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Robert (Bob) Ord

Books of music out numbered all others in the childhood household of Robert (Bob) Ord, his mother playing the piano and the piano accordion and his father both making and playing the Northumbrian Pipes. Both were involved in the early folk music revival during the fifties and early sixties.

He cannot remember when he first started to read music, but according to his mother she would put on the piano accordion and he would play the right hand for various folk pieces in the key of C at the age of five. He does however remember playing a little eight button bass accordion and a recorder at the age of seven.

At the age of twelve there being no piano in the house and the piano accordion was far from being a cool instrument to play, he bought a second hand "Paragon" acoustic guitar made by Clifford Essex from a fellow pupil at school. Preferring to play the guitar with his fingers the plectrum was thrown away within the first fortnight after buying the guitar.


Bob did not follow music as a career but, became an apprentice electrical fitter and armature winder. At the end of his apprenticeship he had gained a HNC in Electronics and Physics.

With this qualification he became a development engineer mainly working upon the control of D.C. motors for electric vehicles.

One departure from the control of motors was to develop a gearbox inhibitor for British Leyland's National 2 Bus and the Olympian. But before the deregulation of the Bus Groups in 1985 Bob had returned to field of controlling both D.C. and A.C. motors, and staying in that field until he retired.

Music and Computers

In 1987 Bob explored the musical possibilities of the Hybrid Music System for the BBC computer which used a language called AMPLE.

Being familiar with Fourier analysis of instrument wave forms he was able to get fairly realistic instrumental sounds.

Back in 1989 he wrote a BBC BASIC programme to print music notation from an AMPLE file for the magazine "Amplinex".

In the early 90s he started to use Acorn's A3000 and A7000 computers for music, using initially Rhapsody and then Sibelius 7 together with a Sound Canvas by Roland.

Now he uses Sibelius with an iMac 20 inch screen to write his music.

In the February of 2005 The Cobweb Orchestra played Bob's Rondo in D major for Orchestra now changed to E and is the last movement of his Sonata in E for two guitars.