Further proof that the internet was a good idea:
Robert A. Moog made some kickin’ awesome instruments.
“Bob” Moog (1934-2005) left a legacy that includes some of the 20th Century’s most adventurous new musical instruments. His pioneering work helped pave the way to today’s vibrant musical landscape.
Moog was a pioneer of electronic instruments, but he still saw live music as “the most important aspect of music.” Here is a quote from “MOOG – A Documentary”, PART 3, 15:05:
What’s been happening over the last several decades is that music is becoming more and more something that producers do by themselves for listeners who listen by themselves.
Whereas if you go back, say before electronics, music is always something that was done by musicians and listeners being together and interacting.
I think that kind of interaction is the most important aspect of music, culturally. – Robert A. Moog
This post is for people interested in learning more about Dr. Moog, his music, his instruments, and the items that he wrote. This post does not include the resources he made themselves, but rather it points towards the most interesting resources a person could hope to find as a part of their research in bibliographic form.
Resources are listed in eleven categories:
- Robert A. Moog’s Biography
- Articles about Moog within the Context of Synthesizers and Smart-Pop Music
- Specific Moog Instruments
- General and Custom Synthesizers
- Robert Moog as Author (Stuff he wrote)
- Other Productions Involving Moog as a Contributor
- Recordings – Moog as Musician, Composer, Liner-Note-Writer, or Contributor
- Recordings – Moog Otherwise Involved
- Recordings – Incomplete List of Recordings Using Moog Instruments
- Sales, Repair, Upgrades, and Maintenance of Moog Products
Moog Archives. Available from http://moogarchives.com/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers a collection of documents, photographs, and memorabilia from the Moog’s various manufacturing companies, including a detailed chronology from 1953 – 1993.
Raymond Scott. Available from http://raymondscott.com/#bob-moog.
This website includes written material by Robert Moog and Raymond Scott, each writing about the other synthesizer designer. There are interesting anecdotes and biographical details.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/index.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website provides biographical information on Robert Moog, quotations about how he became involved in synthesizer design, quotations about his collaboration with Wendy Carlos, and quotations about the development of his business.
General Writings About Robert Moog Within the Context of Synthesizer Developments and the Smart-Pop Music Scene
Buchner, Alexander. “Elektronicke hudebni nastroje z hlediska historie.” Hudebni nastroje, Czechoslovakia 17, no. 1 (1980): 29-30.
This article discusses the unlimited possibilities presented by today’s music technology, which is shown to be related to the development of musical instruments. This is part one of a two part article. [RILM: 80-01743-ap]
Buchner, Alexander. “Elektronicke hudebni nastroje z hlediska historie.” Hudebni nastroje, Czechoslovakia 17, no. 2 (1980): 50-51.
Part two of this two part article discusses specific electronic instruments, including the Moog synthesizer in 1965. [RILM: 80-01743-ap]
Chadabe, Joel. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1997.
This book centres on the history and development of electronic music from the early twentieth century until 1997, including prominent inventors, instruments, and composers. Robert Moog and his work in the 1960s with computer systems and synthesizers are included. [RILM: 97-14309-bm]
Darter, Tom, ed. Contemporary Keyboard, I.
This bi-monthly magazine, new in 1976, featured articles about and interviews with keyboard performers in all styles of music. The first issue includes material about Robert A. Moog. [RILM: 76-08611-bp]
Humpert, Hans Ulrich. “Was ist und wie funktioniert ein Synthesizer?” Melos 40, no. 4 (1973): 207-14.
This article covers the basic function and technical theory of an analogue synthesizer, such as the synthesizers of R.A. Moog. [RILM: 75-02539-ap]
Kuhnelt, Wolf D. “Elektroakustische Musikinstrumente.” In Fur Augen und Ohren, 46-73. Berlin: Akademie der Kunste, 1980.
This German article presents a brief history of electro-acoustic instruments from the telephone to the year 1980, including the instruments of Robert Moog. [RILM: 80-05553-as]
Powers, Ollie D. “Interactions Between Composers and Technology in the First Decades of Electronic Music, 1948-1968.” D.A. diss., Ball State University, 1997.
Ollie Powers discusses the connections between active composers from 1948-1968 using electronic instruments and the realities of those instruments’ and electronic systems’ limitations. Many electronic devices are considered, including the voltage controlled (analogue) synthesizers of Robert Moog. [RILM: 97-14372-dd]
* The annotations for all instrumental citations beginning with Harmony Central, Sonicstate.com, and Synthmuseum.com have been combined into corporate annotations and are placed at the end of this section.
Harmony Central – Moog MG-1 Concertmate. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MG-1-Concertmate-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Concertmate MG-1. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moogrealistic.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Concertmate MG-1. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/rad/radmg101.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Synthmuseum.com – Moog CDX. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moogorg01.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog Liberation. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Libetation-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Liberation. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_liberation.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Liberation. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moolib01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog MemoryMoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MemoryMoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog MemoryMoog LAMM . Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MemoryMoog-LAMM-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog MemoryMoog+. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MemoryMoog–01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
MemoryMoog Library. Available from http://www.retrosynth.com/docs/memorymoog/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers online user manuals, service manuals, schematics, retrofit procedures, tuning tips, and more for the MemoryMoog.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Lintronic Advanced MemoryMoog. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_lintronicadnaced.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> MemoryMoog. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_memorymoog.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Memorymoog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moomem01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog MG-01. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MG-01-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog MicroMoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/MicroMoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Micromoog. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_micro.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Micromoog . Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moomicro01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Minimoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Minimoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog Minimoog Voyager. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Minimoog-Voyager-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Intermusic.com – Moog MiniMoog. Available from http://www.intermusic.com/article.asp?ReviewId=130&ArticleTable=Reviews&SubCat=13&Channel=KBD&PageNo=1. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers a lengthy review of the Moog MiniMoog, focusing on the instrument’s history and features.
Minimoog Site, The. Available from http://www.geocities.com/moogbros/minisite.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers multiple .jpg images of historic advertisements for the Minimoog. The site is currently under construction, but hopes to offer a comprehensive set of images and information related to this instrument.
Minimoog, The. Available from http://www.enteract.com/~mghall/moog/minimoog.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers technical data and downloadable operation and service manuals for the MiniMoog.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Minimoog. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moogmini.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Minimoog Voyager. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_voyager.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Minimoog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moomini01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Synrise. Available from http://www.synrise.de/html/minimoog.htm. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This German website offers information on the various models of MiniMoog, making distinctions between models A, B, C, Classic, D, E, Expander, F, and MIDI.
Harmony Central – Moog Minitmoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Minitmoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Minitmoog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moominit01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Synthmuseum.com – Modular Moogs. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moomod.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Multimoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Multimoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Multimoog. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_multimoog.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Multimoog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moomulti01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Opus III. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Opus-III-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Opus 3. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_opus3.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Opus 3. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/mooopus301.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Polymoog. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Polymoog-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Polymoog Synthesizer. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_polymoog.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Polymoog. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moopoly01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Synthmuseum.com – Polymoog Keyboard. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moopolykbd01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Prodigy. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Prodigy-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Intermusic.com – Moog Prodigy. Available from http://www.intermusic.com/article.asp?ReviewId=501&SubCat=17&ArticleTable=Reviews&Channel=KBD. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers a review of the Moog Prodigy, including a rating out of 5 and a picture.
Moog Prodigy. Available from http://aquabluemusic.users.btopenworld.com/prodigy/index.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers information about the Moog Prodigy. There are pictures, specs, a list of famous users, and a registration of current Prodigy owners.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Prodigy Synthesizer. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moogprodigy.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synhouse. Available from http://www.synhouse.com/prodigy1.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website focuses on adding MIDI capability to the Moog Prodigy with the Synhouse MIDIJACK. Detailed instructions and diagrams are provided.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Prodigy. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/mooprodigy01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Rogue. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Rogue-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> The Rogue Synthesizer. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moogtherogue.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Rogue. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moorog01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Sanctuary. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moosanct01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Satellite. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Satellite-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Satellite. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_satellite.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Satellite. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moosat01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Sonic Six. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Sonic-Six-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Sonic Six. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_sonicsix.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Sonic Six. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moosonic601.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Source. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Source-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog Source MIDI Retrofit. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Source-MIDI-Retrofit-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> The Source. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_source.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Source. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/moosource01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Harmony Central – Moog Taurus. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Taurus-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog Taurus 1. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Taurus-1-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Harmony Central – Moog Taurus 2. Available from http://www.harmony-central.com/Synth/Data/Moog/Taurus-2-01.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
MOOG Taurus Appreciation Society, The. Available from http://web.archive.org/web/19990220121817/umbc7.umbc.edu/~rous/taurus.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website, which focuses on the Moog Taurus, offers information in the form or answers to potential consumer questions. Topics include distinctions between various models of the Taurus and tips when buying one second hand.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Moog Taurus II Bass Pedals. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moogtaurusii.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Sonicstate.com – Synth Site >> Moog >> Taurus 1 Bass Pedals. Available from http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/moog_taurus1.cfm. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Synthmuseum.com – Moog Taurus. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/moog/mootau01.html. Accessed 6 December 2002
Darrer, Ivor, and Bart Hopkin. “Still Nothing Else Like It: The Theremin.” Experimental Musical Instruments 8, no. 3 (1993): 22-26.
This is a technical, historical, and performance guide to the theremin, which Mr. Moog manufactured in the 1950s. [RILM: 93-10412-ap]
Rockmore, Clara, Nadia Reisenberg, and William Olsen, et al. Clara Rockmore the Greatest Theremin Virtuosa. Edited by William Olsen. 59 min. Big Briar, 1998. Videocassette.
This VHS production includes theremin performances by Clara Rockmore and discussions with performers, and a discussion with Robert Moog. [OCLC: 45230976]
* corporate annotations:
Harmony Central –
These webpages include user reviews of Moog synthesizers in the form of verbal comments and ratings (out of 10; by each reviewer and the combined average) in the following areas: ease of use, features, expressiveness/sounds, reliability, customer support, and overall rating. The names of some reviewers are included, as are some of the prices paid for the instruments in question. The number of reviews for each instrument ranges from 1 to 13. Some reviews include helpful comments that are instructive to the scholar or potential customer while others are less succinct.
These webpages offer reviews of many Moog synthesizers, including a verbal review, year of release, an evaluation of the instrument’s sounds in 15 categories, a listing of and connection to current used machines for sale, a recent history of online sales, and an average price of recent sales. Each linked advertisement includes comments supplied by the current owner indicating their machine’s condition and features. The main page also includes a link to a page with the instrument’s specifications (synthesis type; available polyphony; # of oscillators; controllers; keyboard; inputs and outputs; and upgrade options.) This information is useful for the scholar and potential customer. The number of reviewers for each instrument varies from 2 to 63.
These webpages offer succinct and helpful verbal reviews of many Moog synthesizers, including pictures, manufacturing information, year of release, technical information, a description of the instrument’s features and shortcomings, and a list of famous performers who used the instruments.
Chadabe, Joel. “Das Elektronische Studio von Albany.” Melos 38, no. 5 (1971): 188-90.
This article describes a custom built synthesizer Mr. Moog made for the electronic music studio at the State University of New York in Albany. [RILM: 71-03041-ap]
Synthfool. Available from http://www.synthfool.com/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers pictures, original brochures, price lists, patch sheets, schematics, and parts for sale for a wide variety of synthesizers, including many Moog instruments.
Synthmuseum.com – An Interview with Dr. Joseph Paradiso. Available from http://www.synthmuseum.com/jp/index.html. Accessed 4 December 2002.
Dr. Joseph Paradiso, the owner and builder of a large and complex modular synthesizer, discusses the history and specs of his instrument along with a host of related synthesizer topics in this interview with Synthmuseum.com. Moog synthesizers form a portion of this super-synth. The webpage includes pictures, technical information, Dr. Paradiso’s guide to combining synthesizers into a compound instrument, speculative comments about the future of synthesizer design and use, and a practical look at the Moog synthesizers as compared to other synths of different makers and decades. Separate linked webpages take a specific look at the functions of this super-system’s Moog Minimoog, Satellite, and Concertmate MG-1.
Using the Moog Synthesizer. Available from http://arts.ucsc.edu/ems/music/equipment/synthesizers/analog/moog/Moog.html. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers technical information with a number of diagrams that would be helpful to a person connecting Moog synthesizers to each other or to other components. 9 specific parts are discussed, including voltage controlled oscillators, a voltage controlled amplifier, an envelope generator, voltage controlled filters, a filter coupler, a filter bank, and a sequencer.
Hoskins, William. “Chameleon Scherzo: For Synthesizer and Orchestra.” Score. 1974. Jacksonville University Library, Jacksonville.
This musical score for synthesizer and orchestra is dedicated to Willis Page and Robert A. Moog, whom the composer thanks for making his composition possible. [OCLC: 30723414]
Moog Resources. Available from http://www.till.com/articles/moog/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This is an excellent collection of links to online Moog resources and to a few published articles.
Synth Zone – Moog Resources. Available from http://www.synthzone.com/moog.htm. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers many helpful links to internet resources having to do with Robert Moog and Moog synthesizers.
Bode, Harold, and Robert A. Moog. “The Multiplier-Type Ring Modulator.” Electronic Music Review no. 1 (1967): 9-15.
This article discusses the theory and function of the multiplier-type ring modulator, highlighting its ability to change input sounds into significantly changed tones. [RILM: 67-00425-ap]
Hopkin, Bart. Orbitones, Spoon Harps & Bellowphones. With a foreword by Robert Moog. Roslyn, NY: Ellipsis Arts, 1998.
Robert Moog provides a foreword to this combination of book and sound disc that contains contributions by Tom Waits and John Cage. Bart Hopkin wrote the book and produced the recording. [OCLC: 40694608]
Hopkin, Bart. Orbitones, Spoon Harps & Bellowphones: Experimental Musical Instruments. With an introduction by Robert Moog. Roslyn, NY: Ellipsis Arts, 1998.
No abstract was available for this book or the introduction. A computer disk accompanies the book. [RILM: 98-14111-bm] [Presumably, these two Hopkin citations refer to the same publication, but the difference in the listed titles does not rule out the possibility of two separate publications.]
Kramer, Gregory, and Robert A Moog. “The Hybrid: A Music Performance System.” In Proceedings: 1989 International Computer Music Conference, ed. Peter Desain, 155-59. San Francisco: Computer Music Association, 1989.
This article explores an experiment in developing an electronic musical instrument capable of reflecting the physical state and emotional mood of the performer. [RILM: 90-08093-as; symposium record – RILM: 90-01087-bs]
Mattis, Olivia, and Robert A Moog. “Leon Theremin: Pulling Music Out of Thin Air.” Keyboard 18, no. 2 (1992): 46-54.
This article explores the life of Lev Sergeevic Theremin, inventor of the first practical electronic musical instrument. [RILM: 92-06190-ap]
Moog, Bob. Synthesizers and Computers. Milwaukee: H. Leonard Pub. Corp., 1985.
This 129 page book, including contributions by others, covers such topics as computer music (instruction and study), synthesizers, and MIDI. [OCLC: 12949592]
Moog, Robert A. “An Objective Look as Electronic Music Equipment.” In American Society of University Composers: Proceedings of the Annual Conference, vol. 4, ed. Elaine Radoff Barkin, 32-35. New York, 1969.
This article deals with practical issues facing performers using electronic instruments, such as user interface, pre-programming, sequencing, and digital interface. [RILM: 98-16509-as; symposium record – RILM: 98-01265-bs]
Moog, Robert A. “Construction of a Simple Mixer.” Electronic Music Review no. 4 (1967): 37-38.
In this article, Robert Moog gives detailed technical information about a simple audio mixer. A schematic diagram and a list of parts are provided. [RILM: 67-02268-ap]
Moog, Robert A. “Digital Music Synthesis.” Byte 11, no. 6 (1986): 155-56.
Robert Moog discusses electronic sound generation, computer applications, and digital synthesis in this short article. [RILM: 89-08532-ap]
Moog, Robert A. “Introduction to Mixers and Level Controls.” Electronic Music Review no. 4 (1967): 10-13.
This article serves as an introduction to terms, functions, and the operation of mixers and level controls. [RILM: 67-02269-ap]
Moog, Robert A. “Introduction to Programmed Control.” Electronic Music Review no. 1 (1967): 23-32.
This article explores techniques of programmed control – reducing the amount of wasted time by sharpened use of pre-recording time in the generation of electronic music. Discussions of sequencers, punched paper tape readers, hybrid analogue/digital systems, and computers with analogue converters are included. [RILM: 67-00429-ap]
Moog, Robert A. “Position and Force Sensors and Their Applications to Keyboards and Related Control Devices.” In Music and Digital Technology, ed. John Strawn, 173-81. New York: Audio Engineering Society, 1987.
This article describes three keyboard controllers that can be used to affect musical parameters while playing, using three popular keyboards as examples. [RILM: 89-08533-as; John Strawn is listed as the author of Music and Digital Technology, but there must be an error in entry – he’s an editor, not a contributing writer; symposium record – RILM: 89-01256-bs]
Moog, Robert A. Review of Computer Applications in Music: A Bibliography, by Deta Davis. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 37 (1989): 645.
This book review is of a reference book that deals with computer applications that relate to music. [Moog’s review – RILM: 89-00522-rb; reviewed book – RILM: 88-00522-bm]
Moog, Robert A. “The Musician: Alive and Well in the World of Electronics.” In The Biology of Music Making: Proceedings of the 1984 Denver Conference, ed. Franz L. Roehmann, 214-20. St. Louis: MMB Music, 1988.
This article explores issues surrounding the relationship of electronic instruments, musicians, and musicianship. [RILM: 91-04978-as; symposium – RILM: 91-01067-bs]
Moog, Robert. A. “Voltage-Controlled Electronic Music Modules.” Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 13, no. 3 (1965): 200-206.
No abstract was available for this article. [Taken from the Moog page at www.synthmuseum.com]
Moog, Robert A., and Thomas L. Rhea. “Evolution of the Keyboard Interface: The Bosendorfer 290 SE Recording Piano and the Moog Multiply-Touch-Sensitive Keyboard.” Computer Music Journal 14, no. 2 (1990): 52-60.
This article includes technical information about the keyboard interface systems used on the two named instruments, showing advantages over pre-existent technology. [RILM: 90-08096-ap]
Olsen, William, and Lydia Kavina. Mastering the Theremin. Produced and directed by William Olsen. 45 min. Big Briar, 1995. Videocassette.
Bob Moog is the presenter in this video. The video is designed to help performers increase their proficiency in theremin performance. It includes 6 lessons covering such topics as hand movements, finger position, and other playing techniques. [OCLC: 34535778]
Shapiro, Peter, and Lara Lee. Modulations: A History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound. New York: Caipirinha Productions, 2000.
Robert Moog is interviewed in this 255 page book which covers a wide range of topics relating to the history of electronic music such as disco, post-punk, hip-hop, techno, and jazz-funk. [OCLC: 45218394]
Gross, Terry, and Bob Moog. Fresh Air with Terry Gross, 2-28-00. Terry Gross and Robert Moog. Broadcast on National Public Radio Feb. 28, 2000. Cassette.
In this radio interview, Mr. Moog discusses his inventions and their influence on classical and popular music. He also talks about the theremin. [OCLC: 45425019]
Hopkin, Bart. Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones: Experimental Musical Instruments. Roslyn, NY: Ellipsis Arts, 1998.
This book about avant-garde music and unusual instruments includes a sound recording with a track titled In the Beginning: Etude II by Don Buchla and Robert Moog. It was previously released in 1996. [OCLC: 48366506; this OCLC record misspells Pyrophones as Pyrohones]
Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates. Totally Wired. Otto Luening, Wendy Carlos, and Vangelis, et al. Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates, 1983-85. Cassette.
This collection of material relating to electronic music contains musical samples and spoken word, including a track titled The Technological Artists by Robert Moog and Donald Buchla. This is a 20 cassette publication containing contributions by such people as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philip Glass, Chick Corea, Josef Zawinul, and Oscar Peterson. A 13 cassette version of this presentation by the same title, missing a few of the items included in 1985, was released in 1983. [OCLC: 13774051; 13 cassette version – OCLC: 13636406]
Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates. Totally Wired Artists in Electronic Sound. Otto Luening, Wendy Carlos, and Vangelis, et al. Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates, 1983-85. Cassette.
This collection of a slightly different title is a 16 cassette version of Totally Wired, listed above. [OCLC: 15527804]
Rockmore, Clara, Nadia Reisenberg, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Shirleigh and Robert Moog Present Clara Rockmore, Theremin. Clara Rockmore and Nadia Reisenberg. Delos D/QA-25437, 1981. LP.
This sound recording features arrangements of pieces by Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens, De Falla, Achron, Wienawski, Stravinsky, Ravel, Tschaikowsky, and Glazunoz for theremin and piano. [OCLC: 38536637]
Zambonis. More Songs About Hockey — And Buildings and Food. Zambonis. Tarquin Records TQ-023, 1999. CD.
This is a rock sound recording that uses the name of Robert Moog in of the song titles. [OCLC: 43392045]
Bach, Johann Sebastian. Switched-On Bach. Wendy Carlos and Benjamin Folkman. Columbia MS 7194, 1968. LP.
This sound recording features the music of Bach performed on Moog synthesizers. Robert Moog contributes to the liner notes. [OCLC: 966189]
Bach, Johann Sebastian, Wendy Carlos, and Benjamin Folkman. Switched-On Bach Virtuoso Electronic Performances of J.S. Bach. Wendy Carlos. East Side Digital ESD81602, 2001. CD.
This sound recording includes previously released arrangements of the music of J.S. Bach. Robert Moog contributes to the liner notes. [OCLC: 48436681]
Big Ass Truck. Kent. Big Ass Truck. Upstart CD 027, 1995. CD.
This sound recording of rock music includes sounds made by Moog synthesizers. [OCLC: 36108479]
Byrne, Bobby. Shades of Brass. Dick Hyman, Walter Levinsky, and Richard Lieb, et al. Evolution 3003, 1970s. LP.
This sound recording features arrangements of popular songs such as Feeling’ Groovey and Respect for brass ensemble and Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 38524464]
Caldara, Antonio, and John Atkins. Stabat Mater [A Moog Mass]. Robert White, Malcom Cecil, and John Atkins, et al. Kama Sutra KSBS 2020, 1970. LP.
This sound recording features music of Antonio Caldara performed by tenor solo, spoken voice, violincello, harpsichord, and Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 12486571]
Carlos, Wendy, Rachel Elkind, and Benjamin Folkman, et al. Switched-On Boxed Set. Wendy Carlos. East Side Digital ESD 81422, 1999. CD.
This is a collection of 4 cds including the music of Bach, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, and Handel arranged for Moog synthesizer. Robert Moog contributes to the liner notes. [OCLC: 43148422]
Charles, Chili. Quickstep. Jazz Ensemble and Chili Charles. Virgin V 2028, 1975. LP.
This jazz recording features Chili Charles on drums, vocals, and Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 16919308]
Columbia Musical Treasury. The Best-Loved Music of Christmas. Percy Faith, The New Christy Minstrels, and Robert Goulet, et al. Columbia House P2S 5622, 1972. LP.
This collection of Christmas carols by various artists includes a recording of Jingle Bells by a group called “Moog Machine”. [OCLC: 27853488]
Columbia Records, Inc. Happy Holidays from Columbia Records. Ray Conniff, Jerry Vale, and Percy Faith, et al. Columbia DJS 30, 1960s. LP.
This collection of Christmas carols by numerous performers includes a recording of Jingle Bells arranged by Alan Foust and performed by a group called “The Moog Machine.” [OCLC: 34685925] [This arrangement is likely the same as the arrangement on The Best-Loved Music of Christmas, listed above.]
Crevice. Caged Meat. Crevice. Get Happy Records LONG 02, 2000. CD.
This avant-garde sound recording includes the sounds of a Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 49571332]
Crumb, George, Joan Wall, and Ellis Merrill, et al. Echoes of Time and the River: Echoes II. Joan Wall, Merrill Ellis, Louisville Orchestra, et al. Louisville Orchestra, 1971. LP.
The second work on this orchestral recording features a Moog synthesizer, played by Merrill Ellis. [OCLC: 9846970]
Davis, Miles. The Man with the Horn. Miles Davis, Randy Hall, and Robert Irving. Columbia FC 36790, 1981. LP.
This jazz recording, 53 minutes in duration, features Randy Hall playing a Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 19292872]
Denny, Martin, Al Caiola, and Julie London, et al. Ultra-Lounge. Volume Eighteen, Bottoms Up. Denny Martin, Al Cailoa, and Julie London, et al. Capitol CDP 7243 9 53412 2 9, 1997. CD.
This sound recording features a “Moog version” of Quiet Village, performed by Martin Denny. There is also a recorded version of Henry Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk. [OCLC: 37252979]
Deodato, Eumir. Very Together. Eumir Deodato. MCA Records MCA-2219, 1976. LP.
The multi-talented Eumir Deodato’s sound recording features, among other instruments, a Mini-Moog bass. [OCLC: 4865043]
Droste, Keith. Big Band Moog. Keith Droste, Bob Surga, and John Frigo, et al. Realistic 50-2022, 1970s. LP.
This sound recording contains arrangements of popular songs for the Moog synthesizer and Big Band. [OCLC: 50633581]
Duncan, Bryan. Blue Skies. Bryan Duncan, Tim Pierce, Alan Pasqua, et al. Word EK 67932, 1996. CD.
This contemporary Christian music sound recording that uses a Mini-Moog bass, played by James Raymond. [OCLC: 36844514]
Earland, Charles, Melvin Sparks, and Boogaloo Joe Jones, et al. Charlie’s Greatest Hits. Charles Earland, Melvin Sparks, and Boogaloo Joe Jones, et al. Prestige Records PRCD-24250-2, 2000. CD.
Numerous instruments and performers are heard on this soul-jazz sound recording, including Dr. Patrick Gleeson playing Moog synthesizers. The release of this album in 2000 follows the original release on vinyl in 1969. [OCLC: 47207395]
Ehle, Robert C., Vit Micka, and James David Robertson, et al. Symphonies. Olomouc Symphony Orchestra, Brno Choir, and Vit Micka, et al. 1900s. CD.
This sound recording of various musical styles involves many performers from the University of Northern Colorado, including Robert Ehle playing a Moog synthesizer. No publisher is listed on the OCLC record. [OCLC: 50195866]
Ellis, Merrill, Joan Wall, and Jorge Mester. Kaleidoscope for Orchestra, Synthesizer, and Soprano. Louisville Orchestra, Joan Wall, and Jorge Mester. Louisville Orchestra, 1971. LP.
This sound recording involves a Moog synthesizer combined with orchestra and soprano solo. [OCLC: 916602]
Foster, Ronnie, Ray Armando, and John E. Gatchell, et al. On the Avenue. Ronnie Foster, Ray Armando, and John E. Gatchell, et al. Blue Note BN-LA 261G, 1974. LP.
Ronnie Foster plays a Moog synthesizer on this jazz sound recording. [OCLC: 19116372]
Galactic. We Love ‘Em Tonight Live at Tipitina’s. Galactic. Volcano 61422-32183-2, 2001. CD.
This live jazz recording includes a song titled Moog Marmalade. [OCLC: 47849909]
Hot Butter, Perrer-Kingsley, and Jean Jacques Perrey, et al. Best of Moog Electronic Pop Hits from the 60’s & 70’s. Hot Butter, Perry-Kinsley, and Jean Jacques Perrey, et al. Loud Records 1792-2, 1999. CD.
This is a retrospective sound recording featuring many performers and works that use Moog synthesizers, including such songs as Foggy Mountain Breakdown, I Apologize Mr. Rossini, Baroque Hoedown, and Moog Power. One of the groups performing is called “First Moog Quartet.”. [OCLC: 45358545]
Houston, Cissy. Think it Over. Cissy Houston, Alan Schwartzberg, and Francisco Centeno, et al. Private Stock Records PS 7015. LP.
This popular music sound recording includes the sounds of a Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 25086963]
Jenkins, Leroy, Andrew Cyrille, and Anthony Davis, et al. Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America. Leroy Jenkins, Andrew Cyrille, and Anthony Dave, et al. Tomato 2696512, 1989. CD.
This jazz sound recording features Moog synthesizers, played by Richard Teitelbaum. It was originally released in 1979 on LP. [OCLC: 25227069]
Kelley, Peter. Dealin’ Blues. Peter Kelly, Jack “Killer Bass” Nailon, and Lynas, et al. Sire SI 4903, 1971. LP.
Peter Kelley’s group of accompanying instruments on this sound recording includes a Moog synthesizer. [OCLC: 39035598]
Lockwood, Annea, Mary Buchen, and Bill Buchen, et al. Sources. Annea Lockwood, Mary Buchen, and Bill Buchen, et al. Nonsequitur Foundation, 1990. Cassette.
This sound recording features a combination of spoken word and sounds, covering such topics as sounds, new contexts of musical expression, sound sculpture, audio environments, and audio ecology. The title of one track is Mozart’s Moog, presented by Jim Pomeroy. [OCLC: 26529615]
Mackenzie, R. J., Rick Powell, and Imogene Forte. Kid’s Stuff Experiences in Creating, Composing, and Interpreting Songs, Stories, Poems, Drama, Rhythm, and Body Movement. R. J. Mackenzie, Rick Powell, and Imogene Forte. Incentive Publications IP 101, 1972. LP.
This sound recording features a sonic texture combining narrator, orchestra, children’s chorus, and a Moog Synthesizer. [OCLC: 18400548]
Martsch, Doug. Perfect From Now On. Built to Spill. Warner Brothers 9 46453-2, 1997. CD.
This rock sound recording includes the sounds of a Moog synthesizer. It is also available on an audio cassette, which is handy in some cars. [OCLC: 36381898]
McGuinn, Roger, David Crosby, and Bob Dylan, et al. Roger McGuinn. Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, and Bob Dylan, et al. Columbia KC 31946, 1973. LP.
Roger McGuinn plays a Moog synthesizer on this rock and folk-rock sound recording. [OCLC: 19581245]
Placebo. Placebo. Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal, and Robert Schultzberg. Virgin Records CAR 7575, 1996. CD.
Placebo used a Moog synthesizer when making this sound recording. [OCLC: 38063628]
Rameau, Jean Philippe, and Bob James. Rameau. Bob James. CBS Records MK 39540, 1984. CD.
Bob James plays the harpsichord music of J. P. Rameau on a number of synthesizers, including a Mini-Moog, on this recording. [OCLC: 11833567]
Randall, Elliot, Bob Piazza, and Allen Herman, et al. Randall’s Island. Elliot Randall, Bob Piazza, and Allen Herman, et al. Polydor 24-4044, 1970. LP.
This sound recording features rock and jazz fusion, primarily using guitars. One of the supporting instruments is a Moog Synthesizer. [OCLC: 44613126]
Rockmore, Clara, Nadia Reisenberg, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, et al. The Art of the Theremin. Delos D/CD 1014, 1987. CD.
This sound recording includes arrangements for theremin of waltzes by a number of composers including Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. [OCLC: 18408837; 34882722]
Scott-Herin, Gil. From South Africa to South Carolina. Gil Scott-Herin, Brian Jackson, and Bob Adams, et al. Rumal-Gia Records/TVT Classics TVT 4340-2, 1998. CD.
This jazzy sound recording uses a Moog synthesizer on track 9. [OCLC: 39705376]
Sky Cries Mary. This Timeless Turning. Sky Cries Mary. World Domination Music Group WD0018-2, 1994. CD.
This rock music sound recording includes a Moog Taurus bass. [OCLC: 32502902]
Summers, Andy, and Robert Fripp. I Advance Masked. Andy Summers and Robert Fripp. A & M Records, 75021 4913 2, 1982. CD.
This sound recording includes a Moog synthesizer together with a variety of rock instruments. [OCLC: 9055366]
Sun Ra, John Gilmore, and Pat Patrick, et al. Live at Montreux. Sun Ra, John Gilmore, and Pat Partick, et al. Inner City IC 1039-2, 1978. LP.
This jazz sound recording was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976 and uses a Moog synthesizer, played by Sun Ra. [OCLC: 5470620]
Sussman, Richard, Andy LaVerne, and Bob Moses. Tributaries. Richard Sussman, Andy LaVerne, and Bob Moses. Inner City IC 1068, 1980. LP.
Many synthesizers and electronic keyboards are heard on this sound recording, including the Moog Mini-Moog. [OCLC: 26763730]
To Rococo Rot. To Rococo Rot. To Rococo Rot. Kitty-Yo efa 55201-2, 1996. CD.
Numerous synthesizers, including a Moog Satellite, were used in this self titled rock sound recording. [OCLC: 45104293]
Analog.no. Available from http://analog.no/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers downloadable Moog patches and envelopes.
Archive Sound. Available from http://pw2.netcom.com/~arcsound/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers repair kits for a variety of older synthesizers, including some Moog models.
FM Music. Available from http://www.madbbs.com/~fmcniff/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This website offers parts and manuals for sale for a variety of Moog synthesizers. Pictures are included in the parts section.
Moog Music. Available from http://www.moogmusic.com/. Accessed 5 December 2002.
This is Robert Moog’s own site, including information about products for sale, customer support, dealer information, pictures, and an explanation of the change of company name from Big Briar, Inc. to Moog Music Inc.
Moog Music Custom Engineering. Available from http://moogce.com/news.htm. Accessed 5 December 2002.
The mission of this site is to provide customers with authentic Moog products, manuals, parts, and technical expertise. The most helpful features of this site are the list of available parts (with prices) and the information request form for a variety of potential customer needs.
Fritz Theodore Albert Delius (Fritz officially changed to Frederick in 1903, Theodore [beloved of God] dropped at his confirmation, and Albert [after the Prince Consort] repudiated when he left England)[i] was born in Bradford, England on January 29, 1862. His parents, Julius Friedrich Wilhelm and Elise Pauline Delius, both of Bielefeld, Germany, were married in 1856. Of 14 children, Fritz (as he was called) was their second son and fourth child. Julius “loved music intensely and used to tinker on the piano when he knew he was alone,”[ii] often attending concerts and arranging for chamber music to be performed at home. He was a prosperous wool merchant with a keen sense of business. Elise was “not musical at all, but she had great imagination, and was rather fantastically inclined. She was very romantic…”[iii] Together, in full Victorian comfort, they helped raise Fritz from initial weak health to be an active and robust lad. Fritz played games with his brothers and enjoyed the Yorkshire countryside, savouring in particular the game of cricket, an interest which remained for life.
Fritz took early piano and violin lessons in addition to living in a musical household, but never with the [iv]view to a career in music. His liberal and gentle nature was noted from an early age to be at odds with his more rough and demanding father, a conflict left unresolved throughout the childhood years.[v] His childhood musical training was neither rigid nor rigorous. The boy would entertain company with improvisations and playing by ear, using a natural technique dissimilar from established keyboard practice.[vi] Julius was glad to have a son that was able to participate in musical events. Music by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven was frequently performed. It was a peaceful and happy beginning to a tumultuous process of changing musical style and unrelenting family struggle that would follow in the coming years.
Frederick’s first profound musical moments came shortly after joining a preparatory school in Bradford. Hearing performances of Chopin’s E minor Waltz at age 9 and of Wagner’s Lohengrin at age 13 made major impressions on the boy. Compared to the works of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, the rhapsodic style and rich harmonic texture of these later romantic masters was striking. Chopin and Wagner would remain among Delius’s favourite composers throughout his life.
Frederick’s lack of scholastic progress in Bradford prompted a change of schools in 1878. His parents sent Frederick and his younger brother Max to a larger school in Isleworth, a city in Middlesex within easy reach of London, allowing Frederick access to the active London concert scene. This contact with musicians and their music inspired the young man and exposed him to a variety of musical ideas.
In 1879, another important developmental event occurred. Frederick was seized by a fit of laughter in the midst of his confirmation service in Church, rendering its symbol meaningless. Delius would remain anti-religious, at times fiercely, throughout his life. An equally important religious formative moment preceded the bout of laughter while still in Bradford. Bradlaugh (a teacher), watch in hand, had called on his creator to strike him dead within two minutes if He really existed, a moment which in old age Delius credited as having had a lasting impact.[vii]
Schooling days over, the time came for Frederick to join the family wool business. He had by this time inwardly decided to become a musician, an idea sharply rejected by his father, who already had two sons clearly unfit for commercial success and the assumption of business responsibilities.[viii] Frederick, in contrast, was a charming, handsome, and level-headed young man with bright potential. The conflict of professional goals between father and son grew with the passage of time and would be the source of much mutual frustration. Julius attempted first to entice and later to isolate his son into submission. He placed Frederick in a series of jobs within the company in different cities from 1880 – 1884, hoping to ensure his son’s allegiance to the trade. In each instance, however, Frederick’s attention would soon turn to other attractions that that city or region had to offer, such as active concert scenes, music teachers and lessons, or other musical company, invariably leading him away from his duties. Thus was Frederick employed, in order, in Bradford, Stroud (Gloucestershire), Chemnitz (Germany, near Berlin, Leipzig, and Dresden; where he also studied violin with Hans Sitt), Bradford, Sweden (as a traveling salesman, from which he traveled to Norway), Bradford, St. Etienne (the center of the wool trade in France, a purposely non-musical location; from here he traveled to Monte Carlo where he gambled everything he had, making a half-living until his father discovered his location), Bradford (after stopping at his artistically sympathetic Uncle Theodore’s lavish home in Paris, where he secured comfort and, later, funding), Norway, and finally Manchester.[ix] In Manchester it finally became clear to Julius that Frederick was not going to join the wool trade. Each trip to Bradford featured strong words of fatherly reproach and Frederick’s account of what he had (or had not) been doing. In some cases, as with his second trip to Norway, Frederick begged to be sent out again for a ‘fresh start’ to a location more suited to his success, fully aware of the dual nature of his interests. The length and cost of this ordeal, wrought with poor business decisions, personal conflict, and the constant threat of a cut or reduced allowance (reduced funds are what led Frederick to Monte Carlo), shows the depth of the disagreement. Even at the end of four years, neither was able to convince the other of his opinion. After years of fighting, they were no closer to a solution.
The two finally came to a compromise of sorts. Unable to persuade his parents to let him study music, Frederick was able to convince his father that his future lay in orange farming in Florida. Florida, in Frederick’s eyes, was an untamed frontier, filled with the promise of adventure and freedom. He often dreamed of its isolation and potential as a place for his soul to bloom while pouring over travel resources at the local library.[x] To Julius it represented a reasonable alternative to the idea of his son becoming a musician. Arrangements were made and Frederick became the master of a small orange farm in Solano, Florida, in March 1884.
Frederick’s tenure as a fruit farmer was far from productive. Oranges and shaddock (grapefruits) were forgotten and found rotting on the ground within a week of Frederick’s arrival.[xi] The tropical air, lush vegetation, and secluded home turned his mind to other matters. He finally had time to think and compose while the basic tasks of the grove were completed by hired help.
Later in life, Delius would credit his time in Solano Grove as among his most important. “It was at this time that Delius first saw clearly where his life’s work lay. His vision was no longer blurred by the artificialities of modern life. In his solitary communion with Nature he had found himself and realized that he could trust his own intuition against others’ reason.”[xii] In his own words, “I was demoralized when I left Bradford for Florida … In Florida, through sitting and gazing at Nature, I gradually learnt the way in which I should eventually find myself … Nobody could help me. Contemplation, like composition, cannot be taught.”[xiii] Eric Fenby, who lived with the aged Delius decades later, continues further, connecting this time to the formation of something central to the composer’s work:
Since those days when the stillness of nature had first calmed the troubled waters of his soul, he had known in his heart that he had something to give, something to say about life in terms of music that no one else could give or say. This noble urge which stirred him so strangely was the only spiritual thing in life for which he had reverence, and this remained so unto the end of his days.[xiv]
Not all of Frederick’s time was spent in dreamy isolation or contemplation. There are fantastic stories of alligator hunts, encounters with rattlesnakes,[xv] romance with a Negro woman,[xvi] and a child fathered.[xvii] Delius was fascinated with the Negroes and their style of improvised singing. These sounds had a lasting impact on his compositional style. “Negroes are certainly the most musical people in America. Sitting on my verandah after my evening meal I used to listen to the beautiful singing in 4 part harmony of the Negroes in their own quarters at the back of the orange grove. It was quite entrancing…”[xviii]
Delius soon felt the need to add a piano to his small house in the jungle. On a trip down the river to Jacksonville, Delius visited a music store and tried a number of instruments. As coincidence would have it, Thomas F. Ward, an organist from New York, passed by the store while Delius was playing and was struck by the beauty of sound. The two became acquainted and instant friends. Ward, an excellent and trained musician in Florida to recover from tuberculosis, accompanied Delius back to Solano Grove with the piano, where he stayed for six months as Delius’s companion and instructor. Ward, warning Delius from the outset that he would be worked hard, focused on counterpoint, as he already sensed Delius’s mastery of harmony. Delius learned and loved the music of Bach, which he occasionally heard on the organ when in Jacksonville with Ward.[xix] Ward also modeled a strong work ethic to Delius that would never leave him.[xx] Delius learned very quickly, later citing this time as one of the most important in his compositional development. Only one solo song survives from this period of time.
Time passed and Julius Delius’s contacts reported on the state of Frederick’s progress. Dismayed, Julius made arrangements to purchase the grove in an attempt to refocus his son’s attention toward farming, but without success. Frederick eventually felt the need to leave his tropical paradise, because he wanted to study music with professors at the Leipzig Conservatory.[xxi] When this request was refused by his father, he determined to become financially independent and go to Leipzig however possible. Delius soon found himself in Danville, Virginia, teaching violin lessons to a rich man’s daughters as well as theory and composition to people of the town. Despite his modest success in this role, his parents discovered his location a year later and, convinced at last of their son’s determination to become a musician, agreed to pay for studies in Leipzig.
Frederick, now age 24, began his studies in a flurry of musical activity. “During this first year at Leipzig, Delius, like other students, intoxicated with his own enthusiasm, thought of little else but music; all his days and a good part of his nights were spent in hearing music, writing music, playing music, and talking music.”[xxii] Leipzig, the Gewandhause, and the Conservatory seemed to be the center of the musical universe, its streets breathing the legacy of Bach, Mendelssohn, Goethe, and Schiller. Touring artists included Tchaikovsky and Brahms. His instructors included Hans Sitt (violin), Carl Reinecke (composition), and Salomon Jadassohn (harmony and counterpoint.)[xxiii] It was enough to make the young Delius’s head spin. Here, he had a chance to dream and to be shaped by the greatness of the trends and biases of 1880’s German music. It reaffirmed his sense of destiny of composition on a grand scale, though he would quickly discover that his own artistic path was not the one sold and taught in Leipzig.
Another important development in Delius’s life at this time was his growing connection to Norway. Frederick quickly became the friend of a number of the Conservatory’s Norwegian students. Two of these, Christian Sinding and Johann Halvorsen, shared Frederick’s appetite for Leipzig’s musical activities and, later, his frustration with some of the Conservatory’s limitations.
Delius traveled to Norway in the summer of 1887, where he hiked through the inspiring landscape, stopping at strangers’ houses, fishing, and lapping up the rural lifestyle. While staying with a family on a rainy day and scanning the bookshelf of a son studying in Christiania, Delius picked up a copy of Frederick Nietzsche’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. Delius devoured it, continuing later to read all of Nietzsche’s output, which was highly influential to his view of life, philosophy, and his artistic calling. Delius also visited Edvard Grieg, whom he had met the previous winter in Leipzig. Grieg, then 44, and Delius developed a close friendship that would last until Grieg’s death in 1907. It was the first of 17 summer trips to Norway.
Delius’ second year of studies included increased concert attendance, increased frustration with his instruction, and decreased attendance in class. His compositions, frequently evaluated by Jadassohn as “False!” (the same reaction he gave to Grieg years earlier), were at odds with his instructors’ teachings.[xxiv] His individual artistic vision was less and less stimulated by the Conservatory’s routines. Later in life, Delius evaluated his musical instruction as such:
It was not until I began to attend the harmony and counterpoint classes at the Leipzig Conservatorium that I realized the sterling worth of Ward as a teacher. He was excellent for what I wanted to know, and a most charming fellow into the bargain. Had it not been that there were great opportunities for hearing music and talking music, and that I met Grieg, my studies at Leipzig were a complete waste of time. As far as my composing was concerned, Ward’s counterpoint lessons were the only lessons from which I ever derived any benefit. Towards the end of my course with him – and he made me work like a nigger – he showed wonderful insight in helping me to find out just how much in the way of traditional technique would be useful to me … And there wasn’t much. A sense of flow is the main thing, and it doesn’t matter how you do it so long as you master it.[xxv]
Regardless of his appreciation for Ward and Florida, Delius would not comply with his father’s wish to resume growing oranges following the completion of his two year course. An important meeting between Julius and Grieg was arranged in London in 1888 to discuss ‘a matter of the utmost urgency.’[xxvi] Grieg, who was on tour and whose stature as Norway’s leading composer impressed Julius, called Frederick a genius and was able to convince Julius to continue his son’s allowance in pursuit of a musical career. Frederick had next to no proof of his potential. The total number of people who had listened to his music to that point, following a single self-funded performance, was two. He had nothing to show for his studies but an undeveloped musical vision. Without Grieg’s intervention at the end of Delius’s time in Leipzig, Frederick’s path to full-time composition would have been much more difficult.
Five part-songs survive from Delius’s time as a student in Leipzig. Found amongst counterpoint exercises and containing corrections in a foreign hand, it is likely that these pieces were completed as a part of Frederick’s coursework. They also possibly served as respite from the demands of his much larger Florida suite.[xxvii] Less complex than his mature works, they bear the marks of a young composer learning his trade.
The year was 1888, and Frederick moved to the Paris forever captured by the impressionists Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, just before its change to Gauguin’s more brutal, post-impressionist artistic atmosphere. Though his location within the country would change a few times, this move to France was his last. The first 9 years were spent in locations in or near Paris, a period marked by increased compositional output and an active social life. Though he shied away from most musicians, claiming to find them boring, he associated with many well-known composers, artists, and writers.
By 1891, Delius had moved around Paris and its environs and had traveled to Norway, Leipzig, Brittany, and Jersey. He lived in Croissy-sur-Seine, which was then a small town just outside of Paris, much patronized by the Impressionist painters.[xxviii] His lifelong friendship with Edvard Munch, who drew portraits of Delius in 1890 or 1891, was blossoming. Frederick gave up Croisy apartment in the summer of 1891 before taking a trip to Norway, where he visited the Bjørnsons, the Griegs, and conductor Ivan Holter. Delius returned to Paris in October.[xxix] It is likely that this trip affected his choice of text in the part-song of late 1891 – “Her ute skal gildet staa.” Delius’s showed great enthusiasm for Norway and Scandanavian circles while in Paris too.[xxx] One of his Scandanavian friends was the Swedish sculptor Christian Eriksson, for whose house warming party “Her ute skal gildet staa” was produced.
An additional chapter in Delius’s personal life at this time centers around Helene ‘Jelka’ Rosen. The two met for the first time in 1896 at a dinner party, discussing the music of Grieg and the writings of Nietzsche. The method of their courtship clearly anticipated the type of relationship that would ensue: one of Jelka, a talented painter, giving herself completely to Frederick’s artistic enterprise.
She wisely realized that he was likely to resent obvious attention and affection and that she must avoid showing any jealousy. There were plenty of occasions when she might have done so, for Delius, with his remarkably good looks, was seldom without female company and she was rather plain … They continued to meet and became close friends. They walked together when spring came and often ate late at Delius’s apartment. Because he always composed at night and became fidgety when the meal was over, Jelka never tried to stay longer than she was wanted. It was perfectly clear to her at this early stage that music came first in their friendship; and her tact and understanding at a time when she wanted above all else to be with Delius showed that she loved him deeply.[xxxi]
In 1897, following a period of romantic uncertainty, Jelka bought a house at Grez-sur-Loing, a village near Fontainebleau, well known and loved by Delius. Delius made numerous visits although he remained uncommitted. Following a brief return to Solano Grove in Florida for a variety of purposes (he had been considering a permanent return and there were a number of romantic entanglements,)[xxxii] Delius sent word to Jelka at Grez that he was coming to visit the next day. He arrived and, to Jelka’s surprise, announced that he was staying, which he did until his death. The two were married in 1903.[xxxiii]
Delius finally felt relaxed and was able to devote all of his energy to composition. An inheritance from his Uncle Theodore in 1898 secured this way of life.[xxxiv] Delius composed Mitternachtslied Zarathustras and Five Songs in 1898 and La Ronde se deroule for orchestra and the opera Paris in 1899. He was less compositionally active in 1900 and 1901, as he suffered some financial embarrassment, severed his connections to the Florida plantation, buried his father, and suffered his first physical deterioration. After finishing A Village Romeo and Juliet in 1901, an opera some identify as his first mature work, he composed his best known choral works: Appalachia (1902), Sea-Drift (1903), and Mass of Life (1905).
A visit to Berlin in early 1907 for the premiere of A Village Romeo and Juliet led Delius to the honor of being the subject a monograph written by German musicologist Max Chop,[xxxv] Delius’s first, and won the praise of composer Engelbert Humperdink. Around this time, Delius maintained a good working relationship with Harmonie Verlag of Berlin, which published the three part-songs of 1907-1908.
Delius achieved further success in 1907 during a trip to London in the spring for performances of the Piano Concerto (1906) and the English premiere of Appalachia, which inspired the performance of at least seven of his major works the following year.[xxxvi] Admirers such as Balfour Gardiner, Percy Grainger, Norman O’Neill, Roger Quilter, Cyril Scott, Granville Bantock, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Philip Heseltine were soon among Deilus’s supporters. Newly invigorated ties to England also led to Delius’s involvement with the Musical League, an organization devoted to promoting the performance of new English music. The organization, which did not last as long as hoped, boasted Sir Edward Elgar as its president and Delius as the Vice-President. The short-lived tenure of the Musical League reinforced Delius’s luke-warm opinion of English music at the time.
“I am afraid artistic undertakings are impossible in England – The country is not yet artistically civilised – There is something hopeless about English people in a musical and artistic way, to be frank, I have entirely lost my interest and prefer to live abroad and make flying visits” (written to Granville Bantock.)[xxxvii]
However, the excitement stirred in England for the music of Delius was red-hot.
Of all the fortunate encounters Delius enjoyed throughout his life, perhaps none was so fruitful as his association with conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Beecham, who first heard and was converted to Delius’s music in 1907,[xxxviii] single-handedly raised England’s awareness of its ‘native son’ from obscurity to popularity. Beecham, a conductor of independent financial means, organized several concerts of Delius’s music, including a 4-day Delius festival in 1929 that featured most of the composer’s compositions.[xxxix] “The success of the Festival was unquestioned and at none of the six concerts was there a seat unoccupied.”[xl] Unaccompanied part-songs were performed by the London Select Choir, conducted by T. Arnold Fulton, on Wednesday, October 23rd, at 8:30 pm at the Aeolian Hall, along with other selections. The part-songs selected for performance by Beecham were, as listed in the program, “The Splendour Falls,” “On Craig Ddu,” “Midsummer Song,” and Two Unaccompanied Choruses (to be sung of a summer night on the water).[xli] The early part-songs and “Wanderer’s Song” were omitted. Delius, in an address to the crowd at the closing concert, called this festival “the time of my life,”[xlii] despite his usual disregard for public opinion. Beecham also edited many of Delius’s scores and was his favorite interpretive conductor.[xliii]
The later portion of Delius’s life was marked by greatly diminished health, causing physical dependence on Jelka and others, an inability to transcribe musical ideas, and an apparent change in disposition. Frederick, who had contracted syphilis in 1895, suffered from steadily deteriorating health with noticeable setbacks in 1901, 1910, 1922, and 1926. Gradually, his strength all but vanished, leaving him confined to a wheelchair in great physical discomfort. Traveling became more difficult, though he made medical trips to Wiesbaden in 1911, Biarritz in 1918, and Cassel in 1924. He and Jelka also fled for approximately 1 year to England from the advancing German Army in 1917, the year he composed Two Songs to be sung of a summer night on the water. He lost the use of his eyes and his hands became paralyzed in 1922. The purchase of a motorized car in 1923 was undoubtedly intended to make transportation at least a little more possible. Delius traveled to Cannes in autumn and spent Christmas at Rapallo, the year he composed his final part-song. Some friends found his character to sour in this period. However, within this frail shell, his mind and his drive remained strong. Many of Delius’s works were completed during this period of time, including “A Dance Rhapsody” (No. 2; 1916), “Eventyr” (1917), “Hassan” (1920), and “A Late Lark” (1925).
Eric Fenby, a young Delius devotee and musician from Yorkshire, England, provided an unusual and highly successful solution to some of Delius’s needs. Deeply distraught at the knowledge of Delius’s inability to compose because of poor health, Fenby offered himself as an amanuensis to Delius for 3 or 4 years to attempt the completion of unfinished works. He arrived at Grez in 1928. Their methods were slow and took time to develop (Delius’s ability to communicate was significantly reduced), but in time the two were able to complete many compositions, including “A Late Lark” (1925), “A Song of Summer” (1930), the Idyll (1930), Caprice and Elegy (1930), the Fantastic Dance (1931), Songs of Farewell (1932), and the “Irmelin Prelude” (1932). Fenby also made arrangements of La Calinda, Fennimore and Gerda – Intermezzo, and Two Aquarelles (arrangements for strings of the part-songs of 1917.) Fenby’s contribution to the Delius legacy also includes a poignant memoir written in 1936, entitled Delius As I Knew Him.
Frederick Delius finally died on June 10th, 1934. His approach to death through pain was not one of fear or regret. “Not being able to see does not trouble me. I have my imagination. Besides, I have seen the best of the earth and done everything that is worth doing; I am content. I have had a wonderful life.”[xliv] In accordance with a late wish, Delius was laid to rest in England the following May. His wife, also in serious physical condition, died of cancer on May 28, 1935, two days after Frederick’s second burial. She was interred beside her husband. During the year that separated these deaths, key decisions were made regarding the estate, leading to the establishment of the Delius Trust. This collection of important material and funds for the promotion of Delius’s music remains active today.[xlv]
Delius’s Personal Characteristics and Beliefs
The complex character of this colorful musician was comprised of numerous seemingly opposite components. At first glance, perhaps the prevailing public view, Delius appears to have been exclusively strong willed, individualistic, wry, stern, severe, hard working, and uncompromising. Some of these traits originate from his fatherly example, some from his Victorian upbringing, while some also come from the example of his Uncle Theodore in Paris. Theodore Delius exemplified the upper-class, ‘highly civilized’ standards of late 19th century Paris, an outdated manner of conduct preserved by Delius throughout his life.[xlvi] While he was a young man in Florida, Delius also learned the value of focused hard work from Thomas Ward, a virtue he cherished for life. This, combined with his earnest conviction that he must create great art, led to a highly disciplined routine. His curt and insensitive demeanor was fueled by his strong distaste for time wasted by small-talk, insincere pleasantries, or even the attendance of his concerts of his music when not necessary for his artistic development.[xlvii] His skill with many languages, natural sharp wit, and broad range of experience made him fiercely intimidating and at times quite difficult to please.[xlviii]
One anecdote involving Delius’s acidity, as well as the strength of his personal charm, involves the male nurses who helped to care for him in his late sickness. They were part of a Protestant brotherhood, each of whose beliefs Delius, completely dependent on their care, would attack without mercy in the midst of attention. One brother, dissuaded from his faith and highly attracted to Delius’s charm and philosophy, was removed by the brotherhood and proceeded to kill himself in grief over being barred from returning to Delius.[xlix]
This harsh portrait of the man is incomplete, however. In addition to these brash characteristics, Delius possessed a sensitive, fun, and peaceful nature. In the presence and interpretation of certain friends, those of keen wit and an eye for irony, the teasing and intolerance was a playful game without the slightest trace of malice. Close friend Percy Grainger gives a clear indication of this:
Hearing that a certain musician who was visiting him at Grez was an ardent Christian Scientist (a fact that the musician had not mentioned to him, however) Delius regaled his guest with ‘Of all the stupid things in the world, Christian Science is the stupidest.’ And he went on by the hour teasing the man. But had the man admitted his belief and stuck up for it, Delius would have listened to him quite tolerantly, and a jolly and graceful discussion might have ensued. For Delius was never afraid of an argument, nor impatient in it. Nor was he thin-skinned. In my own case, knowing I was a vegetarian and a teetotaller, he would ask me at meal-times what I was eating and drinking. When I replied, ‘Bread and milk and a glass of water’ (or the like), he would lay into me with ‘Why be such a kill-joy? Why don’t you enjoy a nice big steak and a mug of beer?’ If I retorted, ‘Yes, and be blind and paralyzed like you at the age of 70,’ he would merely chuckle.[l]
Grainger goes on to mention and emphasize the lack of sternness and grimness of Delius’s character, including the words “To be with Delius was to feel oneself participating in a constant ritual celebrating enjoyment.”[li]
Similarly, Delius displayed sensitivity and encouragement to numerous friends and colleagues. He would often receive scores from unknown, aspiring musicians, which he would return with positive comments whenever possible. Personal letters to a variety of artists and musicians repeatedly displayed his friendliness, pleasant attitude, and willingness to be helpful. His sympathy for developing artists was likely a reflection of the encouragement he often wished he had received in his own developmental years.
Perhaps the most telling symbol of Delius’s personality is his music itself. Impossible to fully capture in words, the character is neither insensitive nor harsh, but precise, demanding, highly emotional, and filled with a keen interest in beauty.
Delius’s philosophy was distant from the beliefs of any organized religion. Though raised in the church, he clearly separated himself from all aspects of the church and Christian theology. The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche influenced him strongly.[lii] Eric Fenby recounts Delius’s description of his introduction to Thus Spake Zarathustra early in his travels in Norway: “It was the very book he had been seeking all along, and finding that book he declared to be one of the most important events of his life. Nor did he rest content until he had read every work of Nietzsche that he could lay his hands on.”[liii]
Delius often advocated his position of atheism. Numerous encounters are recorded, including a heartfelt plea to Eric Fenby during his stay at Grez. “Eric, I’ve been thinking. The sooner you get rid of all this Christian humbug the better. The whole traditional conception of life is false. Throw those great Christian blinkers away, and look around you and stand on your own feet and be a man.”[liv] Similarly, Delius’s convictions and call to free thinking were included in his compositions. The texts of Nietzsche, Walt Wittman, and other non-religious writers were frequently set in his vocal music. Delius’s love of nature, inspired by Wittman in particular, is also frequently reflected in Delius’s programmatic compositions.
Delius’s friends included many famous musicians and artists. They provided fun, artistic counsel, professional assistance, and physical assistance during his late sickness. While in Paris, Delius freely associated with August Strindberg (dramatist), Paul Gauguin (painter), Wladyslaw Slewinski (painter), Alphonse Mucha (founder of Art Nouveau), and Maurice Ravel (composer). Norwegian friends included composers Edvard Grieg, Christian Sinding, and artist Edvard Munch.[lv] Later friends included musicians Percy Grainger, Sir Thomas Beecham, Balfour Gardiner, Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock,)[lvi] painter Carl Larsson, and writer Robert Louis Stevenson.[lvii] Despite a highly publicized visit of Elgar to Grez in 1933 and various musical connections, the two were never fully at ease.
The issue of Delius’s nationality is another interesting aspect of the composer’s nature. Despite his birth in England, Delius’s only return to this land, aside from brief visits, was in the form of a dying wish for an English grave. While his stay in France was longer than in any other country, his connections to Germany, America, and Scandinavia remained equally strong. Christopher Palmer, author of a lengthy study on the subject, offers the following view:
The more we probe the question, in fact, the more uncomfortably do we become aware that in classifying Delius as an exclusively English composer the English claim an unwarranted privilege, for they are but one of a number of possible contenders for the distinction of ownership. Delius was a curiously stateless man, a wanderer over the face of the earth who never really settled and struck roots anywhere.[lviii]
Cosmopolitan may be the best description of Delius’s nationality.[lix] He had little concern for politics, war, or patriotism, feeling that his art was beyond the bounds of any national style or identity.
Delius’s Musical Style
Occupying a singular position within the body of historical European art music, unique in technical, theoretical, and esthetic matters, it is difficult to discuss Delius’s music in the way one would discuss the music of more conventional composers. The use of contrasting reference to composers of a similar but slightly different nature (for instance, comparing the sonata form of Mozart and Beethoven, or defining the characteristics of Buxtehude’s music within the context of Northern German Baroque keyboard music) is difficult to apply in Delius’s case. His disregard for conventional theory and style make comparison very difficult. Primarily self-taught, he purposely maintained geographic and artistic distance from his contemporaries and the current musical trends. Some broad characteristics can be assigned and labeled as typical of a certain period and style, but much remains quite difficult to describe in the normal, academic sense.
Delius’s choice of forces and genre was fairly conventional for his time. He typically wrote for orchestra, preferring large ones, content with the sound that they were able to produce.[lx] Much of his public success came through the popularity of his programmatic tone poems, a then somewhat outdated genre championed by Richard Strauss, who expressed great admiration for Delius’ music: “I never dreamt that anybody except myself was writing such good music!”[lxi] Other compositions included works for choir, soloists, and orchestra, opera (without much success), piano solo, chamber music, and solo songs. The works for chorus and orchestra enjoy the greatest popularity today, if any of Delius’s music can be considered popular, including Appalachia (1902), Sea Drift (1903), A Mass of Life (1905), Songs of Sunset (1907), Arabesk (1911), Requiem (1916), and Songs of Farewell (1932).
A major difference between the late part-songs and other larger-scale works seems related to the limitations inherent in writing for a group of human voices – the vocal ensemble tied to a specific timbral spectrum, limited divisis, and limited pitch range. The major works exploit the greater number of sounds available from an orchestra, utilize more complex divisis, and cover a wider range of pitches. Due to their length, they are also often more structually complex than the part-songs.
Delius’s taste in the music of other composers reveals much of his musical ideal, without settling the issue of strict stylistic classification. Percy Grainger summarizes Delius’ views of other composers and styles as follows:
Delius preferred Ravel’s music to Debussy’s – an unusual judgment. He detested Brahms and … made great fun of the Mozart-cult. (“If a man tells me he likes Mozart I know in advance he’s a bad musician.”) Haydn and Beethoven he liked no better, and it was impossible to interest him in Richard Straus or Stravinksy and other would-be moderns. Schoenbergism he dubbed “the wrong note craze”, and when a young Hungarian musician played some Hindemith to him Delius burst out with: “I only know one thing; that that composer has a vulgar soul (eine gemeine Seele).”
As far as I can remember he never varied in his admiration for Bach, Chopin, Wagner and Grieg; though even here it was difficult to foresee his changing moods. One year he would say “Play me lots of Bach.” When I would return next year with my trunk full of Bach he would exclaim: “You know Bach bores me. Can’t you play me Chopin’s F minor ‘Ballade’ – the best of the lot?”[lxii]
In addition, Delius held the music of Elgar, Parry, and other English composers in very poor regard.[lxiii] Neat labels for Delius such as impressionist,[lxiv] 20th century English,[lxv] and romantic[lxvi] are each in some way flawed. References to Delius’s music as ‘curious’ or as occupying “a more shadowy place in English music”[lxvii] may be the most accurate designations available.
Delius’s method of composition, though described as free-formed, did have certain patterns. Always at the piano, his method involved improvising a series of chords, exploring these chords in various inversions and keys, placing them in sequence, improvising their rhythmic durations, and then distributing the tones to various forces. Different periods in time brought slight variations to this pattern, but this basic process remained essentially unchanged from boyhood to maturity.[lxviii]
Critical Response to the Music of Frederick Delius
Perhaps the best measure of an individual is the comments of friends and colleagues. The following opinions reflect a great deal about the manner in which Delius and his music were regarded by his peers – close friends and prominent musicians of the day.
Written in 1950 by Percy Grainger: “To my ears it seems that in Delius’s music the most tender and subtle feelings of modern life are voiced in the most poignant and soul-reaching tonal speech. As Bach and Wagner did in their time, so Delius in his time seems to have succeeded in gathering together all that is of celestial beauty in the tonal idiom of his generation, and to have succeeded equally in divesting his muse of all that is pedantic, ugly, dry, and mechanical.”[lxix]
Written in 1959 by Sir Thomas Beecham: “What is his future to be? Opinions are bound to differ and widely. For myself I cannot do other than regard him as the last great apostle in our time of romance, emotion and beauty in music.”[lxx]
Written in 1936 by Eric Fenby: “This music has a way with it all its own, and, unless that way is grasped instinctively and immediately, conductor, player, and singer alike might just as well shut up their Delius scores and give them away. The music of Delius is not an acquired taste. One either likes it the moment one first hears is, or the sound of it is once and for ever distasteful to one. It is an art which will never enjoy an appeal to the many, but one which will always be loved, and dearly loved, by the few.”[lxxi]
Timeline and Works[lxxii]
1862: born – January 29
1868: Violin lessons with Mr. Mauerkeller of the Halle Orchestra
1869: Violin lessons with Mr. Haddock of Leeds
1871: Preparatory school in Bradford
1872: heard Chopin’s E minor Waltz
1874: Bradford Grammar School
1875: heard Lohengrin at Covent Garden
1878: sent to Isleworth
1880: determined to become musician; joined family business
1881: traveled to Stroud and Chemnitz with work
1882: studied violin with Hans Sitt in Chemnitz; Bradford, Sweden, Norway, Bradford, St. Etienne, Monte Carlo, Paris, Bradford
1883: Norway – met Ibsen
1884: Bradford; sailed for Florida in March; met Ward
1885: to Danville as Professor of Music at Roanke College; composed “Two Brown Eyes”
1886: left Danville in spring; Bradford en route to Leipzig; composed Florida
1887: Norwegian holiday – met Grieg and Sinding; composed “Durch den Wald”, “An den Sonnenschein”, “Ave Maria”, “Sonnenscheinlied”, “Frühlingsanbruch”
1888: Florida performed in Leipzig (audience of two); Grieg spoke to Julius Delius; moved to Ville d’Avray, France; composed Five Songs from the Norwegian, “Paa Vidderne”, Hiawatha, Rhapsodic variations (unfinished), Two pieces for orchestra, Pastorale
1889: moved to Croissy-sur-Seine; composed Sakuntala, Little suite for orchestra, Seven Songs from the Norwegian (1889-1890), Légendes
1891: met Gauguin; moved to Rue Ducouédic; composed “Her ute skal gildet staa”, Song cycle from Tennysong’s Maud, Three Shelly Lyrics
1892: composed Irmelin (1890-92), Sur les cimes, Sonata for violin and piano
1893: composed The Magic Fountain, Legend, String quartet
1894: quarreled with Theodore Delius
1895: composed Two Verlaine Songs, Over the hills and far away
1896: met Jelka Rosen; brief trip to Florida; composed Romance for cello and piano, Romance for violin and piano
1897: Jelka bought Grez house; Delius moved to Grez; composed Koanga (1895-97), Seven Songs from the Danish, Norwegian Suite (for play Folkeraadet)
1898: death of Theodore Delius; composed Five Songs, Nachtlied Zarathustras
1899: trip to London for concert; composed Paris: The song of a great city
1900: financial difficulties; composed Two songs from the Danish
1901: sold Florida plantation; Julius Delius died; Delius’s health showed first deterioration; composed A Village Romeo and Juliet (1900-01), “Black Roses”
1902: composed Appalachia, Margot la Rouge
1903: married Jelka Rosen, September 28; composed Sea Drift
1905: composed A Mass of Life (1904-05)
1906: saw Grieg for the last time (in Norway); composed “Concerto for piano and orchestra in one movement”
1907: close association with Percy Grainger; composed “On Craig Ddu”, Songs of Sunset (1906-07), “Cynara”, Brigg Fair: An English Rhapsody
1908: conducted In a Summer Garden in London; composed “Wanderer’s Song”, “Midsummer Song”, “The Nightingale has a Lyre of Gold”, Fantasy : In a summer garden, A Dance Rhapsody (No. 1)
1910: health deteriorated; friendship with Heseltine started; met Bartók; composed Fennimore and Gerda (1908-10), “La lune blanche”
1911: went for cure to Wiesbaden; composed Arabesk, Life’s Dance
1912: saw Mother for last time; summer in Italy; composed A Song of the High Hills (1911-12), Two pieces for small orchestra
1913: correspondence with Heseltine at its peak; composed “Hy-Brazil”, Two songs for children
1914: in London for performance; Flees Grez (German military advance) for a week; composed North Country Sketches (1913-14)
1915: stayed near London with Henry Wood and Sir Thomas Beecham due to war; composed Three Songs, “Short piece for string orchestra”, Sonata for violin and piano (published as No. 1)
1916: temporary return to Grez; composed Requiem (1914-16), “It was a lover and his lass”, Double concerto for violin and cello (1915-16), Concerto for violin, A Dance Rhapsody (No. 2)
1917: returned to England until end of war; financially pressed; composed Two Songs to be sung of a summer night on the water, Eventyr (Once upon a time), Sonata for cello and piano, String quartet (1916-17)
1918: went for cure to Biarritz; composed A song before sunrise
1919: composed “Avant que tu ne t’en ailles”, A Poem of life and love (1918-19), Dance for harpsichord
1920: composed Hassan; or the Golden Journey to Samarkand (incidental music)
1921: composed Concerto for cello
1922: lost use of both hands
1923: bought car; autumn holiday in Cannes; Christmas at Rapallo; composed “The Splendour falls on Castle Walls”
1924: went for cure in Cassel; finances easier; Mass of Life performed widely; composed Sonata for violin and piano (No. 2)
1925: composed A Late Lark, Air and Dance
1926: enjoyed the radio; health very poor
1928: Eric Fenby arrived
1929: attended Delius Festival in London (organized by Beecham)
1930: Fenby and Delius productive; composed Idyll, A Song of Summer, Sonata for violin and piano (No. 3), Caprice and Elegy
1931: composed Fantastic Dance
1932: given the Freedom of the City of Bradford (acknowledgment of his accomplishments in England); composed Songs of Farewell (1930-32), “Irmelin Prelude”
1934: died – June 10; Jelka operated on for cancer
1935: Jelka died – May 28; Delius buried in Limpsfield, Surrey
[i] Alan Jefferson, Delius (Great Britain: J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1972), 4.
[ii] Lionel Carley and Robert Threlfall, Delius – A Life in Pictures (Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1977), 2.
[v] Jefferson, 8.
[vii] Eric Fenby, Delius As I Knew Him (Great Britain: Faber and Faber, 1981), 171.
[viii] Jefferson, 9 – 10.
[ix] Ibid., 127 – 128.
[x] Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Frederick Delius (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1974), 36.
[xi] Arthur Hutchings, Delius (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1970), 15.
[xii] Heseltine, 38.
[xiii] Fenby, 164.
[xiv] Ibid., 164 – 165.
[xv] Heseltine, 39.
[xvi] Christopher Redwood, A Delius Companion (Great Britain: John Clder Ltd., 1980), 122.
[xviii] Carley and Threlfall, 12.
[xix] Heseltine, 42.
[xx] Fenby, 167.
[xxi] Heseltine, 43.
[xxii] Ibid., 45.
[xxiii] Gloria Jahoda, The Road to Samarkland – Frederick Delius and His Music (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969), 78.
[xxiv] Ibid., 80 – 81.
[xxv] Fenby, 168 – 169.
[xxvi] Jefferson, 23.
[xxvii] Jahoda, 81.
[xxviii] John Boulton Smith, Frederick Delius & Edvard Munch – Their Friendship and Their Correspondence (Triad Press, 1983), 21.
[xxix] Ibid., 21.
[xxx] Ibid., 21.
[xxxi] Jefferson, 34 – 35.
[xxxii] Jefferson, 38 – 39; Redwood, 122.
[xxxiii] While the happiness of a marriage is difficult to gauge, Delius had this to say on the subject of wedlock to Eric Fenby much later in life: “… you must never marry … No artist should ever marry. He should be as free as the winds. Amuse yourself with as many women as you like, but for the sake of your art never marry one. It’s fatal. And listen; if you ever do have to marry, marry a girl who is more in love with your art than with you. It’s from your art only that you will get lasting happiness in life, not from love. Love is a madness. The physical attraction soon plays itself out. Passionate affairs are like fireworks flaring up only to fizzle out. You are a fool if you ever marry,” Fenby, 185.
[xxxiv] Jefferson, 130.
[xxxv] J.B Smith, 92, 163.
[xxxvi] Ibid., 93.
[xxxvii] Carley and Threlfall, 69.
[xxxviii] “The first performance in England of Appalachia is one of the half-dozen momentous occasions I have known over a period of more than fifty years.” – Beecham – J.B. Smith, 93.
[xxxix] Sir Thomas Beecham, Frederick Delius (Great Britain: Severn House Publishers, 1975), 201 – 204.
[xl] Ibid., 205.
[xli] Ibid., 203.
[xlii] Carley and Threlfall, 87.
[xliii] Fenby, 89 – 90.
[xliv] Ibid., 73.
[xlv] Ibid., 255.
[xlvi] Jefferson, 24.
[xlvii] Written by Delius in 1901 to Jelka while away in Berlin: “I am sick of losing time over concerts when they are not absolutely necessary for my development. I don’t care a d— for fame of any sort, and would rather be at my work,” Carley and Threlfall, 46.
[xlviii] Fenby, 16 – 17.
[xlix] Redwood, 126.
[l] Heseltine, 174.
[li] Ibid., 180.
[lii] Written by Delius to Eric Fenby: “I myself do not subscribe to everything Nietzsche said, but I hail in him a sublime poet and a beautiful nature. I want to make myself very plain to you as regards religions and creeds. Personally I have no use for any of them. There is only one real happiness in life, and that is the happiness of creating,” Fenby, 181.
[liii] Ibid., 171.
[liv] Ibid., 179.
[lv] J. B. Smith, 25.
[lvi] Following a period of intense corresponence, Heseltine stepped away from the friendship, though not before writing a book about Delius and his music. The following advice was sent by Delius to the young Heseltine in 1913 in response to questions regarding a life in music, as he wished, or the civil service, the wish of his mother: “I think that the most stupid thing one can do is to spend ones [sic] life doing something one hates or for which one has no interest – In other words it is a wasted life … I was entirely in the same position when I was your age & had a considerably harder fight to get what I wanted – I chucked up everything and went to America. One has every chance of succeeding when one does what one loves & I can tell you that I personally have never once regretted the step I took. The greatest pleasure & satisfaction I have experienced in Life has been thro’ music,” Barry Smith, ed. Frederick Delius and Peter Warlock – A Friendship Revealed (Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 2000), 76.
[lvii] Fenby, 42.
[lviii] Christopher Palmer, Delius – Portrait of a Cosmopolitan (Great Britain: Duckworth, 1976), ix.
[lix] Delius was certainly not in love with all aspects of England. He said this following a rendition of God Save the Queen sung in his honour after the performance of an opera in Norway: “For my part, they are welcome to sing it in a minor key,” Carley, 232.
[lx] Redwood, 129.
[lxi] Ibid., 123.
[lxii] Ibid., 127.
[lxiii] Spoken by Delius to Eric Fenby in response to a comment about English music: “English music? Did you say English music? … Well, I’ve never heard of any!” Fenby, 16.
[lxiv] K. Marie Stolba, The Development of Western Music, 2nd ed. (Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications, Inc., 1994), 595.
[lxv] Lionel Carley, Frederick Delius: Music, Art, and Literature (Great Britain: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1998), 261.
[lxvi] Heseltine, 130.
[lxvii] Robert P. Morgan, Twentieth-Century Music (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1991), 129.
[lxviii] Regarding compositional technique and attempting to teach it, Eric Fenby recalls Delius saying the following: “You can’t teach a young musician to compose … any more than you can teach a delicate plant how to grow, but you can guide him a little by putting a stick in here and a stick in there. Composition as taught in our academies is a farce. Where are the composers they produce? Those who do manage to survive this systematic and idiotic teaching either write all alike … or they give us the flat beer of their teachers, but watered down … How can music ever be a mere intellectual sound that can be classified like the articles in a grocer’s shop? Music is an outburst of the soul. It is addressed and should appeal instantly to the listener. It is not experimental analysis like chemistry. Never believe the saying that one must hear music many times to appreciate it. It is utter nonsense; the last resort of the incompetent,” Fenby, 196 – 197.
[lxix] Heseltine, 179.
[lxx] Beecham, 221.
[lxxi] Fenby, 208.
[lxxii] Hutchings, 185 – 190; Jefferson, 126 – 135.
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Smith, John Boulton. Frederick Delius & Edvard Munch – Their Friendship and Their Correspondence. Triad Press, 1983.
Stolba, K. Marie. The Development of Western Music, 2nd ed. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications, Inc., 1994.
Threlfall, Robert. Delius’s Musical Apprenticeship. Great Britain: The Delius Trust, 1994.
Way back in the late 1970’s, Realistic produced some of the most iconic speakers in stereo history. They had their faults, but boy did these puppies rock. Their look with the grills off is hard to forget and they shake walls if connected to the right amp. Only a fool would trade today’s best speakers for these Titans of a bygone age, but many collectors have a pair in the basement hooked up to a volcano of a power amp so that once in a while they can make the house rumble like it’s 1979 all over again.
Much has changed in speaker technology over the years. Loudspeaker research in the 80s rewrote the textbook on cabinet design. Materials have shifted from wood and paper products to polymer composites. 2.1, 5.1, and newer surround audio-visual systems have largely replaced the “2 big boxes” approach to home audio. Yet, despite these changes, you can still find reasonably informed people who sincerely believe that the Mach One’s are just as good as today’s best new equipment.
This post won’t argue past vs present, but let it be known: there’s a pair of Mach Ones in the basement.
Why People Love These Speakers
Two reasons: the look and the sound.
In the age of full-spectrum stereo speaker boxes, the “15 inch” woofer brought lots of low end while two horns (mid & high range) brought a clean upper end. Two large dials allowed for adjustment of the mid & high range volume +/- 6 decibels.
The speakers sounded best with a high-powered amp running at mid or higher volume. All speakers are balanced to sound best at a given volume (for example, studio monitors vs. concert stacks) and these sound right when turned up. They sound okay at lower volumes, but are really nothing special when heard quietly. Turned up, however, they pour out a wonderful sound.
Speaker placement is important with these boxes. I’ve set up Mach Ones in several dozen rooms and they sound best in a large room with at least 15 feet of distance between the grills and the listener, preferably more. The sound also changes dramatically if they are on the floor, raised, angled, in a corner, upside down, on their sides, etc. I’ve never discovered a rule of thumb that works in every room, but when placing 4024a’s in a new room I usually start like this:
- raised 10-15 inches off the floor
- as much room between them and me as possible
- close to the room’s corners, but not right in them
- angled ~35 degrees off the back wall towards center
- not pointing directly at the listening spot (off-axis perhaps 30 degrees, or the horns “blare” too much)
- grills off, naturally…
I also generously EQ at or before the amp towards bass heaviness. On a multi-band EQ, everything below 50 Hz is boosted a lot. These boxes can deliver heavy bass, but not without EQ support and a high powered amp. Without EQ or if you’re using a low-powered amp, the sound from these boxes are quite disappointing.
Officially they sound down to 20 Hz, depending on your information source. While this is true, the response is nowhere near flat. With EQ support, this problem largely disappears. Unlike many newer speakers that simply do not sound below 35-40 Hz, the Mach Ones can give nearly full-spectrum sound in one box with a little signal modification.
As for the look of these speakers, people either love gratuitous woofer or they don’t. There is little middle ground. To my eyes, there is no finer looking speaker in the era.
Models Compared – 4024, 4024a, 4029
There is debate about which models were the best, but here’s the quick rundown on the three models of Mach Ones released by Realistic:
- 4024 – Originals, made by Tandy in 1977. Woofer has rubber surround that doesn’t rot (originals are still great in 2014). L-plate on the front uses 10 screws. Came with a lifetime warranty.
- 4024a – Same as the 4024, except made from 1978-81. Came with a 5-year warranty.
- 4029 – “Junk” according to 4024/4024a purists. Made by Optimus from 1982 to 1984. Uses different components. Woofer has a foam surround that needs replacement. L-plate on the front uses 6 screws. The “VL mods” (see “Modifications” below) only apply to this model. The resale on the 4029s is lower than 4024/4024a, and most people say that the 4029s do not sound as good as the original 4024/4024a speakers.
Impedance: 8 ohms
Response: 20-25000 Hz (no +/- db listed; sometimes “25-22000 Hz”)
Crossovers: 1200, 4500 Hz
Speakers: 15″, horn, horn
Weight: 65 lbs
Dimensions: 28-5/8″ H x 17-3/8″W x 12″ D
Original price: $400/pair (1977)
How Good Are They, Really?
I don’t listen to mine regularly, but I’ll never throw them out. How’s that for an answer?
The critics call them boomy, harsh, muddy, and generally overrated. It really depends on what they’re being compared against, what room you’re filling with sound, the amp, and the volume level. In some settings they are pure gold, while in others they’re just heavy obsolete museum pieces.
Some music where they shine includes organ music, bombastic symphonic music, and loud rock like Back in Black, Wayward Son, or the 1976 Boston album.
Compared to today’s full-spectrum high-end speakers, the Mach Ones sound slow and imbalanced. However, compared to many of today’s mid-range speakers, white van speakers, computer speakers, or speakers with bass that disappears around 40 Hz, the Mach Ones are still a good option.
This is how Realistic described these speakers when originally released.
Realistic Mach One. The first under-$400 home speaker system with the power capacity to easily handle 100-watt musical surges and the ability to reproduce them with awesome realism. The powerful heavy-magnet 15” woofer moves such massive volumes of air you can feel the bass. The 4-cell midrange horn adds presence for that “live sound,” and its wide dispersion angle assures a good spatial image in stereo systems. The tweeter horn delivers highs so well defined they seem to hang in the air with a bell-like clarity. And a special L-C crossover network blends all speaker elements for a response free of of peaks and valleys. To prevent treble attenuation, the grill cloth is almost “acoustically transparent.” Once you’ve heard the soundtrack from a film like “Tommy” or “2001, A Space Odyssey” on the Mach One, we don’t think you’ll ever settle for a lesser speaker – especially if it costs more! 20-25,000 Hz response, 8 ohms impedance. Genuine walnut veneer finish.
Modifications / Updates
An Audiokarma.org user named “videolady201” has developed a set of upgrades for the 4029s that are ideal for hobbyists who like tinkering. Basically, the modifications flatten the response and clean up the sound. This is accomplished by drilling inside the cabinet to give the woofer cavity additional space and by altering the crossovers. I’ve never heard a pair with these modifications, but the reviewers rave.
For an introduction to the topic, see the Audiokarma thread here.
What Are They Worth?
Ultimately, they’re worth nothing if you don’t like cool speakers or don’t want 130 lbs of vintage thunder in your house.
As of 2014 in Canada, I’ve seen many pairs of 4024/4024a’s sell through online markets in the range of $200. If they’re in lousy cosmetic condition but still work, the price drops a little, but not much. The most expensive I’ve seen for “mint condition” Mach Ones where they actually sold (it wasn’t some nut way overcharging) was around $350.
If you ever find a pair at a garage sale for under $100 and they work, grab them RUN. Even if you don’t like them (…or your partner won’t let them into the house), you can likely recover your costs if you’re patient.
Other Realistic Speakers & Vintage Gear
I’ve owned several 1970s/80s Realistic components (amps, receivers, EQs, etc.) and was never excited about any of them. It’s not that they were junk, they were just fairly average. I’ve also owned a couple other pairs of Realistic speakers (Nova’s) and was thoroughly underwhelmed.
It’s possible that I didn’t fully appreciate this gear or that I didn’t put it in a setting to shine. However, I suspect it’s more likely that the 70s-80s Realistic team got lucky with the Mach Ones.
I’ve never had the pleasure of a side-by-side featuring Mach Ones with Realistic’s later models, the Mach Two or Mach 5000 speakers, so I can’t confirm or deny the popular opinion that Realistic Mach speakers went downhill after the 4024a Mach Ones. There are mixed reviews online, but I’d endure a home test if the opportunity arose.
Links Around the Interwebs
To start with, this may be the greatest quote about Realistic Mach Ones ever:
The full thread is here.
For more Mach One fun online, here are some fun places to start:
Ready to be amazed? Meet a remarkable young musician, Alma Deutscher, who was born in 2005.
Alma Deutscher was introduced to thousands of new fans while appearing on The Ellen Show, where Alma delighted Ellen and the audience alike. Here is Alma playing a song written for Ellen:
Here is a story few people experience. Alma had a dream that there was an opera by Mozart, but when she awoke she realized that she had thought of it herself:
For a broader glimpse of Alma and her personality, here is a full-length interview:
Alma’s recordings can be found online in many places, including right from her own website.
What were you doing when you were 8?