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The MIDI specification first saw the light of day at the 1981 AES, when Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits presented a paper on the "Universal Synthesizer Interface." It was co-developed with other companies (an effort driven principally by Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi, a true visionary of this industry), and made its prime time debut at the 1983 Los ...
The word 'Synthesizer' didn't arrive on the scene until the 1950s with the RCA Synthesizer I and II, but it wasn't long before these room-sized pieces of engineering had been, themselves, 'synthesized' down into more acceptable components and 'modules' thanks to the pioneering work of visionaries like Dr. Robert Moog, Don Buchla, Harold Bode, ...
The MIDI Association (TMA), a global community of people who use MIDI to create music and art, has been founded with the goals of providing education for existing users, as well as creating new music makers by promoting the creative possibilities of connecting digital musical instruments, MIDI controllers, smart phones, tablets and computers. To fu...
Electronic musical instruments had been around in some form since the late nineteenth century. The Telharmonium and the Singing Telegraph date back to the beginnings of electricity itself while throughout the first half of the twentieth century electronic musical contraptions were quite the rage in Europe, from the French Ondes-Martenot to the...
From mechanical to digital to virtual....and back! The relationship between mechanical musical machines and MIDI gets even more intriguing with orchestrions and "fairground organs".  Orchestrions have multiple mechanical instruments in them and are designed to sound like a complete orchestra (hence the name). Orchestrions a...
By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons The golden age of mechanical music machines really came in the late 19th century and early 20th century with player pianos and orchestrions.  A player piano is defined as any actual acoustic piano that is played by a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music. 
To really understand the origins of MIDI, you need to go all the way back to before there were digitally controlled synthesizers and computers, In fact you need to go back before there was even electricity to the very first mechanical music machines. The very first mechanical musical instruments were documented in the Book of Ingenious Devices...
What is MIDI and How Can I Use It? | Seymour Duncan https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/the-tone-garage/what-is-midi-and-how-can-i-use-it