Dr. Robert Arthur Moog (pronounced /ˈmoʊɡ/ to rhyme with "vogue") was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.
Robert Moog developed his ideas for an electronic instrument by starting out in 1961 building and selling Theremin kits and absorbing ideas about transistorised modular synthesisers from the German designer Harald Bode.
After publishing an article for the January 1961 issue of the magazine 'Electronics World', Moog sold around a 1000 Theremin kits from 1961 to 63 out of a three room apartment. Eventually he decided to begin producing instruments of his own design. After toying with the idea of a portable guitar amplifier, Moog turned to the synthesiser.
Whilst attending a convention in the winter of '63, Moog was introduced to the idea of building new circuits that would be capable of producing sound. In September 1964 he was invited to exhibit his circuits at the Audio Engineering Society Convention. Shortly afterwards in 1964 Moog begin to manufacture electronic music synthesisers. Moog's synthesisers were designed in collaboration with the composers Herbert A. Deutsch, and Walter (later Wendy) Carlos.
After the success of Carlos's album "Switched on Bach", entirely recorded using Moog synthesisers, Moog's instruments made the first leap from the electronic avant garde, into commercial popular music. The Beatles bought one, as did Mick Jagger who bought a hugely expensive modular Moog in 1967 (unfortunately this instruments was only used once, as a prop on a film set and was later sold to the German experimentalist rockers, Tangerine Dream). Though setting a future standard for analogue synthesiser, the Moog Synthesiser Company did not survive the decade, larger companies such as Arp and Roland developed Moog's protoypes into more sophisticated and cost effective instruments.Towards the end of his life, Robert Moog returned to his roots and ran 'Big Briar' a company specialising in transistorised version of the Theremin Moog Production Models.
Robert Moog was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor on April 28, 2005. Nearly four months later, Moog died at the age of 71 in Asheville, North Carolina on August 21, 2005. The Bob Moog Foundation was created as a memorial, with the aim of continuing his life's work of developing electronic music.