Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts

First Advisor

Lanier Sammons


From the humble and clumsy beginnings of the Teleharmonium to the MIDI capable Euroracks of today that bridge analog and digital capabilities, the analog synthesizer has had a tremendous impact on both music and technology within the last century. Both bold experimenters and pop artists looking for interesting timbres have utilized the endless capabilities of the synthesizer; whether it be to get a rich, heavy bass tone to create a danceable groove or compose a complex, microtonal piece without ever touching a keyboard, a synthesizer could achieve these things. The synthesizer is universal in the ways it has benefitted and in some cases invented many genres of music. This report will explore how these instruments were developed since the primitive beginnings, the inventors that steadily improved the technology over the years and how they survived the test of time after digital synthesis and computer based sampling dominated the market. Meanwhile, I will build various basic oscillators that serve different functions to not only use on my Capstone record but learn first hand on how simple, tone generating devices could be expanded upon to create complex sounds and how to work with circuitry. I will also explore the challenges of building an electronic instrument from scratch and my experience doing so.

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