A keyboardist is a musician who plays keyboard instruments. Until the early 1960s musicians who played keyboards were generally classified as either pianists or organists. Since the mid-1960s, a plethora of new musical instruments with keyboards have come into common usage, requiring a more general term for a person who plays them. These keyboards include:

*electric pianos such as the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric piano
*electronic pianos such as the Roland Digital Piano
*Hammond and other electric organ such as the Farfisa and Vox Continental
*analog synthesizers such as Moog and ARP synthesizers
*digital electronic keyboards such as those produced today by Roland, Yamaha, Kurzweil and Korg
*piano (but see Pianist for a list of famous pianists)
*reed organ
*pipe organ

It became stylish among hard-rock enthusiasts and musicians to adopt an attitude of scorn and derision towards keyboardists and keyboard music. As an example, guitarist Ted Nugent goes hunting and shoots a keyboard in one of his DVDs. However, in general, the keyboardist has seen something of a resurgence in rock music in recent years, with bands like Maroon 5, Athlete and The Killers featuring keyboards prominently.

Notable electronic keyboardists

Note: while the term 'keyboardist' can cover a wide variety of instruments both acoustic and electronic, the following musicians are mostly known as electronic keyboardists, although they may also play piano or other acoustic keyboards.

Rock and pop

:Vince Clarke (Erasure, Depeche Mode, Yazoo):Brian Eno:Martin Gore (Depeche Mode):Ralf Hütter (Kraftwerk, Organisation):Jean Michel Jarre:Booker T. Jones:Ray Manzarek (The Doors):Gary Numan:Billy Preston :Alan Price (The Animals):Florian Schneider-Esleben (Kraftwerk):Vangelis:Stevie Wonder:Richard Wright (Pink Floyd):Rick Wakeman (Yes)


Generally speaking, in jazz music, electronic keyboard players are very often also pianists.

:Chick Corea:Jan Hammer:Herbie Hancock:Keith Jarrett:Jimmy Smith:Josef Zawinul (Weather Report)


:Wendy Carlos

ee also

*List of Hammond organ players
*List of harpsichordists
*Classical pianists (recorded)

External links

* [ Keyboard Player magazine]
* [ Harmony Central resource for keyboard/synth players]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • keyboardist — [kē′bôrd΄ist] n. a performer on a keyboard instrument * * * See keyboarder. * * * …   Universalium

  • keyboardist — [kē′bôrd΄ist] n. a performer on a keyboard instrument …   English World dictionary

  • keyboardist — UK [ˈkiːˌbɔː(r)dɪst] / US [ˈkɪˌbɔrdɪst] noun [countable] Word forms keyboardist : singular keyboardist plural keyboardists a musician who plays an instrument with a keyboard, especially an electric piano …   English dictionary

  • keyboardist — [[t]ki͟ːbɔː(r)dɪst[/t]] keyboardists N COUNT A keyboardist is someone who plays keyboard instruments, especially in popular music …   English dictionary

  • keyboardist — noun Date: 1973 a person who plays a keyboard musical instrument …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • keyboardist — noun a musician who plays the keyboard …   Wiktionary

  • Keyboardist — Оператор, работающий на клавиатуре …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • keyboardist — key|board|ist [ˈki:bo:dıst US o:r ] n someone who plays the keyboard …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • keyboardist — key|board|ist [ ki,bɔrdıst ] noun count a musician who plays an instrument with a keyboard, especially an electric piano …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • keyboardist — n. one who plays the keyboard, one who plays a musical instrument that is like a piano …   English contemporary dictionary

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