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In 1938, invented a design for composers based on synthesizing complex musical sounds from a limited number of pure tones; this proposed system was to perform music without musicians or musical instruments. The technological basis of his invention was the method of photo-optic sound recording used in cinematography, which made it possible to obtain a visible image of a sound wave, as well as to realize the opposite goal—synthesizing a sound from an artificially drawn sound wave.
Despite the apparent simplicity of his idea of reconstructing a sound from its visible image, the technical realization of the ANS as a musical instrument did not occur until twenty years later. Murzin was an engineer who worked in areas unrelated to music, and the development of the ANS synthesizer was a hobby and he had many problems realizing on a practical level. It was not until 1958 that Murzin was able to establish a laboratory and gather a group of engineers and musicians in order to design the ANS.
- Murzin's synthesizer was used by Alfred Schnittke, Stanislav Kreitchi, Sofia Gubaydulina, Edward Artemyev, and some other experimenting composers in Moscow.
- Much of the music for Andrey Tarkovsky film Solaris (1972) was created by Artemyev with the ANS.
- In 2003, British band Coil had released an album named ANS (using the synth itself).