April 19 – Gil Scott-Heron, Chowning’s FM synthesis


Chicago-born soul artist and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron re-records his well-known song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised at RCA Studios in NYC.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

Gil’s mother was an opera singer. He moved to the Bronx when he was 12. There he heard The Last Poets in 1969.

The Revolution was the opening track of his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. The re-recording appears on 1971 debut studio album Pieces of a Man. On Feb. 11, 2012 he’s honored with a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award(*). (*)

 ( Website ▷GSH tribute▹



Composer, inventor, professor John Chowning and Stanford University are issued a patent (US#4,018,121) for his invention of the FM synthesis algorithm.

It allows simple synthesis of rich sounding timbres.


The first product to incorporate the algorithm is Yamaha’s 200-pound GS1 synthesizer (1981).

Then the famous DX-7 debuts in 1983. (*) Offering patch storage in memory (instead of the tangled, finicky patch cords of analog synths) as well as MIDI, the DX-7 changes everything.

FM synthesis tutorial  Pt.2 
▷SOS: FM Synthesis (technical)▹ ▷SOS Pt 2▹ Chowning: ‘Stria’ (1977, excerpt)