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Watch an entire auditorium get their minds blown by a Moog Modular in 1968

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moog synthesizer leonard bernstein

Young People’s Concerts, staged at the New York Philharmonic, are the longest running series of family classical music concerts ever organised. Beginning in 1924, each series hosted an auditorium full of children and their parents for a few hours of Moog musical education.

A clip we’ve found today by way of Open Culture is an absolute highlight. Leonard Berstein, the Young People’s Concerts host for 24 years, performs a version of Bach’s Little Fugue in G, programmed on a very early Moog synth.

moog synthesizer leonard bernstein

If someone showed you a fridge-sized Moog synth in 1968, I reckon you would probably freak out a little bit too.

The entire concert is well worth a watch, especially the performance from the New York Rock ‘n’ Roll Ensemble in their tuxedos towards the end. The Moog demo, however, trumps the lot.

The reactions from the audience are completely priceless. From the kids, utterly entranced or straight-up terrified, to the musicians wondering what the hell that thing would even sound like.

Check it out below:

In ’68 a Moog synth was little more than a set of modules bound by patch cables, an instrument made for the studios of world-class musicians and composers.

Despite its early heftiness, the Moog had already been, or would soon be utilised by the likes of The Doors, Roxy Music, and Georgio Moroder.


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February 1, 2018