Casio MT-40

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Overhead view of a Casio MT-40.

The Casio Casiotone MT-40 is a musical keyboard, formerly produced by Casio and originally developed for the consumer market. It is 9 voice polyphonic, with 37 main keys and 15 smaller bass keys. Eight notes may be played on the main keys, and one note on the bass. The bass section has one timbre, and the main section has 22, assignable to one of four presets. Like most small Casio keyboards, it also has a drum section with 6 different beats, a tempo knob, and a "fill" button. The fill button plays sixteenth note pulses of either the "snare" or "kick" as long as it is held down. Production started in the early 1980s and ceased shortly thereafter. The successor of the MT-40 came with a gray case, and was sold as the MT-41.

Brazilian/British composer Ritchie used the Casio MT-30 in his Brazil soap soundtrack Menina Veneno (1982).

Composer Ralph Jones used the Casio MT-30 with cymbals and crystal glasses in his score to Amy Holden Jones's horror feature film: Slumber Party Massacre (1982).

The MT-40 had a built-in pattern widely reputed to be based either on the Eddie Cochran song "Somethin' Else", or the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In The UK". However, the pattern's creator, Casio's Product Development and Music Engineer Hiroko Okuda has denied either source, saying instead that it was based on a 1970s British rock song she declined to identify,[1] but some have suggested may be the David Bowie song "Hang Onto Yourself".[2]

A synthesizer version of the song's bassline ended up as the basis of one of the most popular dancehall music riddims of Jamaican music: the Sleng Teng riddim, which started the "Digital Reggae" revolution in 1985.[3]

It has also secured a niche in indie music. It occurs occasionally in songs by The Magnetic Fields, and is featured prominently on most of Emperor X's album Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform. Its thin fuzz can be heard on lesser known Australian indie band Turnstyle's top 20 single Spray Water On The Stereo. American California based indie rock group Picture Atlantic used a mixture of the MT-40's Organ sound and Bass notes for their tracks "Circe", "Anytime/Coats of Armor", and "....That's Just Me" off of their album Kleos.[4] San Francisco indie rock duo Casy and Brian exclusively used the Casio MT-40 for three of their four releases, altering its sound with effects such as overdrive pedals to accompany drums.[5] In the UK, the Farmer's Boys, which recorded for EMI and beloved of John Peel, used it on a number of singles and album tracks—with an ironing board as a keyboard stand. In 2015, Japanese musician Tentenko (formerly of BiS) released an album recorded using the keyboard as the only accompanying instrument.


  1. ^ Trew, James. "How Casio accidentally started reggae's digital revolution". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "David Bowie: Father Of The Sleng Teng Riddim". Axis Chemicals. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Katz, David (2014) "Wayne Smith's Under Mi Sleng Teng – the song that revolutionized reggae", The Guardian, 20 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014
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