Moog Guitar

I’m interested in this new guitar from Moog for a few reasons. First, I’m curious as to how it will affect music: will we be hearing this instrument to a much greater extent? Given that similar music could be produced in post-production or digitally, why is it that this will happen? Is it a question of defaults?

I’m also wondering about the loss of creative instrumentation. If virtuosi performers on traditional instruments (not that electric guitar is “traditional,” but it is far more traditional than a desktop computer) become more rare, will there still be people who develop instruments like this?

Finally, there are lots of people inventing musical instruments: a kind of makers’ market of such beasts, both using electronics (including circuit bending), and using either constructed or found physical objects (like buildings!). With rare exceptions, these tend to be played only by their inventors, since the sunk cost in learning to play a new instrument requires some common cultural value that can be exchanged. By evolving an existing instrument that is widely known into something that produces a different musical effect, does this encourage greater diffusion? I think the answer is clearly “yes.”

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 6/10/2008 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    This totally reminds me of those Chinese plucking string instruments, like the Pipa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipa, except that this Moog Guitar is electric.

  2. mrbiglive
    Posted 6/11/2008 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Sounds like a synthesizer, in a guitar, that cost $6500.

    The Moog Guitar is another major development like guitar pickups. Who knows, maybe in 10 years, it may come standard in every electric guitar (along with built-in iPhone and cup holder). I certainly welcome it. Speaking of post-production, the ability to sustain the sound “live” is what makes this valuable. If you watch Steve Vai perform live ( or watch his DVD), you will see how his sustained notes adds to the performance (especially the notes he sustained by blowing at his strings). It is almost like adding a new dimension to your playing style or creating alternative soundscape. The result is exponential.

    Acoustic guitar players like Kaki King, Billy McLauglin (who relearned playing with his right hand after dystonia affected his left hand), Don Ross, etc, used basic instrument to create some of the most complex guitar playing. With instruments like the Moog, players are just going to push the envelop even further. Video sites like youtube encourage (even amateur) players to one-up each other in terms of creativity and skills. So, creativity is unlikely to die even with the advancement of technology.

  3. Posted 6/11/2008 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    obviously that’s one for the department of ZOMG! As someone who got to play with 60 second tape delays by stringing tapes all around rooms, to get the funki effects, I can just say I want one. Evil of you to not link to the actual page at moog where i can buy one, prolly cause I cannot :( My last moog was the moog liberation http://www.vintagesynth.com/index2.html). Drool

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