genre electronic music is very interesting. In fact, one particular instrument that I chose to write this blog on, was the first electronic musical instrument that produced sound that was derived from sampled sounds that were burned onto integrated circuits that is known as Read Only Memory or ROM, without the obligation for any type of disk drive. This instrument is called the Kurzweil K250. The inventor, Raymond Kurzweil, developed this instrument with the consultation from Stevie Wonder, who is a Grammy Award winning singer, music producer, and songwriter, Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Lyle Mays, an American jazz pianist, and Alan R. Pearlman, founder of ARP Instruments Inc.
The beginning of the Kurzweil K250 started with Stevie Wonder, in 1982, who invited Raymond Kurzweil to his new studio in Los Angeles. Wonder wanted to know from Kurzweil “could we use the extraordinarily flexible computer control methods on the beautiful sounds of acoustic instruments?” This conversation resulted in the founding of Kurzweil Music Systems with Stevie Wonder as a musical advisor. In 1984, the Kurzweil K250 was introduced by Kurzweil Music and could recreate the musical response of other orchestral instruments and the grand piano.
This instrument was also highly engineered due to the way the J12 connector on the back where the power pod connects to the unit, which is similar to the connectors used in the NASA Space Shuttle. Another characteristics that Mr. Raymond Kurzweil gave the instrument is that is has an array of multiple output options, a click track, a sync source, an analog output board that produced inaudible noise levels and a twelve-track sequencer.
The impression that the inventor, Raymond Kurzweil, leave with me as a listener and as an industry professional is one word, remarkable. Mr. Kurzweil level of creativity in technology, as well as music, was outstanding. This instrument was door-opening for so many other inventors and was greatly used by artists such as, Barbara Mandrell, Barry White, Bruce Springsteen, and one of my favorite jazz pianist/keyboardist, composer, Chick Corea. This invention goes to show that anything is possible to create if one would just put his or her mind and heart into it.