Michelle Moog-Koussa didn’t know much about her famous father’s legacy until Robert Moog, inventor of the the first commercial synthesizer, died in 2005.
“My father always held his career at arm’s length from the family, so I had very, very little exposure to ‘Bob Moog’ as a kid and even as an adult,” she says. “When he was sick, and when he passed away, we received thousands of testimonials from people all over the world attesting to how he had changed or even transformed their lives.”
For three days in mid-August, dozens of synthusiasts gathered in Asheville, North Carolina, to celebrate the grand opening of the Moogseum, a museum dedicated to Bob Moog’s life and accomplishments.
It was this revelation of his reach and impact on so many people that motivated Michelle Moog-Koussa and her family to form the Bob Moog Foundation. Now in its 13th year, the BMF honors Bob Moog through its stated mission “to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history and innovation.”
Atlas Obscura | Moogseum: A Museum Dedicated to the Legacy of Bob Moog and His Pioneering Synthesizers
Robert Arthur Moog, better known as Bob, was an American engineer best known for his work with synthesizers and electronic music. Moog didn’t invent the synthesizer, but he did revolutionize it. Before Bob, synthesizers were huge, unwieldy machines that took up an entire room and cost far too much to make them commercially viable.
The Bob Moog Foundation will open The Moogseum in downtown Asheville on Thursday, May 23, which would have been Bob Moog’s 85th birthday. The Moogseum is intended to inspire and educate people through electronic music.
Robert Moog changed the landscape of music forever when he launched the first commercial synthesizer in the ‘60s. Since then, the Moog name has become synonymous with synthesis and iconic pieces of hardware like the Minimoog. Now, the Bob Moog Foundation has opened the Moogseum — a museum dedicated to Moog’s work and other important music devices — in Asheville, North Carolina.
There’s no doubt that Bob Moog had a massive influence on music by making synthesizers popular and accessible, and now there’s a dedicated place to pay homage to his legacy. The Bob Moog Foundation has opened the Moogseum, a museum in Asheville, North Carolina that includes static and interactive exhibits devoted to its namesake’s synths as well as other electronic instruments.
Asheville, North Carolina is already a kind of mecca for a certain type of musician. It’s the home of Moog Music, the company which carries on the legacy of manufacturing Dr. Bob Moog’s legendary instruments and continuing his explorations in music synthesis. It’s a three hour drive from Moogfest in Durham. And it’s the home of the (independent, non-profit) Bob Moog Foundation.
Visiting Asheville, North Carolina, in December, I walked past a sandwich board that read, “Synth you’re here, come on in.” It was a pop-up store selling T-shirts, mugs, and other memorabilia commemorating one of the town’s most famous citizens, electronic music pioneer Bob Moog.
Robert Moog was a game-changing electronic music pioneer and the father of four children (and one step-daughter), including daughter Michelle Moog-Koussa, executive director of the Moogseum, a brand-new facility opening on what would have been Moog’s 85th birthday, Thursday (May 23), in Moog’s adopted hometown of Asheville, N.C.