A Brief History
On May 23, 1829, Austrian maker of keyboard instruments, Cyrill Demian, a man of Armenian descent, was granted a patent for his new musical instrument, the Accordion.
As with so many other inventions, the actual inventor of the accordion is disputed, with some giving Christian Buschmann of Germany, credit as the real inventor.
Some other instruments let their name lead you to their inventor, such as the Saxophone, invented by Adolphe Sax of Belgium in the 1840s, and the Sousaphone, of course invented by the March King himself, John Philip Sousa, in 1893, although the actual builder of the new form of tuba was James Pepper.
Likewise, the Moog synthesizer was created by Robert Moog in 1964, the first commercial synthesizer and the first analog model of the device.
Did you know Founding Father Benjamin Franklin invented a musical instrument? He did! The Glass Harmonica, and old Ben also wrote music for his invention.
American George Beauchamp got the patent for the electric guitar in 1937, but by that time others were also making their versions of rock and roll staple.
Many other instruments have unclear origins. Which one is your favorite?
Question for students (and subscribers): What is the greatest musical instrument? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Ceceri, Kathy. Musical Inventions: DIY Instruments to Toot, Tap, Crank, Strum, Pluck, and Switch On. Make Community, 2017.
Sachs, Curt. The History of Musical Instruments. Dover Publications, 2006.
The featured image in this article, an image from Armenian creations and brands of an man and excerpt of patent for Cyrill Demian’s first accordion, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.