When talking about transformative figures in the music industry, one would be remiss not to mention Herb Deutsch. A co-inventor of the famous Moog Synthesizer and a dedicated composer, author, educator, and performer, Deutsch’s legacy leaves an indelible imprint on the history of music, one in which we reflect on today.
Deutsch was born in Hempstead NY on February 9, 1932. Even at a young age, the future legend had an innate curiosity for sound production, discovering melodies and exploring the different pitches of a stick with the ground of his family’s garage at just three years old.
Deutsch was introduced to electronic music as a college student at Hofstra, where he studied music education and later returned as a teacher in the early 1960s, chairing the music department until his retirement in 2018.
Herb Deutsch and Bob Moog at Hofstra University
It was during this time that he met Bob Moog at the All State Music Festival in Rochester NY. An immediate connection was formed over a shared interest in the manipulation of sound through electronics and it wasn’t long after this chance meeting that the conceptualization of a new electronic musical instrument, the Moog Synthesizer, began.
The Moog Synthesizer revolutionized the sound of music across a multiplicity of genres. Used by The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, and more in its early days, it has since transcended into modern day genres, and has become one of the most famous electronic instruments in music history.
“It’s always exciting to know that I’ve been a piece of music history — that I was there,” Deutsch said in an interview with the New York Times.
Deutsch’s legacy as an artist stretches far beyond his innovations. The composer released a wide array of projects throughout his life, making his Ravello Records debut in October 2012 with FROM MOOG TO MAC, a collection spanning 30 years of Deutsch’s compositions and performances on the Moog Synthesizer.