๐ŸŽต ๐Ÿ“ฎ Musical Telegraphยถ

What Is An Electrical Telegraph?ยถ

An electrical telegraph was a point-to-point text messaging system, used from the 1840s until the mid 20th century when it was slowly replaced by other telecommunication systems.

Musical Telegraphยถ

One of the first synthesizers that used electricity to generate and transmit sounds. Invented by Elisha Gray in 1876. (And here we must digress. Elisha Gray also โ€œinventedโ€ the telephone, in 1874, but arrived at the U.S. Patent Office a scant three hours after Alexander Graham Bell did, and thus lost out on the glory. After years of lawsuits, Grayโ€™s company, Western Electric, became the sole-source manufacturer of telephones, while Bellโ€™s company controlled the transmission lines.)

Elisha Gray would have been known to us as the inventor of the telephone if Alexander Graham Bell hadnโ€™t got to the patent office one hour before him. Instead, he goes down in history as the accidental creator of one of the first electronic musical instruments. Gray was inspired to investigate electro-acoustic effects after witnessing his nephew playing with his uncleโ€™s equipment. The child had connected one end of a battery to himself and the other to a bathtub; by rubbing his hand on the bathtubโ€™s surface he created an audible humming tone proportional to the electric current.

Professor Elisha Gray

Gray discovered that he could control sound from a self vibrating electromagnetic circuit and in doing so invented a basic single note oscillator. The original intention was to use this principle to develop an early version of multiplex telegraphic transmission; sending multiple telegraphic messages encoded as different pitches simultaneously over the same line which could be decoded at the receiving end. Using this principle he designed a musical instrument; The โ€˜Musical Telegraphโ€™ or โ€˜Electro-Harmonic Telegraphโ€™ initially to demonstrate and promote his ideas.

Elisha Grayโ€™s Musical Telegraph

Elisha Grayโ€™s Musical Telegraph keyboard transmitter.

โ€œMy invention primarily consists in a novel art of producing musical impressions or sounds by means of a series of properly-tuned vibrating reeds or bars thrown into action by means of a series of keys opening or closing electric circuits. It also consists in a novel art of transmitting tunes so produced through an electric circuit and reproducing them at the receiving end of the line.โ€

Elisha Gray; Patent notes No. 173,618, Feb. 15, 1876.

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  • Wikipedia / 120years.net / Sweetwater.com

About the Authorยถ

โ€œGuido F. Matis (a.k.a. widosub), a seasoned producer-composer authority with an unquenchable compassion towards the musical expression, and many years of experience in the fields of event organizing, movie post-production, and recording with professional musicians. His devotion to movie sounds shows in his art - widosubโ€™s music is filled with landscapes of emotions, dramatic twists and melancholic moods. Heโ€™s one of the hosts of Tilos Rรกdiรณโ€™s MustBeat show, in which heโ€™s is focusing on drumโ€™nโ€™bass and chillout music. Heโ€™s also one half of the duo Empty Universe.โ€