Electrifying Music: The Life and Legacy of Robert Moog

March 6 to December 10, 2021
Hirshland Exhibition Gallery, Level 2B, Carl A. Kroch Library

Wendy Carlos's studio, ca. 1968.

NOTE: The Hirshland Exibition Gallery is now reopened (hours). See Cornell University’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Updates page for the latest information regarding visitor policies.

Drawing from Cornell’s rich archive of materials that traces Moog’s lifelong fascination with electricity and its musical possibilities, this exhibition features instrument prototypes, design schematics, photographs, correspondence, and audio recordings. It also provides viewers with an opportunity to play a theremin and Minimoog supplied by Moog Music Inc.

Highlights include documents from Moog’s years studying at Cornell University, running his first synthesizer factory in Trumansburg, New York, and collaborating with composers and recording artists for whom he created personalized systems, including Wendy Carlos, who popularized the Moog synthesizer with the album Switched-On Bach; Keith Emerson of the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; and jazz musician Eddie Harris.

Electrifying Music is a collaboration among Cornell University’s Department of Music, Department of Science and Technology Studies, and Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

Exhibition curators: Judith Peraino (Music), Trevor Pinch (Science and Technology Studies), Roger Moseley (Music).

This exhibition is funded through the generous support of the Stephen E. ’58, MBA ’59 and Evalyn Edwards ’60 Milman Exhibition Fund, with additional contributions from Moog Music Inc.

View the online exhibition

View the keynote presentations offered prior to the opening of the exhibition “Electrifying Music” on March 6, 2020 in Klarman Hall at Cornell University. This video features:

1) A talk by Brian Kehew, Los Angeles-based musician, record producer, keyboard technician for The Who, and co-author of Recording the Beatles and

2) A keynote interview with Gary Numan, a pioneer of electronic popular music and a recipient of the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award, moderated by music professor Judith Peraino.