The MOOG & the Birth of Electronic Dance Music

The MOOG & the Birth of Electronic Dance Music

By on Aug 12, 2011 in Music, Rock Star Librarian | 5 comments

Robert Moog. In 1965 he spearheaded a radical paradigm shift in music and its creation by inventing the Moog music synthesizer. Others had created computer based syths, but Moog was the first to create a modular keyboard instrument that allowed the musician to adjust timbre, pitch, intensity and fade, and it cost $11,000, a tenth of the price of RCA’s binary code run synthesizer. Then, in 1971, he invented the Minimoog, a portable synthesizer one easily could take on the stage and the road. Here is BBC video footage of the Moog’s 1965 world premiere.

Giorigio Moroder & Donna Summer. Leap forward six years to 1977. Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer craft a hit dance single almost entirely created on Moog synthesizers and what was to become known as the first completely electronic song: “I Feel Love.” Brian Eno is known for infamously bursting into David Bowie’s recording session for his Berlin Trilogy with Summer’s song.

Bowie says, “One day in Berlin … Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ … he puts on ‘I Feel Love’, by Donna Summer … He said, ‘This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ (From Bowie’s Sound and Vision CD liner notes.)

But why bore you with my writing about the significance of the Moroder/Summer collaboration. Here, Alison Goldfrapp narrates an amazing BBC Radio 2 documentary of the birth and significance of this song – Well worth a download and listen.

And if you wish to fully immerse yourself in electronic dance music history, download BBC’s four part series, The Great Bleep Forward: Presented by Andrew Collins. In 2004 along with BBC 6 Music, Collins explores the development of electronic music. Though the video isn’t anywhere online, the audio for the entire four part series is available for free from the Internet Archive. Why not download and listen to these truly intriguing intriguing and fun electronica history lessons on your way Home?

Then, perhaps you’ll find new appreciation for the epic pilgrimage the genre has made while your sparkly booty shakes to those incredible beats out on the playa. Oh, and, if you happen to be hitting decks out there, I’d sure looooove to be surprised by creative samples of Donna Summer’s monumental track.


  1. I swear last year “I Feel Love” followed me last year, I heard the original and remixes almost every day/night! Once I got home I found as many awesome remixes of it as possible and I plan on spreading the love this year. 😉

    Whiskey Devil

    August 23, 2011

  2. Gotta say. Being an old fart and having been there, hearing this song for the first time was about the same epiphany as seeing the “jump to light speed” in Star wars. Blew your mind and you knew nothing was going to be the same. No goin’ back now…


    August 24, 2011

  3. In July, 1969 Dick Hyman ‘s recording of his jazz composition “The Minotaur” became the first Moog-based

    September 12, 2015

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    December 25, 2017

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