Overview of Electronic Musical Instruments

  • John M. Eargle


Techniques for producing musical sounds by purely electrical (nonacoustic) means have been known for many years. One of the earliest was the telharmonium, invented by Thaddeus Cahill during the first decade of the twentieth century. The device employed rotating toothed wheels that imparted their signals to electromagnets placed in proximity. Various tones could be combined in harmonic relationships, and complex signals could be produced and transmitted directly over telephone lines.


Musical Instrument Electronic Musical Instrument Electronic Organ Musical Tone Musical Sound 
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References Cited

  1. Blesser, B., and J. Kates. 1978. “Digital Processing in Audio Signals.” In Applications of Digital Signal Processing, ed. A. Oppenheimer. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Fletcher, H., and L. Sanders. 1967. “Quality of Violin Vibrato Tones.” J. Acoustical Society of America 41:1534–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Moog, R. 1986. “MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface.” J. Audio Engineering Society 34, no. 5.Google Scholar
  4. Winckel, F. 1967. Music, Sound and Sensation: A Modern Exposition. New York: Dover.Google Scholar

Recommended Reading

  1. Rossing, T. 1990. The Science of Sound. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  2. Strong, W., and G. Plitnik. 1992. Music, Speech & Audio. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Eargle

There are no affiliations available

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