Keytar

keytar hero

A keytar is a relatively lightweight keyboard that is supported by a strap around the neck and shoulders, similar to the way a guitar is supported by a strap. Keytars allow players a greater range of movement compared to conventional keyboards, which are placed on stands. The instrument has a musical keyboard for triggering musical notes and sounds. Controls for pitch bends, vibrato, portamento, and sustain are placed on the instrument’s ‘neck.’ Keytars may either contain their own synthesizers, or simply be controllers, triggering notes on another MIDI capable synthesizer.

In early 1970s, Edgar Winter often performed with keyboards slung around his neck, but they were not technically keytars because they had no ‘neck.’ One of the earliest keytars commercially released and widely known was be the Moog Liberation in 1980. Notable manufacturers of keytar models have included Moog, Roland, Yamaha, Korg and Casio. As of 2010, the Roland AX-Synth and the Roland Lucina are the only mass-manufactured keytars on the market, but with the Synthpop revival of the late 2000s, keytars are enjoying a mild resurgence.

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