When 88 Keys Aren’t Enough, How About This 478 Key Moog?

We’re all pretty used to the Western 12 note scale, and it’s hard to hear anything else these days that isn’t considered extremely experimental. What would happen if you broke these 12 tones per octave into 31? That was actually an experiment by mathematician and early Ai theorist David Rothenberg back in 1968. David hired recent-Cornell University graduate Robert Moog to actually build his concept and the project was never completed.

478 key keyboard

Moog, who was just starting Moog Music at the time, used surplus military analog parts to build a one octave prototype, but the full unit was so complicated that he never went too much beyond. Last year students and staff at Cornell took on the project of finishing this unique instrument, and by the end of the year it was ready to play music.

It’s complicated enough that it requires several people to play and program it though, but you could say that about some of Moog’s early synthesizers as well.

Check out the video below to get the full story and hear it in action.

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