NAMM Oral History Project | History of Kurzweil Music Systems

January 20, 2010

Source: NAMM Oral History Project — January 20, 2007 | NAMM staff

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Ray Kurzweil appeared on the popular 1950s and 1960s quiz show “I’ve Got a Secret” to reveal that he had made a computer that could make music. Since those early days, Ray has come to define the computer age of music making.

Founder of Kurzweil Music, Ray designed some of the industry’s most noted electronic instruments of the 1980s and 1990s.

Ray was a pioneer in the field of optical character recognition (OCR) and he has published several highly successful books on technology and the future of intelligence including The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence released in 1999.

About NAMM | The Model for Industry Growth

Before there was an industry or an association, there was a belief…in music. That belief led to a mission: to unify, lead and strengthen the global music products industry and increase active participation in music making.

More than a century later, that mission has attracted a growing, thriving worldwide community of thousands of deeply passionate, talented companies that make, buy and sell the instruments that allow millions of people to make music. That community is called NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry.

NAMM is able to support the association’s mission with a business model based on a circle of benefits that promotes industry growth. The circle begins with the revenue derived from NAMM’s trade shows, which is channeled back into the industry through the NAMM Foundation’s funding of industry charities and in the form of advocacy and market-building programs and initiatives, further increasing public awareness. This leads to increased demand of music products, growing the industry and, ultimately, promoting trade show growth, which completes the circle. To support individual Members, NAMM offers industry education through NAMM University, publishes valuable one-of-a-kind statistical reports, and brings the industry together at events and global meetings.

Founded in 1901, NAMM has been the engine driving the music products industry, enabling both large and small businesses to maximize productivity and reduce the costs of doing business. With more than 9,000 Members in the United States and 100+ other countries, NAMM is ultimately dedicated to expanding the market and giving people of all ages the opportunity to experience the proven benefits of making music.

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