Herb Deutsch, one of the inventors of the Moog synthesiser, has died at the age of 90.
The composer and inventor worked with his friend Bob Moog on the iconic synthesiser, which was first created in the 1960s. The Bob Moog Foundation confirmed in a statement posted to Instagram that Deutsch had passed away on December 9.
“There is nobody more important to the Moog legacy than Herb. His deep creativity, curiosity, intelligence, and pursuit of musical frontiers prompted Bob Moog to design the first Moog synthesizer with Herb’s invaluable guidance and collaboration,” began the statement.
“As the prototype evolved into larger modular systems, Herb and Bob worked together to promote this revolutionary instrument, with Herb composing and performing on them and teaching about them at seminars and in his classroom at Hofstra University, where he taught for over 50 years.
“In addition to being a long-time educator, electronic music pioneer, and stellar musician, Herb was an extraordinary human being who won the respect of anyone who met him. He will be deeply missed, but the Bob Moog Foundation will always keep his legacy alive.”
The Moog was considered the first commercial synthesiser and was much smaller and cheaper than the other instruments around at the time. Deutsch handled the Moog’s keyboard interface and later drew upon his background as a composer to write the first ever piece specifically composed for the Moog – ‘Jazz Images – A Worksong and Blues’. He frequently performed it at early Moog concerts at the Museum of Modern Art and at The Town Hall in New York City.
Deutsch detailed his experiences working with Moog in a 2003 interview. “People have accused me of modesty, but actually I think that someone else would have been in the same place and gotten to a similar point within a short time. It was a direction that fit into the history of technology and its inevitable link with the arts.”