Electronic music
Overview
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instrument
Electronic musical instrument
An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces its sounds using electronics. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical audio signal that ultimately drives a loudspeaker....

s and electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 music technology
Music technology
Music technology is a term that refers to all forms of technology involved with the musical arts, particularly the use of electronic devices and computer software to facilitate playback, recording, composition, storage and performance. This subject is taught at many different educational levels,...

 in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium
Telharmonium
The Telharmonium was an early electronic musical instrument, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of 'horn' speakers.Like the later Hammond organ, the Telharmonium used tonewheels to...

, Hammond organ
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

, and the electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

. Purely electronic sound production can be achieved using devices such as the Theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

, sound synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

, and computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

.

Electronic music was once associated almost exclusively with Western art music
Art music
Art music is an umbrella term used to refer to musical traditions implying advanced structural and theoretical considerations and a written musical tradition...

 but from the late 1960s on the availability of affordable music technology meant that music produced using electronic means became increasingly common in the popular domain.
Encyclopedia
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instrument
Electronic musical instrument
An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces its sounds using electronics. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical audio signal that ultimately drives a loudspeaker....

s and electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 music technology
Music technology
Music technology is a term that refers to all forms of technology involved with the musical arts, particularly the use of electronic devices and computer software to facilitate playback, recording, composition, storage and performance. This subject is taught at many different educational levels,...

 in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium
Telharmonium
The Telharmonium was an early electronic musical instrument, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of 'horn' speakers.Like the later Hammond organ, the Telharmonium used tonewheels to...

, Hammond organ
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

, and the electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

. Purely electronic sound production can be achieved using devices such as the Theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

, sound synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

, and computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

.

Electronic music was once associated almost exclusively with Western art music
Art music
Art music is an umbrella term used to refer to musical traditions implying advanced structural and theoretical considerations and a written musical tradition...

 but from the late 1960s on the availability of affordable music technology meant that music produced using electronic means became increasingly common in the popular domain. Today electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

.

Origins: late 19th century to early 20th century

The ability to record sounds is often connected to the production of electronic music, but not absolutely necessary for it. The earliest known sound recording device was the phonautograph
Phonautograph
The phonautograph is the earliest known device for recording sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained of the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. Invented...

, patented in 1857 by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was a French printer and bookseller who lived in Paris. He invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph, which was patented in France on 25 March 1857....

. It could record sounds visually, but was not meant to play them back.

In 1878, Thomas A. Edison patented the phonograph, which used cylinders similar to Scott
Raymond Scott
Raymond Scott was an American composer, band leader, pianist, engineer, recording studio maverick, and electronic instrument inventor....

's device. Although cylinders continued in use for some time, Emile Berliner
Emile Berliner
Emile Berliner or Emil Berliner was a German-born American inventor. He is best known for developing the disc record gramophone...

 developed the disc phonograph in 1887.
A significant invention, which was later to have a profound effect on electronic music, was Lee DeForest's triode audion
Audion tube
The Audion is an electronic amplifying vacuum tube invented by Lee De Forest in 1906. It was the forerunner of the triode, in which the current from the filament to the plate was controlled by a third element, the grid...

. This was the first thermionic valve, or vacuum tube
Vacuum tube
In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

, invented in 1906, which led to the generation and amplification of electrical signals, radio broadcasting, and electronic computation, amongst other things.

Before electronic music, there was a growing desire for composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s to use emerging technologies for musical purposes. Several instruments were created that employed electromechanical designs and they paved the way for the later emergence of electronic instruments. An electromechanical instrument called the Telharmonium
Telharmonium
The Telharmonium was an early electronic musical instrument, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of 'horn' speakers.Like the later Hammond organ, the Telharmonium used tonewheels to...

 (sometimes Teleharmonium or Dynamophone) was developed by Thaddeus Cahill
Thaddeus Cahill
Thaddeus Cahill was a prominent inventor of the early 20th century. He is widely credited with the invention of the first electromechanical musical instrument, which he dubbed the telharmonium....

 in the years 1898-1912. However, simple inconvenience hindered the adoption of the Telharmonium, due to its immense size. The first electronic instrument is often viewed to be the Theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

, invented by Professor Léon Theremin
Léon Theremin
Léon Theremin was a Russian and Soviet inventor. He is most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments. He is also the inventor of interlace, a technique of improving the picture quality of a video signal, widely used in video and television technology...

 circa 1919–1920. Other early electronic instruments include the Croix Sonore
Croix Sonore
The Croix Sonore is an early electronic musical instrument with continuous pitch, similar to the theremin. Like the theremin, the pitch of the tone is dependent on the nearness of the player's arm to an antenna; unlike the theremin, the antenna was in the shape of a cross, and the electronics were...

, invented in 1926 by Nikolai Obukhov
Nikolai Obukhov
Nikolai Borisovich Obukhov was a modernist and mystic Russian composer, active mainly in France. An avant-garde figure who took as his point of departure the late music of Scriabin, he fled Russia along with his family after the Bolshevik Revolution, settling in Paris...

, and the Ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

, which was most famously used in the Turangalîla-Symphonie
Turangalîla-Symphonie
The Turangalîla-Symphonie is a large-scale piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen. It was written from 1946 to 1948, on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The premiere was given by that orchestra on December 2, 1949, conducted by Leonard Bernstein in Boston...

by Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...

 as well as other works by him. The Ondes Martenot was also used by other, primarily French, composers such as Andre Jolivet
André Jolivet
André Jolivet was a French composer. Known for his devotion to French culture and musical thought, Jolivet's music draws on his interest in acoustics and atonality as well as both ancient and modern influences in music, particularly on instruments used in ancient times...

.

Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music

In 1907, just a year after the invention of the triode audion, Ferruccio Busoni
Ferruccio Busoni
Ferruccio Busoni was an Italian composer, pianist, editor, writer, piano and composition teacher, and conductor.-Biography:...

 published Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music, which discussed the use of electrical and other new sound sources in future music. He wrote of the future of microtonal scales in music, made possible by Cahill's Dynamophone: "Only a long and careful series of experiments, and a continued training of the ear, can render this unfamiliar material approachable and plastic for the coming generation, and for Art."

Also in the Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music, Busoni states:

Music as an art, our so-called occidental music, is hardly four hundred years old; its state is one of development, perhaps the very first stage of a development beyond present conception, and we—we talk of "classics" and "hallowed traditions"! And we have talked of them for a long time!

We have formulated rules, stated principles, laid down laws;—we apply laws made for maturity to a child that knows nothing of responsibility!

Young as it is, this child, we already recognize that it possesses one radiant attribute which signalizes it beyond all its elder sisters. And the lawgivers will not see this marvelous attribute, lest their laws should be thrown to the winds. This child—it floats on air! It touches not the earth with its feet. It knows no law of gravitation. It is well nigh incorporeal. Its material is transparent. It is sonorous air. It is almost Nature herself. It is—free!

But freedom is something that mankind have never wholly comprehended, never realized to the full. They can neither recognize or acknowledge it.

They disavow the mission of this child; they hang weights upon it. This buoyant creature must walk decently, like anybody else. It may scarcely be allowed to leap—when it were its joy to follow the line of the rainbow, and to break sunbeams with the clouds.


Through this writing, as well as personal contact, Busoni had a profound effect on many musicians and composers, perhaps most notably on his pupil, Edgard Varèse
Edgard Varèse
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, , whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse , was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States....

, who said:
Together we used to discuss what direction the music of the future would, or rather, should take and could not take as long as the straitjacket of the tempered system. He deplored that his own keyboard instrument had conditioned our ears to accept only an infinitesimal part of the infinite gradations of sounds in nature. He was very much interested in the electrical instruments we began to hear about, and I remember particularly one he had read of called the Dynamophone. All through his writings one finds over and over again predictions about the music of the future which have since come true. In fact, there is hardly a development that he did not foresee, as for instance in this extraordinary prophecy: 'I almost think that in the new great music, machines will also be necessary and will be assigned a share in it. Perhaps industry, too, will bring forth her share in the artistic ascent.'

Futurists

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the Futurists
Futurism (art)
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city...

 approached the changing musical aesthetic from a different angle. A major thrust of the Futurist philosophy was to value "noise," and to place artistic and expressive value on sounds that had previously not been considered even remotely musical. Balilla Pratella's "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music" (1911) states that their credo is: "To present the musical soul of the masses, of the great factories, of the railways, of the transatlantic liners, of the battleships, of the automobiles and airplanes. To add to the great central themes of the musical poem the domain of the machine and the victorious kingdom of Electricity."

On 11 March 1913, futurist Luigi Russolo
Luigi Russolo
Luigi Russolo was an Italian Futurist painter and composer, and the author of the manifesto The Art of Noises . He is often regarded as one of the first noise music experimental composers with his performances of "noise concerts" in 1913-14 and then again after World War I, notably in Paris in 1921...

 published his manifesto "The Art of Noises
The Art of Noises
The Art of Noises is a Futurist manifesto, written by Luigi Russolo in a 1913 letter to friend and Futurist composer Francesco Balilla Pratella...

". In 1914, he held the first "art-of-noises" concert in Milan on April 21. This used his Intonarumori, described by Russolo as "acoustical noise-instruments, whose sounds (howls, roars, shuffles, gurgles, etc.) were hand-activated and projected by horns and megaphones."
In June, similar concerts were held in Paris.

The 1920s to 1930s

This decade brought a wealth of early electronic instruments and the first compositions for electronic instruments. The first instrument, the Etherophone, was created by Léon Theremin (born Lev Termen) between 1919 and 1920 in Leningrad, though it was eventually renamed the Theremin. This led to the first compositions for electronic instruments, as opposed to noisemakers and re-purposed machines. In 1929, Joseph Schillinger
Joseph Schillinger
Joseph Schillinger was a composer, music theorist, and composition teacher. He was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and died in New York City.-Life and career:...

 composed First Airphonic Suite for Theremin and Orchestra, premièred with the Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. It is one of the five American orchestras informally referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1918, the orchestra plays most of its concerts at Severance Hall...

 with Leon Theremin
Léon Theremin
Léon Theremin was a Russian and Soviet inventor. He is most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments. He is also the inventor of interlace, a technique of improving the picture quality of a video signal, widely used in video and television technology...

 as soloist.

In addition to the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

 was invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot, who debuted it in Paris.

The following year, Antheil first composed for mechanical devices, electrical noisemakers, motors and amplifiers in his unfinished opera, Mr. Bloom.

Recording of sounds made a leap in 1927, when American inventor J. A. O'Neill developed a recording device that used magnetically coated ribbon. However, this was a commercial failure. Two years later, Laurens Hammond
Laurens Hammond
Laurens Hammond , was an American engineer and inventor. His inventions include, most famously, the Hammond organ, the Hammond Clock, and the world's first polyphonic musical synthesizer, the Novachord.- Youth :...

 established his company for the manufacture of electronic instruments. He went on to produce the Hammond organ
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

, which was based on the principles of the Telharmonium
Telharmonium
The Telharmonium was an early electronic musical instrument, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of 'horn' speakers.Like the later Hammond organ, the Telharmonium used tonewheels to...

, along with other developments including early reverberation units. Hammond (along with John Hanert and C. N. Williams) would also go on to invent another electronic instrument, the Novachord
Novachord
The Novachord is often considered to be the world's first commercial polyphonic synthesizer. All-electronic, incorporating many circuit and control elements found in modern synths, and using subtractive synthesis to generate tones, it was designed by John M. Hanert, Laurens Hammond and C. N....

, which Hammond's company manufactured from 1939–1942.

The method of photo-optic sound recording used in cinematography 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.

In this same period, experiments began with sound art
Sound art
Sound art is a diverse group of art practices that considers wide notions of sound, listening and hearing as its predominant focus. There are often distinct relationships forged between the visual and aural domains of art and perception by sound artists....

, early practitioners of which include Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara was a Romanian and French avant-garde poet, essayist and performance artist. Also active as a journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director, he was known best for being one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement...

, Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters was a German painter who was born in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as...

, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti was an Italian poet and editor, the founder of the Futurist movement, and a fascist ideologue.-Childhood and adolescence:...

, and others.

Electroacoustic tape music

Low-fidelity magnetic wire recorders had been in use since around 1900 and in the early 1930s the movie industry began to convert to the new optical sound-on-film recording systems based on the photoelectric cell. It was around this time that the German electronics company AEG
AEG
Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft was a German producer of electrical equipment founded in 1883 by Emil Rathenau....

 developed the first practical audio tape recorder
Tape recorder
An audio tape recorder, tape deck, reel-to-reel tape deck, cassette deck or tape machine is an audio storage device that records and plays back sounds, including articulated voices, usually using magnetic tape, either wound on a reel or in a cassette, for storage...

, the "Magnetophon
Magnetophon
Magnetophon was the brand or model name of the pioneering reel-to-reel tape recorder developed by engineers of the German electronics company AEG in the 1930s, based on the magnetic tape invention by Fritz Pfleumer...

" K-1, which was unveiled at the Berlin Radio Show in August 1935.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Walter Weber rediscovered and applied the AC biasing technique, which dramatically improved the fidelity of magnetic recording by adding an inaudible high-frequency tone. It extended the 1941 'K4' Magnetophone frequency curve to 10 kHz and improved the dynamic range
Dynamic range
Dynamic range, abbreviated DR or DNR, is the ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity, such as in sound and light. It is measured as a ratio, or as a base-10 or base-2 logarithmic value.-Dynamic range and human perception:The human senses of sight and...

 up to 60 dB, surpassing all known recording systems at that time.

As early as 1942 AEG was making test recordings in stereo
STEREO
STEREO is a solar observation mission. Two nearly identical spacecraft were launched into orbits that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth...

. However these devices and techniques remained a secret outside Germany until the end of WWII, when captured Magnetophon recorders and reels of Farben ferric-oxide recording tape were brought back to the United States by Jack Mullin
Jack Mullin
John T. "Jack" Mullin was an American pioneer in the field of magnetic tape sound recording and made significant contributions to many other related fields. From his days at Santa Clara University to his death, he displayed a deep appreciation for classical music and an aptitude for electronics...

 and others. These captured recorders and tapes were the basis for the development of America's first commercially made professional tape recorder, the Model 200, manufactured by the American Ampex
Ampex
Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff. The name AMPEX is an acronym, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence...

 company with support from entertainer Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

, who became one of the first performers to record radio broadcasts and studio master recordings on tape.

Magnetic audio tape opened up a vast new range of sonic possibilities to musicians, composers, producers and engineers. Audio tape was relatively cheap and very reliable, and its fidelity of reproduction was better than any audio medium to date. Most importantly, unlike discs, it offered the same plasticity of use as film. Tape can be slowed down, sped up or even run backwards during recording or playback, with often startling effect. It can be physically edited in much the same way as film, allowing for unwanted sections of a recording to be seamlessly removed or replaced; likewise, segments of tape from other sources can be edited in. Tape can also be joined to form endless loops
Music loop
In electroacoustic music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections of material can be repeated to create ostinato patterns...

 that continually play repeated patterns of pre-recorded material. Audio amplification and mixing equipment further expanded tape's capabilities as a production medium, allowing multiple pre-taped recordings (and/or live sounds, speech or music) to be mixed together and simultaneously recorded onto another tape with relatively little loss of fidelity. Another unforeseen windfall was that tape recorders can be relatively easily modified to become echo machine
Echo machine
An echo machine is the early name for a sound processing device used with electronic instruments to repeat the sound and produce a simulated echo. The device was popular with guitarists and was used by Brian May, Jimmy Page and Syd Barrett among others. Nowadays it would normally be called a Delay...

s that produce complex, controllable, high-quality echo
Echo (phenomenon)
In audio signal processing and acoustics, an echo is a reflection of sound, arriving at the listener some time after the direct sound. Typical examples are the echo produced by the bottom of a well, by a building, or by the walls of an enclosed room and an empty room. A true echo is a single...

 and reverberation
Reverberation
Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is removed. A reverberation, or reverb, is created when a sound is produced in an enclosed space causing a large number of echoes to build up and then slowly decay as the sound is absorbed by the walls and air...

 effects (most of which would be practically impossible to achieve by mechanical means).

The spread of tape recorders eventually led to the development of electroacoustic
Electroacoustic
The term "Electroacoustic" can refer to any of the following:* Electric acoustic guitar – A type of guitar.* Electroacoustic music – A variety of experimental music.* Electroacoustic phenomena – A reaction phenomenon studied in chemistry and physics....

 tape music
Tape Music
Tape Music is an experimental 10" vinyl release by Jack Dangers. The vinyl release was coupled with the album Sounds Of The 20th Century No2 when released as a flexi disc vinyl....

. The first known example was composed in 1944 by Halim El-Dabh
Halim El-Dabh
Halim Abdul Messieh El-Dabh is an Egyptian-born American composer, performer, ethnomusicologist, and educator, who has had a career spanning six decades...

, a student at Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. He recorded the sounds of an ancient zaar
Zar
- Places :* Zar, Armenia, a town in the Kotayk Province* Zar, Azerbaijan, a village in the Kalbajar Rayon currently controlled by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic* Žár , a village in the Czech Republic* Żar, Łódź Voivodeship, Poland...

ceremony using a cumbersome wire recorder
Wire recording
Wire recording is a type of analog audio storage in which a magnetic recording is made on thin steel or stainless steel wire.The wire is pulled rapidly across a recording head which magnetizes each point along the wire in accordance with the intensity and polarity of the electrical audio signal...

 and at the Middle East Radio studios processed the material using reverberation, echo, voltage controls, and re-recording. The resulting work was entitled The Expression of Zaar and it was presented in 1944 at an art gallery event in Cairo. While his initial experiments in tape based composition were not widely known outside of Egypt at the time, El-Dabh is also notable for his later work in electronic music at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center
Computer Music Center
The Computer Music Center at Columbia University is the oldest center for electronic and computer music research in the United States. The Center was founded in the 1950s as the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center....

 in the late 1950s.

Musique concrète

It wasn't long before composers in Paris also began using the tape recorder to develop a new technique for composition called Musique concrète
Musique concrète
Musique concrète is a form of electroacoustic music that utilises acousmatic sound as a compositional resource. The compositional material is not restricted to the inclusion of sounds derived from musical instruments or voices, nor to elements traditionally thought of as "musical"...

. This technique involved editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. The first pieces of musique concrète in Paris were assembled by Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician of the 20th century. His innovative work in both the sciences —particularly communications and acoustics— and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end...

, who went on to collaborate with Pierre Henry
Pierre Henry
Pierre Henry is a French composer, considered a pioneer of the musique concrète genre of electronic music.-Biography:...

.

On 5 October 1948, Radiodiffusion Française
Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française
Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française was the French national public broadcasting organization established on 9 February 1949 to replace the post-war "Radiodiffusion Française" , which had been founded in 1945...

 (RDF) broadcast composer Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician of the 20th century. His innovative work in both the sciences —particularly communications and acoustics— and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end...

's Etude aux chemins de fer. This was the first "movement
Movement (music)
A movement is a self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form. While individual or selected movements from a composition are sometimes performed separately, a performance of the complete work requires all the movements to be performed in succession...

" of Cinq études de bruits, and marked the beginning of studio realizations and musique concrète (or acousmatic art). Schaeffer employed a disk-cutting lathe
Lathe
A lathe is a machine tool which rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object which has symmetry about an axis of rotation.Lathes are used in woodturning,...

, four turntables, a four-channel mixer, filters, an echo chamber, and a mobile recording unit. Not long after this, Henry began collaborating with Schaeffer, a partnership that would have profound and lasting effects on the direction of electronic music. Another associate of Schaeffer, Edgard Varèse
Edgard Varèse
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, , whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse , was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States....

, began work on Déserts
Déserts
Déserts is a piece by Edgard Varèse for brass , percussion , piano, and tape. Percussion instruments are exploited for their resonant potential, rather than used solely as accompaniment...

, a work for chamber orchestra and tape. The tape parts were created at Pierre Schaeffer's studio, and were later revised at Columbia University.

In 1950, Schaeffer gave the first public (non-broadcast) concert of musique concrète at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris
École Normale de Musique de Paris
The École Normale de Musique de Paris is a leading conservatoire located in Paris, France. The school was founded by Auguste Mangeot and pianist Alfred Cortot in 1919...

. "Schaeffer used a PA system
Public address
A public address system is an electronic amplification system with a mixer, amplifier and loudspeakers, used to reinforce a sound source, e.g., a person giving a speech, a DJ playing prerecorded music, and distributing the sound throughout a venue or building.Simple PA systems are often used in...

, several turntables, and mixers. The performance did not go well, as creating live montages with turntables had never been done before." Later that same year, Pierre Henry collaborated with Schaeffer on Symphonie pour un homme seul (1950) the first major work of musique concrete. In Paris in 1951, in what was to become an important worldwide trend, RTF established the first studio for the production of electronic music. Also in 1951, Schaeffer and Henry produced an opera, Orpheus, for concrete sounds and voices.

Elektronische Musik

Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

 worked briefly in Schaeffer's studio in 1952, and afterward for many years at the WDR
Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Westdeutscher Rundfunk is a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. WDR is a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions, ARD...

 Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

's Studio for Electronic Music.

In Cologne, what would become the most famous electronic music studio in the world was officially opened at the radio studios of the NWDR in 1953, though it had been in the planning stages as early as 1950 and early compositions were made and broadcast in 1951. The brain child of Werner Meyer-Eppler
Werner Meyer-Eppler
Werner Meyer-Eppler , was a German physicist, experimental acoustician, phoneticist, and information theorist....

, Robert Beyer, and Herbert Eimert
Herbert Eimert
Herbert Eimert was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer.-Life:...

 (who became its first director), the studio was soon joined by Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

 and Gottfried Michael Koenig
Gottfried Michael Koenig
Gottfried Michael Koenig is a contemporary German-Dutch composer.-Biography:Koenig studied church music in Braunschweig, composition, piano, analysis and acoustics in Detmold, music representation techniques in Cologne and computer technique in Bonn. He attended and later lectured at the...

. In his 1949 thesis Elektronische Klangerzeugung: Elektronische Musik und Synthetische Sprache, Meyer-Eppler conceived the idea to synthesize music entirely from electronically produced signals; in this way, elektronische Musik was sharply differentiated from French musique concrète, which used sounds recorded from acoustical sources.

With Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel was a German-Argentine composer. He was notable for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance .-Biography:...

 in residence, it became a year-round hive of charismatic avante-gardism [sic]" on two occasions combining electronically generated sounds with relatively conventional orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

s—in Mixtur
Mixtur
Mixtur, for orchestra, 4 sine-wave generators, and 4 ring modulators, is an orchestral composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1964, and is Nr. 16 in his catalogue of works...

(1964) and Hymnen, dritte Region mit Orchester
Hymnen
Hymnen is an electronic and concrete work, with optional live performers, by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1966–67, and elaborated in 1969. In the composer's catalog of works, it is "Nr. 22".-Musical form and content:...

(1967). Stockhausen stated that his listeners had told him his electronic music gave them an experience of "outer space," sensations of flying, or being in a "fantastic dream world"
More recently, Stockhausen turned to producing electronic music in his own studio in Kürten
Kürten
Kürten is a village and a municipality in the Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Neighbouring places:Nearby cities include Bergisch Gladbach, Overath, Wermelskirchen, and Wipperfürth...

, his last work in the genre being Cosmic Pulses (2007).

Japanese electronic music

While early electric instrument
Electric instrument
An electric musical instrument is one in which the use of electric devices determines or affects the sound produced by an instrument. It is also known as an amplified musical instrument due to the common utilization of an electronic instrument amplifier to project the intended sound as determined...

s such as the Ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

, Theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

 and Trautonium
Trautonium
The trautonium is a monophonic electronic musical instrument invented about 1929 by Friedrich Trautwein in Berlin at the Musikhochschule's music and radio lab, the Rundfunkversuchstelle. Soon Oskar Sala joined him, continuing development until Sala's death in 2002. Instead of a keyboard, its manual...

 were little known in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 prior to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, certain composers such as Minao Shibata had known about them at the time. Several years after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, musicians in Japan began experimenting with electronic music, resulting in some of the most dedicated efforts due to institutional sponsorship enabling composers to experiment with the latest audio recording and processing equipment. These efforts represented an infusion
Fusion (music)
A fusion genre is music that combines two or more styles. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm, i a sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided...

 of Asian music into the emerging genre and would eventually pave the way for Japan's domination in the development of music technology several decades later.

Following the foundation of electronics company Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 (then called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K.) in 1946, two Japanese composers, Toru Takemitsu
Toru Takemitsu
was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Largely self-taught, Takemitsu possessed consummate skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre...

 and Minao Shibata, independently wrote about the possible use of electronic technology to produce music during the late 1940s. In 1948, Takemitsu conceived of a technology that would "bring noise into tempered musical tones inside a busy small tube," an idea similar to Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Schaeffer
Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician of the 20th century. His innovative work in both the sciences —particularly communications and acoustics— and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end...

's musique concrète
Musique concrète
Musique concrète is a form of electroacoustic music that utilises acousmatic sound as a compositional resource. The compositional material is not restricted to the inclusion of sounds derived from musical instruments or voices, nor to elements traditionally thought of as "musical"...

 the same year, which Takemitsu was unaware of until several years later. In 1949, Shibata wrote about his concept of "a musical instrument with very high performance" that can "synthesize
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 any kind of sound waves" and is "operated very easily," predicting that with such an instrument, "the music scene will be changed drastically." The same year, Sony developed the magnetic
Magnetic tape
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders...

 tape recorder
Tape recorder
An audio tape recorder, tape deck, reel-to-reel tape deck, cassette deck or tape machine is an audio storage device that records and plays back sounds, including articulated voices, usually using magnetic tape, either wound on a reel or in a cassette, for storage...

 G-Type, which became a popular recording device for use in courtrooms and government offices, leading to Sony releasing the H-Type for home use by 1951.

In 1950, the Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop) electronic music studio would be founded by a group of musicians in order to produce experimental electronic music using Sony tape recorders. It included musicians such as Toru Takemitsu, Kuniharu Akiyama, and Joji Yuasa
Joji Yuasa
is a Japanese composer of contemporary classical music.-Biography:Born in Kōriyama, Fukushima, he is self-taught as a composer.In 1951 or 1952, together with the composer Tōru Takemitsu and other contemporary artists and musicians, he founded Jikken Kobo , an organization dedicated to the...

, and was supported by Sony, which offered them access to the latest audio technology, hired Takemitsu to compose electronic tape music
Tape Music
Tape Music is an experimental 10" vinyl release by Jack Dangers. The vinyl release was coupled with the album Sounds Of The 20th Century No2 when released as a flexi disc vinyl....

 to demonstrate their tape recorders, and sponsored concerts. The first electronic tape music from the group were "Toraware no Onna" ("Imprisoned Woman") and "Piece B", completed in 1951 by Kuniharu Akiyama. Many of the electroacoustic
Electroacoustic music
Electroacoustic music originated in Western art music during its modern era following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition during the mid-20th century are associated with the activities of composers...

 tape pieces they produced were usually used as incidental music for radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

, film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, and theatre
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

. They also held concerts such as 1953's Experimental Workshop, 5th Exhibition, which employed an 'auto-slide', a machine developed by Sony that made it possible to synchronize a slide show with a soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

 recorded on tape; they used the same device to produce the concert's tape music at the Sony studio. The concert, along with the experimental electroacoustic tape music they produced, anticipated the introduction of musique concrète in Japan later that year. Beyond the Jikken Kobo, several other composers such as Yasushi Akutagawa
Yasushi Akutagawa
was a Japanese composer and conductor. He was born and raised in Tabata, Tokyo. His father was Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.Akutagawa was taught composition by Kunihiko Hashimoto and Akira Ifukube at the Tokyo Conservatory of Music...

, Saburo Tominaga and Shiro Fukai were also experimenting with producing radiophonic tape music between 1952 and 1953.

Japan was introduced to musique concrète through Toshiro Mayuzumi
Toshiro Mayuzumi
Toshiro Mayuzumi was a Japanese composer.-Biography:...

, who in 1952 attended a Schaeffer concert in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. On his return to Japan, he experimented with a short tape music piece for the 1952 comedy film
Comedy film
Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. They are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are mostly light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences...

 Carmen Jyunjyosu (Carmen With Pure Heart) and then produced "X, Y, Z for Musique Concrète" which was broadcast by the JOQR
Nippon Cultural Broadcasting
is a Japanese radio station in Tokyo which broadcasts to the Kanto area. It is one of the two flagship radio stations of National Radio Network and also has a relationship with JOLF and Fuji Television....

 radio station in 1953. Mayuzumi also composed another musique concrète piece for Yukio Mishima
Yukio Mishima
was the pen name of , a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor and film director, also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku after a failed coup d'état...

's 1954 radio drama
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

 Boxing. Schaeffer's French concept of objet sonore
Sound object
In music a sound object , a generalization of the concept of a musical note, is any sound from any source which in duration is on the time scale of 100 ms to several seconds....

(sound object), however, was not influential among Japanese composers, whose main interest in music technology was instead to, according to Mayuzumi, overcome the restrictions of "the materials or the boundary of human performance." This led to several Japanese electroacoustic music
Electroacoustic music
Electroacoustic music originated in Western art music during its modern era following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition during the mid-20th century are associated with the activities of composers...

ians making use of serialism
Serialism
In music, serialism is a method or technique of composition that uses a series of values to manipulate different musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as one example of...

 and twelve-tone technique
Twelve-tone technique
Twelve-tone technique is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg...

s, evident in Yoshiro Irino
Yoshiro Irino
was a Japanese composer.Irino was born in Soviet Vladivostok. He attended high school in Tokyo and went on to study economics at Tokyo Imperial University ....

's 1951 dodecaphonic piece "Concerto da
Camera", in the organization of electronic sounds in Mayuzumi's "X, Y, Z for Musique Concrète", and later in Shibata's electronic music by 1956.

Following the lead of the Cologne studio established in 1953, Japan's NHK
NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

 company established one of the world's leading electronic music facilities in Tokyo, the NHK Studio, in 1954, equipping it with technologies such as tone-generating and audio processing equipment, recording and radiophonic equipment, Ondes Martenot, Monochord
Monochord
A monochord is an ancient musical and scientific laboratory instrument. The word "monochord" comes from the Greek and means literally "one string." A misconception of the term lies within its name. Often a monochord has more than one string, most of the time two, one open string and a second string...

 and Melochord, sine wave oscillators, tape recorders, ring modulators, band-pass filter
Band-pass filter
A band-pass filter is a device that passes frequencies within a certain range and rejects frequencies outside that range.Optical band-pass filters are of common usage....

s, and four & eight channel mixer
Mixer
Mixer may refer to:An electronics device:* DJ mixer, a type of audio mixing console used by disc jockeys* Electronic mixer, a device for adding or multiplying signal voltages together...

s. Musicians associated with the studio included Toshiro Mayuzumi, Minao Shibata, Joji Yuasa, Toshi Ichiyanagi
Toshi Ichiyanagi
is a Japanese composer of avant-garde music. He studied with Tomojiro Ikenouchi and John Cage.One of his most notable works is the 1960 composition, Kaiki, which combined Japanese instruments, shō and koto, and western instruments, harmonica and saxophone. Another work Distance requires the...

, and Toru Takemitsu. The studio's first electronic compositions were complete in 1955, including Mayuzumi's 5-minute pieces "Studie I: Music for Sine Wave by Proportion of Prime Number", "Music for Modulated Wave by Proportion of Prime Number" and "Invention for Square Wave and Sawtooth Wave" produced using the studio's various tone-generating capabilities, and Shibata's 20-minute stereo
Stereophonic sound
The term Stereophonic, commonly called stereo, sound refers to any method of sound reproduction in which an attempt is made to create an illusion of directionality and audible perspective...

 piece "Musique Concrète for Stereophonic Broadcast".

Ikutaro Kakehashi
Ikutaro Kakehashi
is an engineer, an entrepreneur, the founder of the Roland Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments.-Biography:During the 1950s, Ikutaro Kakehashi, repaired electronic organs and created new prototype organs, all the while running an electrical appliance shop...

 founded a repair shop called Kakehashi Watch Shop in the late 1940s repairing watches and radios, and then in 1954 founded Kakehashi Musen ("Kakehashi Radio"), which eventually grew into the company Ace Tone
Ace Tone
Ace Electronic Industries Inc., or Ace Tone was a manufacturer of musical instruments, including electronic organs and analogue drum machines, and effects pedals. Founded in 1960 by Ikutaro Kakehashi with an investment by Sakata Shokai, Ace Tone can be considered an early incarnation of the Roland...

 by 1960 and later the Roland Corporation
Roland Corporation
is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. In 2005 Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Today it has factories in Japan,...

 by 1972. Kakehashi began producing electronic musical instrument
Electronic musical instrument
An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces its sounds using electronics. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical audio signal that ultimately drives a loudspeaker....

s since 1955, with the aim of creating ones capable of producing monophonic
Monosynth
A monophonic synthesizer or monosynth is a synthesizer that produces only one note at a time, making it smaller and cheaper than a polysynth, a synthesizer which can play multiple notes at once; most later synthesizers are polysynths....

 melodies. During the late 1950s, he produced theramins, Ondes Martenot
Ondes Martenot
The ondes Martenot , also known as the ondium Martenot, Martenot and ondes musicales, is an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The original design was similar in sound to the theremin...

s, and electronic keyboard
Electronic keyboard
An electronic keyboard is an electronic or digital keyboard instrument.The major components of a typical modern electronic keyboard are:...

s, and by 1959, a Hawaiian
Lap steel guitar
The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar, an instrument derived from and similar to the guitar. The player changes pitch by pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings instead of by pressing strings against the fingerboard....

 guitar amplifier
Guitar amplifier
A guitar amplifier is an electronic amplifier designed to make the signal of an electric or acoustic guitar louder so that it will produce sound through a loudspeaker...

 and electronic organ
Electronic organ
An electronic organ is an electronic keyboard instrument which was derived from the harmonium, pipe organ and theatre organ. Originally, it was designed to imitate the sound of pipe organs, theatre organs, band sounds, or orchestral sounds....

s.

American electronic music

In the United States, sounds were being created electronically and used in composition, as exemplified in a piece by Morton Feldman
Morton Feldman
Morton Feldman was an American composer, born in New York City.A major figure in 20th century music, Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music, a development associated with the experimental New York School of composers also including John Cage, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown...

 called Marginal Intersection. This piece is scored for winds, brass, percussion, strings, 2 oscillators, and sound effects of riveting, and the score uses Feldman's graph notation.

The Music for Magnetic Tape Project was formed by members of the New York School
New York School
The New York School was an informal group of American poets, painters, dancers, and musicians active in the 1950s, 1960s in New York City...

 (John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

, Earle Brown
Earle Brown
Earle Brown was an American composer who established his own formal and notational systems...

, Christian Wolff
Christian Wolff (composer)
Christian G. Wolff is an American composer of experimental classical music.-Biography:Wolff was born in Nice in France to German literary publishers Helen and Kurt Wolff, who had published works by Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, and Walter Benjamin. After relocating to the U.S...

, David Tudor
David Tudor
David Eugene Tudor was an American pianist and composer of experimental music.- Biography :Tudor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied piano with Irma Wolpe and composition with Stefan Wolpe and became known as one of the leading performers of avant garde piano music. He gave the...

, and Morton Feldman
Morton Feldman
Morton Feldman was an American composer, born in New York City.A major figure in 20th century music, Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music, a development associated with the experimental New York School of composers also including John Cage, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown...

), and lasted three years until 1954. Cage wrote of this collaboration: "In this social darkness, therefore, the work of Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff continues to present a brilliant light, for the reason that at the several points of notation, performance, and audition, action is provocative.

Cage completed Williams Mix in 1953 while working with the Music for Magnetic Tape Project. The group had no permanent facility, and had to rely on borrowed time in commercial sound studios, including the studio of Louis and Bebe Barron
Louis and Bebe Barron
Bebe Barron and Louis Barron were two American pioneers in the field of electronic music...

.

Columbia-Princeton Center

In the same year Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 purchased its first tape recorder
Tape recorder
An audio tape recorder, tape deck, reel-to-reel tape deck, cassette deck or tape machine is an audio storage device that records and plays back sounds, including articulated voices, usually using magnetic tape, either wound on a reel or in a cassette, for storage...

—a professional Ampex
Ampex
Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff. The name AMPEX is an acronym, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence...

 machine—for the purpose of recording concerts. Vladimir Ussachevsky
Vladimir Ussachevsky
Vladimir Kirilovitch Ussachevsky was a composer, particularly known for his work in electronic music.-Biography:...

, who was on the music faculty of Columbia University, was placed in charge of the device, and almost immediately began experimenting with it.

Herbert Russcol writes: "Soon he was intrigued with the new sonorities he could achieve by recording musical instruments and then superimposing them on one another." Ussachevsky said later: "I suddenly realized that the tape recorder could be treated as an instrument of sound transformation." On Thursday, May 8, 1952, Ussachevsky presented several demonstrations of tape music/effects that he created at his Composers Forum, in the McMillin Theatre at Columbia University. These included Transposition, Reverberation, Experiment, Composition, and Underwater Valse. In an interview, he stated: "I presented a few examples of my discovery in a public concert in New York together with other compositions I had written for conventional instruments."
Otto Luening
Otto Luening
Otto Clarence Luening was a German-American composer and conductor, and an early pioneer of tape music and electronic music....

, who had attended this concert, remarked: "The equipment at his disposal consisted of an Ampex tape recorder . . . and a simple box-like device designed by the brilliant young engineer, Peter Mauzey, to create feedback, a form of mechanical reverberation. Other equipment was borrowed or purchased with personal funds."

Just three months later, in August 1952, Ussachevsky traveled to Bennington, Vermont at Luening's invitation to present his experiments. There, the two collaborated on various pieces. Luening described the event: "Equipped with earphones and a flute, I began developing my first tape-recorder composition. Both of us were fluent improvisors and the medium fired our imaginations."
They played some early pieces informally at a party, where "a number of composers almost solemnly congratulated us saying, 'This is it' ('it' meaning the music of the future)."

Word quickly reached New York City. Oliver Daniel telephoned and invited the pair to "produce a group of short compositions for the October concert sponsored by the American Composers Alliance and Broadcast Music, Inc., under the direction of Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Anthony Stokowski was a British-born, naturalised American orchestral conductor, well known for his free-hand performing style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from many of the great orchestras he conducted.In America, Stokowski...

 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After some hesitation, we agreed. . . . Henry Cowell
Henry Cowell
Henry Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario. His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomson, writing in the early 1950s:...

 placed his home and studio in Woodstock, New York, at our disposal. With the borrowed equipment in the back of Ussachevsky's car, we left Bennington for Woodstock and stayed two weeks. . . . In late September, 1952, the travelling laboratory reached Ussachevsky's living room in New York, where we eventually completed the compositions."

Two months later, on October 28, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening presented the first Tape Music concert in the United States. The concert included Luening's Fantasy in Space (1952)—"an impressionistic virtuoso
Virtuoso
A virtuoso is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability in the fine arts, at singing or playing a musical instrument. The plural form is either virtuosi or the Anglicisation, virtuosos, and the feminine form sometimes used is virtuosa...

 piece" using manipulated recordings of flute—and Low Speed (1952), an "exotic composition that took the flute far below its natural range." Both pieces were created at the home of Henry Cowell in Woodstock, NY. After several concerts caused a sensation in New York City, Ussachevsky and Luening were invited onto a live broadcast of NBC's Today Show to do an interview demonstration—the first televised electroacoustic performance. Luening described the event: "I improvised some [flute] sequences for the tape recorder. Ussachevsky then and there put them through electronic transformations."

1954 saw the advent of what would now be considered authentic electric plus acoustic compositions—acoustic instrumentation augmented/accompanied by recordings of manipulated and/or electronically generated sound. Three major works were premiered that year: Varèse's Déserts, for chamber ensemble and tape sounds, and two works by Luening and Ussachevsky: Rhapsodic Variations for the Louisville Symphony and A Poem in Cycles and Bells, both for orchestra and tape. Because he had been working at Schaeffer's studio, the tape part for Varèse's work contains much more concrete sounds than electronic. "A group made up of wind instruments, percussion and piano alternates with the mutated sounds of factory noises and ship sirens and motors, coming from two loudspeakers."

Déserts was premiered in Paris in the first stereo
STEREO
STEREO is a solar observation mission. Two nearly identical spacecraft were launched into orbits that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth...

 broadcast on French Radio. At the German premiere in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, which was conducted by Bruno Maderna
Bruno Maderna
Bruno Maderna was an Italian conductor and composer. For the last ten years of his life he lived in Germany and eventually became a citizen of that country.-Biography:...

, the tape controls were operated by Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

. The title Déserts, suggested to Varèse not only, "all physical deserts (of sand, sea, snow, of outer space, of empty streets), but also the deserts in the mind of man; not only those stripped aspects of nature that suggest bareness, aloofness, timelessness, but also that remote inner space no telescope can reach, where man is alone, a world of mystery and essential loneliness."

In 1958, Columbia-Princeton developed the RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer
RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer
The RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer was the first programmable electronic music synthesizer and the flagship piece of equipment at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Designed by Herbert Belar and Harry Olson at RCA, it was installed at Columbia University in 1957...

, the first programmable synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

. Prominent composers such as Vladimir Ussachevsky, Otto Luening, Milton Babbitt
Milton Babbitt
Milton Byron Babbitt was an American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his serial and electronic music.-Biography:...

, Charles Wuorinen
Charles Wuorinen
Charles Peter Wuorinen is a prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. His catalog of more than 250 compositions includes works for orchestra, opera, chamber music, as well as solo instrumental and vocal works...

, Halim El-Dabh, Bülent Arel
Bülent Arel
Bülent Arel was a Turkish-born composer of contemporary classical music and electronic music.He was born in Istanbul, and studied composition at the Ankara Conservatory and sound engineering in Paris...

 and Mario Davidovsky
Mario Davidovsky
Mario Davidovsky is an Argentine-American composer. Born in Argentina, he emigrated in 1960 to the US, where he lives today...

 used the RCA Synthesizer extensively in various compositions. One of the most influential composers associated with the early years of the studio was Egypt's Halim El-Dabh
Halim El-Dabh
Halim Abdul Messieh El-Dabh is an Egyptian-born American composer, performer, ethnomusicologist, and educator, who has had a career spanning six decades...

 who, after having developed the earliest known electronic tape music
Tape Music
Tape Music is an experimental 10" vinyl release by Jack Dangers. The vinyl release was coupled with the album Sounds Of The 20th Century No2 when released as a flexi disc vinyl....

 in 1944, became more famous for Leiyla and the Poet, a 1959 series of electronic compositions which stood out for its immersion and seamless fusion
Fusion (music)
A fusion genre is music that combines two or more styles. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm, i a sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided...

 of electronic and folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, in contrast to the more mathematical approach used by serial
Serialism
In music, serialism is a method or technique of composition that uses a series of values to manipulate different musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as one example of...

 composers such as Babbitt at the time. El-Dabh's Leiyla and the Poet, released as part of the album Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (album)
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was an album of electronic music released in 1961. It was the recording of a concert performed at the McMillin Theatre at Columbia University on May 9 and 10, 1961. The stereo version was MS 6566 and the monophonic version was ML 5966...

in 1961, would be cited as a strong influence by a number of musicians, ranging from Neil Rolnick
Neil Rolnick
Neil B. Rolnick is an American composer and educator living in New York City.Rolnick's compositions have appeared on 16 records and CDs...

, Charles Amirkhanian
Charles Amirkhanian
Charles Amirkhanian is an American composer. He is a percussionist, sound poet, and radio producer of Armenian extraction. He is mostly known for his electroacoustic and text-sound music...

 and Alice Shields
Alice Shields
Alice Shields is an American composer. She is a respected electronic composer particularly known for her work in opera....

 to rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

ians Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

 and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was an American psychedelic rock band of the late 1960s, based in Los Angeles, California.-History:...

.

Stochastic music

An important new development was the advent of computers for the purpose of composing music, as opposed to manipulating or creating sounds. Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis was a Romanian-born Greek ethnic, naturalized French composer, music theorist, and architect-engineer. He is commonly recognized as one of the most important post-war avant-garde composers...

 began what is called "musique stochastique," or "stochastic music", which is a method of composing that employs mathematical probability systems. Different probability algorithms were used to create a piece under a set of parameters. Xenakis used graph paper and a ruler to aid in calculating the velocity trajectories of glissandi
Glissando
In music, a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, to glide. In some contexts it is distinguished from the continuous portamento...

 for his orchestral composition Metastasis (1953–54), but later turned to the use of computers to compose pieces like ST/4 for string quartet and ST/48 for orchestra (both 1962).

Mid-to-late 1950s

In 1954, Stockhausen composed his Elektronische Studie II
Studie II
Studie II is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1954 and, together with his Studie I, comprises his work number 3...

—the first electronic piece to be published as a score. In 1955, more experimental and electronic studios began to appear. Notable were the creation of the Studio de Fonologia (already mentioned), a studio at the NHK
NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 founded by Toshiro Mayuzumi
Toshiro Mayuzumi
Toshiro Mayuzumi was a Japanese composer.-Biography:...

, and the Phillips studio at Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, which moved to the University of Utrecht as the Institute of Sonology
Institute of Sonology
The Institute of Sonology is an education and research center for electronic music and computer music based at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands.-Background:...

 in 1960.

The score for Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox, with a screenplay by Cyril Hume. It stars Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis. The characters and its setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and its plot contains certain...

, by Louis and Bebe Barron
Louis and Bebe Barron
Bebe Barron and Louis Barron were two American pioneers in the field of electronic music...

, was entirely composed using custom built electronic circuits and tape recorders in 1956.

The world's first computer to play music was CSIRAC
CSIRAC
CSIRAC , originally known as CSIR Mk 1, was Australia's first digital computer, and the fourth stored program computer in the world. It was first to play digital music and is one of only a few surviving first-generation computers .The CSIRAC was constructed by a team led by Trevor Pearcey and...

 which was designed and built by Trevor Pearcey
Trevor Pearcey
Trevor Pearcey was a British-born Australian scientist, who created CSIRAC, one of the first ever stored-program electronic computers in the world....

 and Maston Beard. Mathematician Geoff Hill programmed the CSIRAC to play popular musical melodies from the very early 1950s. In 1951 it publicly played the Colonel Bogey March
Colonel Bogey March
The "Colonel Bogey March" is a popular march that was written in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts , a British army bandmaster who later became director of music for the Royal Marines at Plymouth...

 of which no known recordings exist. However, CSIRAC
CSIRAC
CSIRAC , originally known as CSIR Mk 1, was Australia's first digital computer, and the fourth stored program computer in the world. It was first to play digital music and is one of only a few surviving first-generation computers .The CSIRAC was constructed by a team led by Trevor Pearcey and...

 played standard repertoire and was not used to extend musical thinking or composition practice which is current computer music practice. CSIRAC was never recorded, but the music played was accurately reconstructed (reference 12). The oldest known recordings of computer generated music were played by the Ferranti Mark 1 computer, a commercial version of the Baby Machine from the University of Manchester
Victoria University of Manchester
The Victoria University of Manchester was a university in Manchester, England. On 1 October 2004 it merged with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology to form a new entity, "The University of Manchester".-1851 - 1951:The University was founded in 1851 as Owens College,...

 in the autumn of 1951. The music program was written by Christopher Strachey
Christopher Strachey
Christopher Strachey was a British computer scientist. He was one of the founders of denotational semantics, and a pioneer in programming language design...

.

The impact of computers continued in 1956. Lejaren Hiller
Lejaren Hiller
Lejaren Arthur Hiller was an American composer. In 1957 he collaborated on the first significant computer music composition, Illiac Suite, with Leonard Issacson. It was his fourth string quartet. In 1958 he founded the Experimental Music Studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign...

 and Leonard Isaacson composed Iliac Suite for string quartet
String quartet
A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – usually two violin players, a violist and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group...

, the first complete work of computer-assisted composition using algorithm
Algorithm
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...

ic composition. "... Hiller postulated that a computer could be taught the rules of a particular style and then called on to compose accordingly." Later developments included the work of Max Mathews
Max Mathews
Max Vernon Mathews was a pioneer in the world of computer music.-Biography:...

 at Bell Laboratories, who developed the influential MUSIC I
MUSIC-N
MUSIC-N refers to a family of computer music programs and programming languages descended from or influenced by MUSIC, a program written by Max Mathews in 1957 at Bell Labs. MUSIC was the first computer program for generating digital audio waveforms through direct synthesis...

 program. Vocoder
Vocoder
A vocoder is an analysis/synthesis system, mostly used for speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder...

 technology was also a major development in this early era. In 1956, Stockhausen composed Gesang der Jünglinge
Gesang der Jünglinge
Gesang der Jünglinge is a noted electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was realized in 1955–56 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk studio in Cologne and is Work Number 8 in the composer's catalog of works...

, the first major work of the Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 studio, based on a text from the Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

. An important technological development of that year was the invention of the Clavivox
Clavivox
The Clavivox was a keyboard sound synthesizer and sequencer invented by American composer Raymond Scott in 1952, and patented in 1956. Scott had earlier built a theremin as a toy for his daughter Carrie. In his first Clavivox prototype, he used a theremin module built by a young Bob Moog...

 synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 by Raymond Scott
Raymond Scott
Raymond Scott was an American composer, band leader, pianist, engineer, recording studio maverick, and electronic instrument inventor....

 with subassembly by Robert Moog
Robert Moog
Robert Arthur Moog , commonly called Bob Moog was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.-Life:...

. In 1957, MUSIC
MUSIC-N
MUSIC-N refers to a family of computer music programs and programming languages descended from or influenced by MUSIC, a program written by Max Mathews in 1957 at Bell Labs. MUSIC was the first computer program for generating digital audio waveforms through direct synthesis...

, one of the first computer programs to play electronic music, was created by Max Mathews
Max Mathews
Max Vernon Mathews was a pioneer in the world of computer music.-Biography:...

 at Bell Laboratories.

Also in 1957, Kid Baltan (Dick Raaymakers
Dick Raaymakers
Dick Raaymakers is a Dutch composer, theater maker and theorist. He is known as a pioneer in the field of electronic music and tape music but he has also realized numerous music theater pieces and has published many theoretical essays.-Biography:Raaymakers studied the piano at the Royal...

) and Tom Dissevelt
Tom Dissevelt
Thomas Dissevelt was a Dutch composer and musician. He is known as a pioneer in the merging of electronic music and jazz...

 released their debut album, Song Of The Second Moon, recorded at the Phillips studio. The public remained interested in the new sounds being created around the world, as can be deduced by the inclusion of Varèse's Poème électronique
Poème électronique
Poème électronique is a piece of electronic music by composer Edgard Varèse, written for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The Philips corporation commissioned Le Corbusier to design the pavilion, which was intended as a showcase of their engineering progress...

, which was played over four hundred loudspeakers at the Phillips Pavilion of the 1958 Brussels World Fair
Expo '58
Expo 58, also known as the Brussels World’s Fair, Brusselse Wereldtentoonstelling or Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles, was held from 17 April to 19 October 1958...

. That same year, Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel was a German-Argentine composer. He was notable for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance .-Biography:...

, an Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 composer, composed Transición II. The work was realized at the WDR studio in Cologne. Two musicians perform on a piano, one in the traditional manner, the other playing on the strings, frame, and case. Two other performers use tape to unite the presentation of live sounds with the future of prerecorded materials from later on and its past of recordings made earlier in the performance.

Expansion: 1960s

These were fertile years for electronic music—not just for academia, but for independent artists as synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 technology became more accessible. By this time, a strong community of composers and musicians working with new sounds and instruments was established and growing. 1960 witnessed the composition of Luening's Gargoyle
Gargoyle
In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between...

s
for violin and tape as well as the premiere of Stockhausen's Kontakte
Kontakte (Stockhausen)
Kontakte is a celebrated electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen, realized in 1958–60 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk electronic-music studio in Cologne with the assistance of Gottfried Michael Koenig .-Work history:The title of the work “refers both to contacts between instrumental and...

for electronic sounds, piano, and percussion. This piece existed in two versions—one for 4-channel tape, and the other for tape with human performers. "In Kontakte, Stockhausen abandoned traditional musical form based on linear development and dramatic climax. This new approach, which he termed 'moment form,' resembles the 'cinematic splice' techniques in early twentieth century film."

The first of these synthesizers to appear was the Buchla
Buchla
Buchla & Associates, Inc. is a manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, notably synthesizers and unique MIDI controllers. The 200e Electric Music Box and Lightning III are currently in production.-Buchla Music Box :...

. Appearing in 1963, it was the product of an effort spearheaded by musique concrète composer Morton Subotnick
Morton Subotnick
Morton Subotnick is an American composer of electronic music, best known for his Silver Apples of the Moon, the first electronic work commissioned by a record company, Nonesuch...

.

The theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

 had been in use since the 1920s but it attained a degree of popular recognition through its use in science-fiction film soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

 music in the 1950s (e.g., Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.An Academy Award-winner , Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo...

's classic score for The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American science fiction film directed by Robert Wise and written by Edmund H. North based on the short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates. The film stars Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, and Hugh Marlowe...

).

In the UK in this period, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, one of the sound effects units of the BBC, was created in 1958 to produce effects and new music for radio, and was closed in March 1998, although much of its traditional work had already been outsourced by 1995. It was based in the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in Delaware...

 (established in 1958) emerged one of the most productive and widely known electronic music studios in the world, thanks in large measure to their work on the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

. One of the most influential British electronic artists in this period was Workshop staffer Delia Derbyshire
Delia Derbyshire
Delia Ann Derbyshire was an English musician and composer of electronic music and musique concrète. She is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer's theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.-Early...

, who is now famous for her 1963 electronic realisation of the iconic Doctor Who theme
Doctor Who theme music
The Doctor Who theme is a piece of music composed by Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Created in 1963, it was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television and after nearly five decades remains one of the most easily...

, composed by Ron Grainer
Ron Grainer
Ronald Erle “Ron” Grainer was an Australian-born composer who worked for most of his professional career in the United Kingdom. He is mostly remembered for his film and television music.- Biography :...

.

In 1961 Josef Tal established the Centre for Electronic Music in Israel at The Hebrew University, and in 1962 Hugh Le Caine
Hugh Le Caine
Hugh Le Caine was a Canadian physicist, composer, and instrument builder.Le Caine was brought up in Port Arthur in northwestern Ontario...

 arrived in Jerusalem to install his Creative Tape Recorder in the centre. In the 1990s Tal conducted, together with Dr Shlomo Markel, in cooperation with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and VolkswagenStiftung a research project (Talmark) aimed at the development of a novel musical notation system for electronic music.

Milton Babbitt composed his first electronic work using the synthesizer—his Composition for Synthesizer—which he created using the RCA synthesizer at CPEMC.

For Babbitt, the RCA synthesizer was a dream come true for three reasons. First, the ability to pinpoint and control every musical element precisely. Second, the time needed to realize his elaborate serial structures were brought within practical reach. Third, the question was no longer "What are the limits of the human performer?" but rather "What are the limits of human hearing?


The collaborations also occurred across oceans and continents. In 1961, Ussachevsky invited Varèse to the Columbia-Princeton Studio (CPEMC). Upon arrival, Varese embarked upon a revision of Déserts. He was assisted by Mario Davidovsky
Mario Davidovsky
Mario Davidovsky is an Argentine-American composer. Born in Argentina, he emigrated in 1960 to the US, where he lives today...

 and Bülent Arel
Bülent Arel
Bülent Arel was a Turkish-born composer of contemporary classical music and electronic music.He was born in Istanbul, and studied composition at the Ankara Conservatory and sound engineering in Paris...

.

The intense activity occurring at CPEMC and elsewhere inspired the establishment of the San Francisco Tape Music Center
San Francisco Tape Music Center
The San Francisco Tape Music Center was founded in 1962 by composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender as a "nonprofit cultural and educational corporation, the aim of which was to present concerts and offer a place to learn about work within the tape music medium"...

 in 1963 by Morton Subotnick
Morton Subotnick
Morton Subotnick is an American composer of electronic music, best known for his Silver Apples of the Moon, the first electronic work commissioned by a record company, Nonesuch...

, with additional members Pauline Oliveros
Pauline Oliveros
Pauline Oliveros is an American accordionist and composer who is a central figure in the development of post-war electronic art music....

, Ramon Sender, Anthony Martin, and Terry Riley
Terry Riley
Terrence Mitchell Riley, is an American composer intrinsically associated with the minimalist school of Western classical music and was a pioneer of the movement...

. Riley's overdubbed recording A Rainbow in Curved Air
A Rainbow in Curved Air
A Rainbow in Curved Air is the third album by experimental music and classical minimalism pioneer Terry Riley. Through the use of overdubbing, the composer, a keyboard virtuoso, plays all the instruments on the title track: electric organ, electric harpsichord , dumbec , and tambourine...

(1967) employed various electronic keyboard instruments, all played by the composer-improviser.

Later, the Center moved to Mills College
Mills College
Mills College is an independent liberal arts women's college founded in 1852 that offers bachelor's degrees to women and graduate degrees and certificates to women and men. Located in Oakland, California, Mills was the first women's college west of the Rockies. The institution was initially founded...

, directed by Pauline Oliveros
Pauline Oliveros
Pauline Oliveros is an American accordionist and composer who is a central figure in the development of post-war electronic art music....

, where it is today known as the Center for Contemporary Music.

Simultaneously in San Francisco, composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern, presented the first “Audium” concert at San Francisco State College (1962), followed by a work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

 (1963), conceived of as in time, controlled movement of sound in space. Twelve speakers surrounded the audience, four speakers were mounted on a rotating, mobile-like construction above. In an SFMOMA performance the following year (1964), San Francisco Chronicle music critic Alfred Frankenstein commented, "the possibilities of the space-sound continuum have seldom been so extensively explored". In 1967, the first Audium
Audium (theater)
Audium is a unique sound art phenomenon that has been presented weekly in San Francisco since 1967. Audium is a creation of composer Stan Shaff that is performed on original equipment designed by Doug McEachern...

, a “sound-space continuum” opened, holding weekly performances through 1970. In 1975, enabled by seed money from the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

, a new Audium opened, designed floor to ceiling for spatial sound composition and performance. “There are composers who manipulate sound space by locating multiple speakers at various locations in a performance space and then switching or panning the sound between the sources. In this approach, the composition of spatial manipulation is dependent on the location of the speakers and usually exploits the acoustical properties of the enclosure. Examples include Varese’s Poem Electronique (tape music performed in the Phillips Pavilion of the 1958 World Fair, Brussels) and Stanley Schaff’s Audium installation, currently active in San Francisco.” Through weekly programs (over 4,500 in 40 years), Shaff “sculpts” sound, performing now-digitized spatial works live through 176 speakers.

A well-known example of the use of Moog's full-sized Moog modular synthesizer
Moog modular synthesizer
Moog modular synthesizer refers to any of a number of monophonic analog modular synthesizers designed by the late electronic instrument pioneer Dr. Robert Moog and manufactured by R.A Moog Co...

 is the Switched-On Bach
Switched-On Bach
-Details:The album consists of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed on a Moog synthesizer, a modular synthesizer system, one of which can be seen at the back of the room on the album cover. "Switched-On Bach," or "S-OB" as Carlos referred to it, was recorded on a custom-built 8 track recorder...

album by Wendy Carlos
Wendy Carlos
Wendy Carlos is an American composer and electronic musician. Carlos first came to notice in the late 1960s with recordings made on the Moog synthesizer, then a relatively new and unknown instrument; most notable were LPs of synthesized Bach and the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's film A...

, which triggered a craze for synthesizer music.

Pietro Grossi
Pietro Grossi
Pietro Grossi was an Italian composer pioneer of computer music, visual artist and hacker ahead of his time...

 was an Italian pioneer of computer composition and tape music, who first experimented with electronic techniques in the early sixties. Grossi was a cellist and composer, born in Venice in 1917. He founded the S 2F M (Studio de Fonologia Musicale di Firenze) in 1963 in order to experiment with electronic sound and composition.

Computer music

CSIRAC
CSIRAC
CSIRAC , originally known as CSIR Mk 1, was Australia's first digital computer, and the fourth stored program computer in the world. It was first to play digital music and is one of only a few surviving first-generation computers .The CSIRAC was constructed by a team led by Trevor Pearcey and...

, the first computer to play music, did so publicly in August 1951 (reference 12). One of the first large-scale public demonstrations of computer music
Computer music
Computer music is a term that was originally used within academia to describe a field of study relating to the applications of computing technology in music composition; particularly that stemming from the Western art music tradition...

 was a pre-recorded national radio broadcast on the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 radio network
Radio network
There are two types of radio networks currently in use around the world: the one-to-many broadcast type commonly used for public information and mass media entertainment; and the two-way type used more commonly for public safety and public services such as police, fire, taxicabs, and delivery...

 program Monitor
Monitor (NBC Radio)
NBC Monitor was an American weekend radio program broadcast from June 12, 1955, until January 26, 1975. Airing live and nationwide on the NBC Radio Network, it originally aired beginning Saturday morning at 8am and continuing through the weekend until 12 midnight on Sunday...

 on February 10, 1962. In 1961, LaFarr Stuart
LaFarr Stuart
LaFarr Stuart , now retired, was an early computer music pioneer, computer engineer and member of the Homebrew Computer Club.-Computer music:...

 programmed Iowa State University
Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology, more commonly known as Iowa State University , is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, Iowa, United States. Iowa State has produced astronauts, scientists, and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with a host of...

's CYCLONE
CYCLONE
The CYCLONE, was an early computer built in 1959 by Iowa State University, was based on the Institute for Advanced Study architecture developed by John von Neumann...

 computer (a derivative of the Illiac
ILLIAC
ILLIAC was a series of supercomputers built at a variety of locations, some at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In all, five computers were built in this series between 1951 and 1974...

) to play simple, recognizable tunes through an amplified speaker that had been attached to the system originally for administrative and diagnostic purposes. An interview with Mr. Stuart accompanied his computer music.

The late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s also saw the development of large mainframe computer synthesis. Starting in 1957, Max Mathews of Bell Labs developed the MUSIC programs, culminating in MUSIC V
MUSIC-N
MUSIC-N refers to a family of computer music programs and programming languages descended from or influenced by MUSIC, a program written by Max Mathews in 1957 at Bell Labs. MUSIC was the first computer program for generating digital audio waveforms through direct synthesis...

, a direct digital synthesis language

Live electronics

In America, live electronics were pioneered in the early 1960s by members of Milton Cohen's Space Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

, including Gordon Mumma
Gordon Mumma
Gordon Mumma is an American composer. He cofounded Ann Arbor's Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music with Robert Ashley, was a musician with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and was a member of the Sonic Arts Union with Ashley, Alvin Lucier, and David Behrman...

 and Robert Ashley
Robert Ashley
Robert Ashley , is a contemporary American composer, best known for his operas and other theatrical works, many of which incorporate electronics and extended techniques. Along with Gordon Mumma, Ashley was also a major pioneer of audio synthesis.Ashley was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan...

, by individuals such as David Tudor
David Tudor
David Eugene Tudor was an American pianist and composer of experimental music.- Biography :Tudor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied piano with Irma Wolpe and composition with Stefan Wolpe and became known as one of the leading performers of avant garde piano music. He gave the...

 around 1965, and The Sonic Arts Union, founded in 1966 by Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier
Alvin Lucier
Alvin Lucier is an American composer of experimental music and sound installations that explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception. A long-time music professor at Wesleyan University, Lucier was a member of the influential Sonic Arts Union, which included Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and...

, and David Behrman
David Behrman
David Behrman is a US composer and the producer of Columbia Records' Music of Our Time series. He was also a founding member of the Sonic Arts Union. He toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has worked with Ben Neill. He was a part of Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether...

. ONCE Festivals, featuring multimedia theater music, were organized by Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma in Ann Arbor between 1958 and 1969. In 1960, John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

 composed Cartridge Music, one of the earliest live-electronic works.

In Europe in 1964, Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Mikrophonie I
Mikrophonie (Stockhausen)
Mikrophonie is the title given by Karlheinz Stockhausen to two of his compositions, written in 1964 and 1965, in which “normally inaudible vibrations . ....

for tam-tam, hand-held microphones, filters, and potentiometers, and Mixtur for orchestra, four sine-wave
Sine wave
The sine wave or sinusoid is a mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation. It occurs often in pure mathematics, as well as physics, signal processing, electrical engineering and many other fields...

 generators, and four ring modulators. In 1965 he composed Mikrophonie II
Mikrophonie (Stockhausen)
Mikrophonie is the title given by Karlheinz Stockhausen to two of his compositions, written in 1964 and 1965, in which “normally inaudible vibrations . ....

for choir, Hammond organ, and ring modulators.

The Jazz composers and musicians Paul Bley
Paul Bley
Paul Bley, CM is a pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing.-Biography:...

 and Annette Peacock
Annette Peacock
- Biography :Annette Peacock began composing at the age of four. Her mother was a violist in the San Diego and Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestras....

 performed some of the first live concerts in the late 1960s using Moog synthesizers. Peacock made regular use of a customised Moog synthesizer to process her voice on stage and in studio recordings.

In 1966–67, Reed Ghazala
Reed Ghazala
Qubais Reed Ghazala, an American author, photographer, composer, musician and experimental instrument builder, is recognized as the "father of circuit bending," having discovered the technique in 1966, pioneered it, named it, and taught it ever since...

 discovered and began to teach "circuit bending
Circuit bending
Circuit bending is the creative customization of the circuits within electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and small digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators....

"—the application of the creative short circuit, a process of chance short-circuiting, creating experimental electronic instruments, exploring sonic elements mainly of timbre and with less regard to pitch or rhythm, and influenced by John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

’s aleatoric music
Aleatoric music
Aleatoric music is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer...

 [sic] concept.

Synthesizers

Released in 1970 by Moog Music
Moog Music
Moog Music is an American company based in Asheville, North Carolina which manufactures electronic musical instruments. The current Moog Music is the second company to trade under that name.-R.A. Moog Co. and the original Moog Music:...

 the Mini-Moog
Minimoog
The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. It was released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. , and production was stopped in 1981. It was re-designed by Robert Moog in 2002 and released as Minimoog Voyager.The Minimoog was designed in response to the use of...

 was among the first widely available, portable and relatively affordable synthesizers. It became the most widely used synthesizer in both popular and electronic art music. In 1974 the WDR studio in Cologne acquired an EMS Synthi 100
EMS Synthi 100
The EMS Synthi 100 was a large analogue synthesizer made by Electronic Music Studios Ltd. It was released in 1971 and cost £6,500. It is estimated that fewer than 40 units were built....

 synthesizer which was used by a number of composers in the production of notable electronic works—amongst others, Rolf Gehlhaar
Rolf Gehlhaar
Rolf Gehlhaar in Breslau , is an American composer.Gehlhaar is the son of a German rocket scientist, who emigrated to the United States in 1953 to work at a rocket-development research centre in New Mexico...

's Fünf deutsche Tänze (1975), Karlheinz Stockhausen's Sirius
Sirius (Stockhausen)
Sirius: eight-channel electronic music and trumpet, soprano, bass clarinet, and bass is a music-theatre composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen.-History:...

(1975–76), and John McGuire
John McGuire (composer)
John McGuire is an American composer, pianist, organist, and music editor.-Biography:John McGuire initially studied composition with Robert Gross at Occidental College, where he earned a BA in 1964. He received a succession of three Alfred E...

's Pulse Music III (1978).

The early 1980s saw the rise of bass synthesizers, the most influential being the Roland TB-303
Roland TB-303
The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a bass synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation from late 1981 to 1984 that had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music.-History:...

, a bass synthesizer and sequencer
Music sequencer
The music sequencer is a device or computer software to record, edit, play back the music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically :...

 released in late 1981 that would later become synonymous with electronic dance music
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

, particularly acid house
Acid house
Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. Acid house's core electronic squelch sounds were developed around the mid-1980s, particularly by DJs from Chicago who experimented with...

. One of the first to utilize it was Charanjit Singh
Charanjit Singh (musician)
Charanjit Singh is a musician from Mumbai, India, who performed in numerous Bollywood soundtrack orchestras in the 1960s and 1970s. He led a wedding band and recorded and released a number of albums covering popular film songs...

 in 1982, though it wouldn't be popularized until Phuture
Phuture
Phuture is a Chicago-based acid house group founded in 1985 by Spanky, DJ Pierre and Herb J.The group's 12-minute track "Acid Tracks" is one of several recordings that lay claim to being the first-ever acid house record....

's "Acid Tracks" in 1987.

IRCAM

IRCAM
IRCAM
IRCAM is a European institute for science about music and sound and avant garde electro-acoustical art music. It is situated next to, and is organizationally linked with, the Centre Pompidou in Paris...

 in Paris became a major center for computer music research and realization and development of the Sogitec 4X
Sogitec 4X
The Sogitec 4X was a digital sound processing workstation developed by Giuseppe Di Giugno at IRCAM in the 1980s. It was the last large hardware processor before the development of the ISPW...

 computer system, featuring then revolutionary real-time digital signal processing. Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez is a French composer of contemporary classical music, a pianist, and a conductor.-Early years:Boulez was born in Montbrison, Loire, France. As a child he began piano lessons and demonstrated aptitude in both music and mathematics...

's Répons
Répons
Répons is a composition by French composer Pierre Boulez for a large chamber orchestra with 6 soloists and live electronics. It was premiered on the 18th of October in 1981 at the Donaueschingen Festival and subsequently expanded until its completion in 1984.Répons was the first significant work to...

(1981) for 24 musicians and 6 soloists used the 4X to transform and route soloists to a loudspeaker system.

Rise of popular electronic music

In the late 1960s, pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 and rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

ians, including The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

 and The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, began to use electronic instruments, like the theremin
Theremin
The theremin , originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device...

 and Mellotron
Mellotron
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

, to supplement and define their sound. By the end of the decade, the Moog
Moog synthesizer
Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Dr. Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled...

 synthesizer took a leading place in the sound of emerging progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 with bands including Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, Yes
Yes (band)
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

, Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, are an English progressive rock supergroup. They found success in the 1970s and sold over forty million albums and headlined large stadium concerts. The band consists of Keith Emerson , Greg Lake and Carl Palmer...

, and Genesis
Genesis (band)
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Tony Banks , Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins . Past members Peter Gabriel , Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips , also played major roles in the band in its early years...

 making them part of their sound. Instrumental prog rock was particularly significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk is an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008...

, Tangerine Dream
Tangerine Dream
Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. The band has undergone many personnel changes over the years, with Froese being the only continuous member...

, Can
Can (band)
Can was an experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968. Later labeled as one of the first "krautrock" groups, they transcended mainstream influences and incorporated strong minimalist and world music elements into their often psychedelic music.Can constructed their music largely...

, and Faust
Faust (band)
Faust are a German krautrock band. Formed in 1971 in Wümme, the group was originally composed of Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Arnulf Meifert, Jean-Hervé Péron, Rudolf Sosna and Gunther Wüsthoff, working with record producer Uwe Nettelbeck and engineer Kurt Graupner.-History:Faust...

 to circumvent the language barrier. Their synthesiser-heavy "Kraut rock", along with the work of Brian Eno
Brian Eno
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

 (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy Music
Roxy Music
Roxy Music was a British art rock band formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry, who became the group's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. The other members are Phil Manzanera , Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson . Former members include Brian Eno , and Eddie Jobson...

), would be a major influence on subsequent synth rock. Electronic rock was also produced by several Japanese musicians, including Isao Tomita
Isao Tomita
, often known simply as Tomita, is a Japanese music composer, regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic music and space music, and as one of the most famous producers of analog synthesizer arrangements...

's Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock (1972), which featured Moog synthesizer renditions of contemporary pop and rock songs, and Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974). The mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art music musicians such as Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel André Jarre is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and New Age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks.Jarre was raised in Lyon by his mother and...

, Vangelis
Vangelis
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock and orchestral music, under the artist name Vangelis...

, and Tomita
Isao Tomita
, often known simply as Tomita, is a Japanese music composer, regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic music and space music, and as one of the most famous producers of analog synthesizer arrangements...

, who with Brian Eno were a significant influence on the development of New Age Music
New Age music
New Age music is music of various styles intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, and reading as a method of stress management or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is often...

.

After the arrival of punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, a form of basic synth rock emerged, increasingly using new digital technology to replace other instruments. Pioneering bands included Ultravox
Ultravox
Ultravox is a British New Wave rock band. They were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the late 1970s/early 1980s. The band was particularly associated with the New Romantic and New Wave movements....

 with their 1977 single "Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hiroshima mon amour is an acclaimed 1959 drama film directed by French film director Alain Resnais, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. It is the documentation of an intensely personal conversation between a French-Japanese couple about memory and forgetfulness...

", Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Sakamoto first worked with Hosono as a member of his live band in 1976, while Takahashi recruited Sakamoto to produce his debut solo recording in 1977 following the split of the Sadistic Mika Band...

 from Japan, The Human League
The Human League
The Human League are an English electronic New Wave band formed in Sheffield in 1977. They achieved popularity after a key change in line-up in the early 1980s and have continued recording and performing with moderate commercial success throughout the 1980s up to the present day.The only constant...

 and Tubeway Army
Tubeway Army
Tubeway Army were a London-based punk rock and new wave band led by lead singer Gary Numan. They were the first band of the post-punk era to have a synthesizer-based hit, with their single Are 'Friends' Electric? and its parent album Replicas both topping the UK Album Chart in mid-1979.-Line-up:The...

 from the UK, and Devo
Devo
Devo is an American band formed in 1973 consisting of members from Kent and Akron, Ohio. The classic line-up of the band includes two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales . The band had a #14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It", and has maintained a cult...

 from the US. Yellow Magic Orchestra in particular helped pioneer synthpop
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

 with their self-titled album (1978) and Solid State Survivor
Solid State Survivor
Solid State Survivor was the second album by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1979. Solid State Survivor was never released in the United States, but many of the songs from this album were compiled for release in the States as the US pressing of ×∞Multiplies ,...

(1979). The definition of MIDI and the development of digital audio
Digital audio
Digital audio is sound reproduction using pulse-code modulation and digital signals. Digital audio systems include analog-to-digital conversion , digital-to-analog conversion , digital storage, processing and transmission components...

 made the development of purely electronic sounds much easier. These developments led to the growth of synth pop, which after it was adopted by the New Romantic movement, allowed synthesizers to dominate the pop and rock music of the early 80s. Key acts included Duran Duran
Duran Duran
Duran Duran are an English band, formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the United States...

, Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet are a British band formed in London in the late 1970s. Initially inspired by, and an integral part of, the New Romantic fashion, their music has featured a mixture of funk, jazz, soul and synthpop. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s, achieving ten Top Ten singles...

, A Flock of Seagulls
A Flock of Seagulls
A Flock of Seagulls are an English New Wave band originally formed by brothers Michael "Mike" Score and Alister "Ali" James Score , with Frank Maudsley , Michael Kuby , H.J...

, Culture Club
Culture Club
Culture Club are a British rock band who were part of the 1980s New Romantic movement. The original band consisted of Boy George , Mikey Craig , Roy Hay and Jon Moss...

, Talk Talk
Talk Talk
Talk Talk were an English musical group, active from 1981 to 1991. The group had a string of international hit singles including "Today", "Talk Talk", "It's My Life", "Such a Shame", "Dum Dum Girl", "Life's What You Make It" and "Living in Another World"....

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and the Eurythmics
Eurythmics
Eurythmics were a British pop rock duo, formed in 1980, currently disbanded, but known to reunite from time to time. Consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A...

. Synthpop sometimes used synthesizers to replace all other instruments, until the style began to fall from popularity in the mid-1980s.

Sequencers and drum machines

Music sequencer
Music sequencer
The music sequencer is a device or computer software to record, edit, play back the music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically :...

s began being used around the mid-1970s, with Tomita's albums being early examples. In 1978, Yellow Magic Orchestra were using computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

-based technology in conjunction with a synthesiser to produce popular music, making early use of the microprocessor
Microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

-based Roland MC-8 Microcomposer
Roland MC-8 Microcomposer
The Roland MC-8 MicroComposer by the Roland Corporation, introduced in 1977 at a price of around US$8,000, was one of the earliest stand-alone microprocessor-driven CV/Gate music sequencer, following EMS Sequencer 256 in 1971 and New England Digital's ABLE computer in 1975...

 sequencer.

Drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

s, also known as rhythm machines, also began being used around the mid-1970s, with an early example being Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974), which used a rhythm machine along with electronic drum
Electronic drum
An electronic drum is an electronic synthesizer which mimics an acoustic drum kit.The electronic drum usually consists of a set of pads mounted on a stand in a disposition similar to an acoustic drum kit. The pads are discs with a rubber or cloth-like coating. Each pad has a sensor which generates...

s and a synthesizer. In 1977, Ultravox
Ultravox
Ultravox is a British New Wave rock band. They were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the late 1970s/early 1980s. The band was particularly associated with the New Romantic and New Wave movements....

's "Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hiroshima mon amour is an acclaimed 1959 drama film directed by French film director Alain Resnais, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. It is the documentation of an intensely personal conversation between a French-Japanese couple about memory and forgetfulness...

" was one of the first singles to use the metronome
Metronome
A metronome is any device that produces regular, metrical ticks — settable in beats per minute. These ticks represent a fixed, regular aural pulse; some metronomes also include synchronized visual motion...

-like percussion of a Roland TR-77 drum machine. In 1980, Roland Corporation
Roland Corporation
is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. In 2005 Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Today it has factories in Japan,...

 released the TR-808
Roland TR-808
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was one of the first programmable drum machines . Introduced by the Roland Corporation in early 1980, it was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real...

, one of the first and most popular programmable drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

s. The first band to use it was Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1980, and it would later gain widespread popularity with the release of Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. , better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a three-octave vocal range....

's "Sexual Healing
Sexual Healing
"Sexual Healing" is a 1982 song recorded by American soul singer Marvin Gaye on the Columbia Records label. It was his first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year, following the release of the In Our Lifetime album the previous year...

" and Afrika Bambaataa
Afrika Bambaataa
Afrika Bambaataa is an American DJ from the South Bronx, New York who was instrumental in the early development of hip hop throughout the 1980s. Afrika Bambaataa is one of the three originators of break-beat deejaying, and is respectfully known as the "Grandfather" and the Amen Ra of Universal...

's "Planet Rock
Planet Rock (song)
"Planet Rock" is a 1982 song by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force. In the background and hooks featured Marvella Murray, Yvette Murray, Melissa Johnson and Sandra Wheeler. Although it was only a minor hit in the US, Canada, and UK, it helped change the foundations of hip-hop and dance music...

" in 1982, after which the TR-808 would remain in continued use until at least 2008.

Birth of MIDI

In 1980, a group of musicians and music merchants met to standardize an interface by which new instruments could communicate control instructions with other instruments and the prevalent microcomputer. This standard was dubbed MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface
Musical Instrument Digital Interface
MIDI is an industry-standard protocol, first defined in 1982 by Gordon Hall, that enables electronic musical instruments , computers and other electronic equipment to communicate and synchronize with each other...

) and resulted from a collaboration between leading manufacturers Roland
Roland Corporation
is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. In 2005 Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Today it has factories in Japan,...

, Yamaha, Korg
Korg
is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners...

, Kawai, Oberheim, and Sequential Circuits
Sequential Circuits
Sequential Circuits Inc. was a California-based synthesizer company that was founded in the early 1970s by Dave Smith and sold to Yamaha Corporation in 1987. The company, throughout its lifespan, pioneered many groundbreaking technologies and design principles that are often taken for granted in...

. A paper was authored by Dave Smith
Dave Smith (engineer)
Dave Smith is an engineer and guitarist who pioneered many groundbreaking technologies in music technology. Smith was responsible for the first polyphonic and microprocessor-controlled synthesizer, the Prophet 5...

 of Sequential Circuits and proposed to the Audio Engineering Society
Audio Engineering Society
Established in 1948, the Audio Engineering Society draws its membership from amongst engineers, scientists, other individuals with an interest or involvement in the professional audio industry. The membership largely comprises engineers developing devices or products for audio, and persons working...

 in 1981. Then, in August 1983, the MIDI Specification 1.0 was finalized.

The advent of MIDI technology allows a single keystroke, control wheel motion, pedal movement, or command from a microcomputer to activate every device in the studio remotely and in synchrony, with each device responding according to conditions predetermined by the composer.

MIDI instruments and software made powerful control of sophisticated instruments easily affordable by many studios and individuals. Acoustic sounds became reintegrated into studios via sampling
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 and sampled-ROM-based instruments.

Miller Puckette
Miller Puckette
Miller Smith Puckette is the associate director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts as well as a professor of music at the University of California, San Diego, where he has been since 1994....

 developed graphic signal-processing software for 4X called Max
Max (software)
Max is a visual programming language for music and multimedia developed and maintained by San Francisco-based software company Cycling '74. During its 20-year history, it has been widely used by composers, performers, software designers, researchers, and artists for creating innovative recordings,...

 (after Max Mathews
Max Mathews
Max Vernon Mathews was a pioneer in the world of computer music.-Biography:...

) and later ported it to Macintosh (with Dave Zicarelli extending it for Opcode
Opcode Systems
Opcode Systems, Inc. was founded in 1985 by Dave Oppenheim and based in and around Palo Alto, California, USA. Opcode produced MIDI sequencing software for the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows, which would later include digital audio capabilities, as well as audio and MIDI hardware interfaces...

) for real-time MIDI control, bringing algorithmic composition availability to most composers with modest computer programming background.

Digital synthesis

In 1975, the Japanese company Yamaha licensed the algorithms for frequency modulation synthesis
Frequency modulation synthesis
A 220 Hz carrier tone modulated by a 440 Hz modulating tone with various choices of modulation index, β. The time domain signals are illustrated above, and the corresponding spectra are shown below ....

 (FM synthesis) from John Chowning
John Chowning
John M. Chowning is an American composer, musician, inventor, and professor best known for his work at Stanford University and his invention of FM synthesis while there.-Contribution:...

, who had experimented with it at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 since 1971. Yamaha's engineers began adapting Chowning's algorithm for use in a digital synthesizer, adding improvements such as the "key scaling" method to avoid the introduction of distortion that normally occurred in analog systems during frequency modulation
Frequency modulation
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...

. However, the first commercial digital synthesizer to be released would be the Australian Fairlight
Fairlight
Fairlight is a digital audio company based in Sydney, Australia. In 1979 they created the Fairlight CMI, the first digital audio sampler, quickly used by artists such as Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and Jean Michel Jarre. They are now a manufacturer of media solutions tools such as digital audio...

 company's Fairlight CMI
Fairlight CMI
The Fairlight CMI is a digital sampling synthesizer. It was designed in 1979 by the founders of Fairlight, Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie, and based on a dual-6800 microprocessor computer designed by Tony Furse in Sydney, Australia...

 (Computer Musical Instrument) in 1979, as the first practical polyphonic digital synthesizer/sampler system.

In 1980, Yamaha eventually released the first FM digital synthesizer, the Yamaha GS-1, but at an expensive price. In 1983, Yamaha introduced the first stand-alone digital synthesizer, the DX-7, which also used FM synthesis and would become one of the best-selling synthesizers of all time. The DX-7 was known for its recognizable bright tonalities that was partly due to an overachieving
Oversampling
In signal processing, oversampling is the process of sampling a signal with a sampling frequency significantly higher than twice the bandwidth or highest frequency of the signal being sampled...

 sampling rate
Sampling rate
The sampling rate, sample rate, or sampling frequency defines the number of samples per unit of time taken from a continuous signal to make a discrete signal. For time-domain signals, the unit for sampling rate is hertz , sometimes noted as Sa/s...

 of 57 kHz.

Barry Vercoe
Barry Vercoe
Barry Vercoe is a New Zealand-born computer scientist and composer. He completed his undergraduate degree in New Zealand in Music and Mathematics and went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, USA, in Music Composition. In 1968, Vercoe's research in Digital Audio Processing paved...

 describes one of his experiences with early computer sounds:
At IRCAM in Paris in 1982, flutist Larry Beauregard
Larry Beauregard
Lawrence Michael "Larry" Beauregard was a Canadian flautist. He is best known for his work as first flute in the Ensemble InterContemporain, and for his work at IRCAM in the early 1980s, especially his collaboration with Barry Vercoe on the Synthetic Performer project.- Early life and musical...

 had connected his flute to DiGiugno's 4X audio processor, enabling real-time pitch-following. On a Guggenheim
Guggenheim Fellowship
Guggenheim Fellowships are American grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Each year, the foundation makes...

 at the time, I extended this concept to real-time score-following with automatic synchronized accompaniment, and over the next two years Larry and I gave numerous demonstrations of the computer as a chamber musician, playing Handel
HANDEL
HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

 flute sonatas, Boulez's Sonatine for flute and piano and by 1984 my own Synapse II for flute and computer—the first piece ever composed expressly for such a setup. A major challenge was finding the right software constructs to support highly sensitive and responsive accompaniment. All of this was pre-MIDI, but the results were impressive even though heavy doses of tempo rubato would continually surprise my Synthetic Performer. In 1985 we solved the tempo rubato problem by incorporating learning from rehearsals (each time you played this way the machine would get better). We were also now tracking violin, since our brilliant, young flautist had contracted a fatal cancer. Moreover, this version used a new standard called MIDI, and here I was ably assisted by former student Miller Puckette, whose initial concepts for this task he later expanded into a program called MAX
Max (software)
Max is a visual programming language for music and multimedia developed and maintained by San Francisco-based software company Cycling '74. During its 20-year history, it has been widely used by composers, performers, software designers, researchers, and artists for creating innovative recordings,...

.

Rise of dance music

In the late 1980s, dance music records made using only electronic instruments became increasingly popular. The trend has continued to the present day with modern nightclubs worldwide regularly playing electronic dance music. Nowadays, electronic/dance music is so popular, that dedicated genre radio stations and TV Channels (e.g., NRJ Dance, MUSIC FORCE EUROPE) exist.

Advancements

In the 1990s, interactive computer-assisted performance started to become possible, with one example described as follows:
Automated Harmonization of Melody in Real Time: An interactive computer system, developed in collaboration with flutist/composer Pedro Eustache
Pedro Eustache
Pedro Eustache , is a creative solo flautist - "World Music" woodwinds-reeds-wind synthesizers and composer with extensive academic studies and more than 35 years of professional experience...

, for realtime melodic analysis and harmonic accompaniment. Based on a novel scheme of harmonization devised by Eustache, the software analyzes the tonal melodic function of incoming notes, and instantaneously performs an orchestrated harmonization of the melody. The software was originally designed for performance by Eustache on Yamaha WX7 wind controller, and was used in his composition Tetelestai, premiered in Irvine, California
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...

 in March 1999.


Other recent developments included the Tod Machover
Tod Machover
Tod Machover , is a composer and an innovator in the application of technology in music. He is the son of Wilma Machover, a pianist and Carl Machover, a computer scientist....

 (MIT and IRCAM) composition Begin Again Again for "hypercello", an interactive system of sensors measuring physical movements of the cellist. Max Mathews developed the "Conductor" program for real-time tempo, dynamic and timbre control of a pre-input electronic score. Morton Subotnick released a multimedia CD-ROM All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis.

2000s

In recent years, as computer technology has become more accessible and music software has advanced, interacting with music production technology is now possible using means that bear no relationship to traditional musical performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

 practices: for instance, laptop performance (laptronica
Laptronica
Laptronica is a form of live electronic music in which laptops are used as musical instruments. The term is a portmanteau of "laptop computer" and "electronica"...

) and live coding
Live coding
Live coding is a performance practice centred upon the use of improvised interactive programming and real-time computing in creating sound and image based digital media. Live coding is particularly prevalent in computer music, combining algorithmic composition with improvisation...

. In general, the term Live PA refers to any live performance of electronic music, whether with laptops, synthesizers, or other devices.

In the last decade, a number of software-based virtual studio environments have emerged, with products such as Propellerhead's Reason and Ableton Live
Ableton Live
Ableton Live is a loop-based software music sequencer and DAW for Mac OS and Windows by Ableton. The latest major release of Live, Version 8, was released in April 2009. In contrast to many other software sequencers, Live is designed to be an instrument for live performances as well as a tool for...

 finding popular appeal. Such tools provide viable and cost-effective alternatives to typical hardware-based production studios, and thanks to advances in microprocessor
Microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

 technology, it is now possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. Such advances have democratized music creation, leading to a massive increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the internet.

Artists can now also individuate their production practice by creating personalized software synthesizers, effects modules, and various composition environments. Devices that once existed exclusively in the hardware domain can easily have virtual counterparts. Some of the more popular software tools for achieving such ends are commercial releases such as Max/Msp and Reaktor
Reaktor
Reaktor is a graphical modular software music studio of proprietary license developed by Native Instruments. It lets musicians and sound specialists design and build their own instruments, samplers, effects and sound design tools. It is supplied with many ready-to-use instruments and effects, from...

 and open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 packages such as Csound
Csound
Csound is a computer programming language for dealing with sound, also known as a sound compiler or an audio programming language, or more precisely, a C-based audio DSL. It is called Csound because it is written in C, as opposed to some of its predecessors...

, Pure Data
Pure Data
Pure Data is a visual programming language developed by Miller Puckette in the 1990s for creating interactive computer music and multimedia works. While Puckette is the main author of the program, Pd is an open source project with a large developer base working on new extensions to it. It is...

, SuperCollider
Supercollider
A Supercollider is a high energy particle accelerator. The term may refer to:* Superconducting Super Collider, planned 80 km project in Texas, canceled in 1993...

, and ChucK
ChucK
ChucK is a concurrent, strongly timed audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition, and performance, which runs on Mac OS X, Linux, Microsoft Windows, and iPhone/iPad. It is designed to favor readability and flexibility for the programmer over other considerations such...

.

Chip music

Chiptune
Chiptune
A chiptune, also known as chip music, is synthesized electronic music often produced with the sound chips of vintage computers and video game consoles, as well as with other methods such as emulation. In the early 1980s, personal computers became cheaper and more accessible than they had previously...

, chipmusic, or chip music is music written in sound formats where many of the sound textures are synthesized or sequenced in real time by a computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 or video game console
Video game console
A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or customized computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device to display a video game...

 sound chip
Sound chip
A sound chip is an integrated circuit designed to produce sound . It might be doing this through digital, analog or mixed-mode electronics...

, sometimes including sample-based synthesis and low bit sample playback. Many chip music devices featured synthesizers in tandem with low rate sample playback.

See also

  • Clavioline
    Clavioline
    The clavioline is an electronic keyboard instrument, a forerunner to the analog synthesizer.It was invented by Constant Martin in 1947. It consists of a keyboard and a separate amplifier and speaker unit. The keyboard usually covered three octaves, and had a number of switches to alter the tone of...

  • Audium (theater)
    Audium (theater)
    Audium is a unique sound art phenomenon that has been presented weekly in San Francisco since 1967. Audium is a creation of composer Stan Shaff that is performed on original equipment designed by Doug McEachern...

  • Beaver & Krause
    Beaver & Krause
    Beaver & Krause were a musical duo made up of Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause. Their 1966 album The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music was a pioneering work in the electronic music genre....

  • Electronic Sackbut
    Electronic Sackbut
    The Electronic Sackbut is an electronic instrument designed by Hugh Le Caine beginning in the 1940s.The Sackbut had a feature which resembles what has become the modulation wheel on today's synthesizers: The player used the left hand to modify the sound while the right hand was used to play the...

  • New Interfaces for Musical Expression
    New Interfaces for Musical Expression
    New Interfaces for Musical Expression, also known as NIME, is an international conference dedicated to scientific research on the development of new technologies for musical expression and artistic performance...

  • Sound installation
    Sound installation
    Sound installation is an intermedia and time based art form. It is an expansion of an art installation in the sense that it includes the sound element and therefore the time element...

  • Sound sculpture
    Sound sculpture
    Sound sculpture is an intermedia and time based art form in which sculpture or any kind of art object produces sound, or the reverse...

  • Spectral music
    Spectral music
    Spectral music is a musical composition practice where compositional decisions are often informed by the analysis of sound spectra. Computer-based sound spectrum analysis using tools like DFT, FFT, and spectrograms...

  • Tracker music
  • Industrial Music
    Industrial music
    Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...


Further reading

  • Bogdanov, Vladimir, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, and John Bush (editors). 2001. The All Music Guide to Electronica: The Definitive Guide to Electronic Music. AMG Allmusic Series. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-628-9
  • Cummins, James. 2008. Ambrosia: About a Culture - An Investigation of Electronica Music and Party Culture. Toronto, ON: Clark-Nova Books. ISBN 978-0-9784892-1-2
  • Heifetz, Robin J. (ed.). 1989. "On The Wires of Our Nerves: The Art of Electroacoustic Music". Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses. ISBN 0-8387-5155-5
  • Kahn, Douglas
    Douglas Kahn
    Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation at the , at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He was the Founding Director of Technocultural Studies and is Professor Emeritus in Science and Technology Studies at the University of California, Davis. Kahn is known primarily for his...

    . 1999. Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-11243-4 New edition 2001, ISBN 0-262-61172-4
  • Kettlewell, Ben. 2001. Electronic Music Pioneers. [N.p.]: Course Technology, Inc. ISBN 1-931140-17-0
  • Licata, Thomas (ed.). 2002. Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31420-9
  • Manning, Peter. 2004. Electronic and Computer Music. Revised and expanded edition. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-514484-8 (cloth) ISBN 0-19-517085-7 (pbk)
  • Prendergast, Mark. 2001. The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance: The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age. Forward [sic] by Brian Eno. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-4213-9, ISBN 1-58234-134-6 (hardcover eds.) ISBN 1-58234-323-3 (paper)
  • Reynolds, Simon. 1998. Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. London: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 0-330-35056-0 (US title, Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Boston: Little, Brown, 1998 ISBN 0316741116; New York: Routledge, 1999 ISBN 0-415-92373-5)
  • Schaefer, John. 1987. New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to New Music. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-097081-2
  • Shanken, Edward A.
    Edward A. Shanken
    Edward A. Shanken is an American art historian, whose work focuses on the entwinement of art, science and technology, with a focus on experimental new media art and visual culture. His scholarship has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been translated into six...

     2009. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon. ISBN 978-0-7148-4782-5
  • Shapiro, Peter (editor). 2000. Modulations: a History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound. New York: Caipirinha Productions ISBN 1-891024-06-X
  • Sicko, Dan. 1999. Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk. New York: Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-8428-0

  • Wells, Thomas
    Thomas Wells (composer)
    Thomas Wells is an American composer, pianist, organist, and arts-organization administrator.-Biography:...

    . 1981. The Technique of Electronic Music. New York: Schirmer Books; London: Collier Macmillan. ISBN 978-0028728308.


External links

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