Harald Bode (1909-1987) was a German engineer and is considered a pioneer of electronic musical instruments. His »Melochord«, developed from 1947 to 1953 and used in the studio for electronic music of the West German Radio, forms the basis of the synthesizer.
After working at the Heinrich Hertz Institute for Vibration Research at the Technical University of Berlin, he emigrated to the USA in 1954. Due to the success of the self developed Bode Organ, he became chief engineer and later vice president of the Estey Organ Company in the United States. Later he cooperated with Robert Moog and his synthesizer company. Together they worked on various electronic instruments and devices until Bode's retirement in 1974. Moog sold these instruments as licensee and in cooperation with Harald Bode. Bode also worked as chief engineer at Bell Aerospace on the development of early microcircuits. In 1974 he founded the Bode Sound Company and continued his own research.
Harald Bode holds more than fifty US and foreign patents. He collaborated with video artists Woody and Steina Vasulka and presented his work at the Audio Engineering Society, Media Study/Buffalo and the Experimental Television Center in Owego, New York.
The Harald Bode Archive has been in the possession of the ZKM | Archive since October 2019. It was given to the Archive by his son Peer Bode for safekeeping, preservation and provision.
Harald Bode's estate comprises about eleven meters of documents, including sketches, circuit diagrams, photographs, manuscripts and typescripts as well as correspondence on his scientific, technical and artistic activities. Part of Harald Bode's personal estate are also his notebooks or diaries from 1930 to 1983, which provide a detailed insight into his personal life experience, inventions, plans and thought processes over more than 50 years.