After months of struggling with brain cancer, electronic music pioneer Bob Moog passed away on August 21, 2005, at his home in Asheville, N.C.
Working with his father in 1954, Moog began building theremins. While working on his Ph.D. in engineering physics, Moog created the first Moog Modular synthesizer, unveiled at AES in 1964. He formed the R.A. Moog Co. (which became Moog Music in 1971) and delivered several modular synthesizer systems, mostly to academic and experimental composers, including Wendy Carlos, who made extensive use of the Moog on the landmark Switched-On Bach.
Sensing a larger market, Moog took the most requested modules from his large modular systems and put them and a small keyboard into an easy-to-use package that didn’t require patch cords or programming knowledge — creating the Minimoog, which was unveiled at AES in 1970.
In 1977, Moog left Moog Music to form Big Briar and later served as VP of new product research at Kurzweil Music Systems from 1984 through 1989. In 2003, Moog reclaimed the rights to use the Moog Music and Minimoog trademarks and changed the name of Big Briar to Moog Music Inc. During the years, the accolades for Moog were many, including the TEC Hall of Fame (1992) and a Technical Grammy Award in 2002. Moog will posthumously be honored with a TECnology Hall of Fame Award for his development of the Minimoog at a ceremony held during AES.
Moog is survived by his wife, Ileana; his five children, Laura Moog-Lanier, Matthew Moog, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog and Miranda Richmond; and the mother of his children, Shirleigh Moog. Dedicated to the advancement of electronic music in Moog’s memory, his family has established The Bob Moog Memorial Fund. More information is at www.moogmusic.com.