Google has a wonderful tradition of adapting its logo to current events. There is a pattern to the days that get Doodles: they are usually national holidays, human rights or environmental commemorative days, or birthdays of famous scientists, musicians, artists, or engineers.

Today the Google Doodle celebrates what would have been the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer.

The Doodle is a Moog synth, and it’s interactive! You can change the settings, play it with your mouse or with your keyboard, and you can record up to four tracks! It’s hard to play, because it’s not very responsive, but I managed to record a 2-track intro to the Dr Who theme.

I’ve been thinking about the influence of scientific discovery on music, and most of it comes from electrical engineering. The 20th century introduction of instruments such as the Moog have even led to new styles of music. I used it to play the Dr Who theme, because to my ears it *has* to be performed electronically. (The theme was a product of the BBC Radiophonic workshop, which I’ve mentioned before.)

I don’t know if the doodle will still be functional after today, so go play with it if you haven’t yet.


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