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Bob Moog: The Fresh Air Interview

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 28, 2000.

Follow NPR's All Songs Considered (@allsongs) this weekend for reports and photos from the 2012 Moogfest. Check NPR Music next week for concert recordings from the festival and explore our 2011 archive here.

Moogfest, the festival of electronic and visionary music, takes place on Saturday and Sunday in Asheville, N.C. — the city music pioneer Bob Moog called home. Moog was the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. He died in August 2005 at age 71.

Electronic music has become so pervasive that we now take it for granted. But it was a new concept in the mid-1960s, when Moog created his first synthesizer. Invented in 1965, the product went on to usher in a new era of rock and electronic music. The Beatles used a Moog synthesizer on their 1969 Abbey Road album.

The synthesizer became more accessible to musicians and composers after Moog made his first portable, the Minimoog, in the early '70s. Moog also had a lifelong interest in the theremin, an electronic instrument that produces ethereal otherworldy sounds and has been used on many science-fiction soundtracks.

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