Synthesized Classical Music Pioneers

by | Apr 10, 2020

Specifically as it relates to “Bytes of Bartok”, there were two ground-breaking albums that were the first to interpret classical music through synthesizers.

Both albums significantly contributed to bringing synthesizers out of the experimental genre and into mainstream music. Synthesizers are now heard in every musical genre, from pop to rock to country to movie soundtracks.


Walter Carlos (who transitioned to Wendy) released their first studio album Switched-on Bach in the late sixties using public domain Bach pieces for this first exposition of classical music using first generation Moog synthesizers.  It was an out-of-left-field smash hit for Columbia Records.

In 1992, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original album, Wendy revisited the album, updated the sounds with then current synthesizers and re-issued the CD as Switch-on Bach 2000.

More complete notes can be found on Wikipedia

Snowflakes are Dancing was Isao Tomita’s recording effort that set a number of French composer Claude Debussy’s classical works to Moog and Mellotron synthesizers. Debussy’s compositional efforts focused on “tone paintings”, where musical notes and chords focused on expressing tone and color.

More complete notes can be found on Wikipedia