History of Synths
The first "synthesizer" created was the Theremin, created by Leon Theremin in 1919. This instrument did not require physical contact to play it. You would place your hands near the antennae and through that, you could control the volume and pitch.
After the Theremin came the Ondes Martenot, invented by Maurice Martenot during 1919-1928 and was not revealed until May of 1928. It was a monophonic instrument (only able to play one note at a time) and could be controlled either by a small panel on the left side, or by simply playing it.
As the years go on, more and more variants of pianos that use electricity are invented. Then, in 1969, Moog produces a ground breaking instrument, the MiniMoog. This instrument is the first synth made with recording artists in mind.
It wasn't just made for the elite organ players, it was made for musicians to play on stage. It revolutionized the music industry. This is the synthesizer that Wendy Carlos used on his album, 'Switched on Bach' which stayed in the Top 200 for over a year.
In 1977, Prophet released the first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer. They named it the Prophet 5.
Impact of Synthesizer
At first, people said that synthesizers were an "obnoxious mating of a catfight and a garbage compactor," and that the only use for it was "cheesy invader-from-Mars movies,". Moog was upset by this, and wondered if anyone would understand this amazing invention. Then, in 1969, a wonderful opportunity was presented to Moog. Wendy Carlos (Walter at the time) released an entire album of Bach's works, called Switched on Bach, played entirely on a Moog synthesizer. Many artists had released albums with Moogs on them before, but this was different. People loved it. It stayed in the Top 200 for over a year. People enjoyed Bach's work re-done. They loved it so much that Carlos and many others released more albums with classical works played only with a synth. It invited people to listen and enjoy the synthesizer. Other musicians decided to take a chance with this new instrument. It paid off well. By the end of the '70s, many artists had started using synthesizers in their recordings, and in the '80s, synth music had branched off to form many different genres. This allowed musicians to spread out with their music. These days, there are few albums that don't have synthesizers on them, since synthesizers have now allowed you to auto-tune notes that are out of tune, create drum beats, make orchestral effects and a variety of other things.