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How the synthesiser helped shape progressive music

Constantly evolving, shocking and inspiring, the synth has provided the soundtrack of the future as far back as the 1920s

Progressive rock has had a long and loving relationship with the synthesiser. From the primitive stirrings of proto-prog right through to the present day, electronic instruments have provided prog-minded musos with access to surreal and startling sonic spheres. In the brave new world of the 21st century, where amazing music technology is as cheap as silicon chips, synths may be regarded by many as mundane and functional items, but it wasn’t always so. During the 1960s and 70s, as prog rose to prominence, synthesisers were expensive and exotic exhibition pieces reserved for a privileged elite.

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