Amped Up

Amped Up: Bob Moog’s musical magic finds new listeners at an Asheville museum
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On display at the Moogseum will be Bob Moog’s innovations; (inset) Bob Moog.

Music facilitated and inspired by the late inventor Bob Moog can be heard all over the world, but Western North Carolina can rightly claim to be its historic base, as he lived out his last decades in the Asheville area. One of the ranking pioneers of electronic music, Moog’s modernized theremins and original synthesizers and effects pedals, among other groundbreaking instruments, have played a starring role in tunes by the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Doors, Stevie Wonder, and a host of modern-day bands.

Downtown Asheville is already home to the factory for Moog Music Inc., the company that continues to reproduce and innovate from his creations. Now, just up the street, the Bob Moog Foundation is set to have a soft opening for the Moogseum in late May to coincide with what would have been the visionary’s 85th birthday, with an official opening scheduled for August 15. 



(Left) Moog synthesizer; (right) The theremin, a staple of everything from horror-movie soundtracks to avant-garde and rock music.

Moog’s daughter, Michelle Moog-Koussa, director of the nonprofit foundation (which is independent from the company), says the museum’s goal is “to share my father’s legacy in a way that would continue to inspire people from all walks of life through the intersection of science, music, and innovation.” Among its many offerings, the Moogseum will serve as the home base for Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, an ongoing program that uses Moog’s audio and design acumen to teach kids about the science of sound, and a Moog Foundation archive, which promises to be a one-of-a-kind collection.

What’s more, there will be interactive musical exhibits, a timeline of Moog’s life and work, and a space for rotating displays. And for those who can’t make it there in person, the foundation notes, an online version of the Moogseum “will allow us to share our unique resources with the world”—an idea that doubtless would have delighted Moog himself.



(Left) Moog’s synthesizers and amplifiers, along with many of his other inventions, remain in high demand today.

56 Broadway, Asheville
Opening August 15
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
$6, free ages 7 & under
(828) 258-1262

Photographs courtesy of the Bob Moog Foundation