Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music

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Product Details

University of North Texas Press
Publish Date
9.6 X 12.9 X 1.3 inches | 5.45 pounds

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About the Author

ALAN S. LENHOFF has been a writer, editor, and executive for major U.S. newspapers, and a magazine publisher. He lives in Birmingham, Michigan. DAVID E. ROBERTSON is an industrial designer, commercial photographer, and design historian from Adelaide, Australia. He is a member of the Order of Australia for services to professional design.


"[A] marvelously impressive book. . . . Pretty much every significant keyboard and synth ever built and used professionally in the studio or on stage throughout the 20th Century, from the 1930s to the 1980s is at least mentioned somewhere in this enthralling and astonishingly comprehensive book. . . . It should be required reading for anyone considering a career in the audio industry, whether as a performer or an engineer/producer!"--Sound on Sound
"This new coffee-table book is the stuff of keyboard dreams. . . . Classic Keys contains a wealth of well-researched information and lots of fascinating stories from musicians, engineers, keyboard techs, and others involved with the design and enjoyment of keyboard instruments."--Synth & Software

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"The story of keyboard development, the people who built them, and the part they played in our musical history has never been fully told up until now. This book is a must for all who love keyboards and their history and indeed, music in general. It should be on every music lover's bookshelf."--Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for Yes, solo artist and session player

"Classic Keys tells you everything you always wanted to know about vintage keyboards. It's not for squares."--Donald Fagen, keyboard player, singer and co-founder of Steely Dan

"A 'dream book' for us keyboard players. Beautiful depictions of classic instruments, both in pictures and text. Accurate and well-written histories of these vintage pieces that we all love and respect. I'm still drooling over each page!"--Chuck Leavell, keyboard player for The Allman Brothers Band and musical director of The Rolling Stones

"A true gem. It contains information that even an avid fan with deep knowledge of the subject will find rewarding... I am stunned by the depth and detail in this wonderful tome, and the wealth of photographs. Everything is chronicled with care and love."--Steve Nieve, keyboard player for Elvis Costello and the Attractions, session player and composer

"An extremely thorough and informative book that reveals the evolution and inner workings of keyboard instruments that changed contemporary music for the good, forever. As an educator, I feel that this book should be required reading for every contemporary keyboardist."--Dave Limina, Piano Department Chair, Berklee College of Music, and author of Hammond Organ Complete

"Needed, brilliant and timeless. Thank you!"⁠--John Novello, Hammond B-3 player for jazz fusion trio Niacin
"If you love rock and electronic keyboards, Alan S. Lenhoff and David E. Robertson have just published Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music (University of North Texas Press). The 406-page coffee table book is beautifully written and features page after page of photos of electronic keyboards that gave rock its personality. There are in-depth chapters on the Hammond B-3, the Vox Continental, the Farfisa Compact, the Hohner Clavinet, the Minimoog, the Wurlitzer, the Hohner Pianet and many others. Each chapter is loaded with history about their development, the rock bands that used them and hits that featured them. Enormous fun reading through while listening to vintage vinyl."