15 Producers That Shaped The Sound of 20th Century Music


A few months ago, I wrote about the 15 musicians who shaped the sound of 20th century music. I received an overwhelming response from you guys, so I thought why not do a list on producers as well? But before I start, I want to say that this is my personal opinion and by no means reflects the overall consensus of the community.

I think every producer has his own unique set of influences. If you look closely at almost any top-tier producer today, you’ll see how they’ve been inspired by past producers. Some of these influences are direct and some are subtle. But they’re all there.

So what makes a producer influential? Well, it’s a combination of factors: timing, vision, technique and innovation – to name a few. A good producer can take an artist (and his/her song) to the next level and make it shine even brighter than before. This is why producers are so highly sought after; they’re the unsung heroes of the music world.

If you’re interested in becoming a producer, then this list is for you. Here are 15 producers that shaped the sound of 20th century music:

There wouldn’t be any modern music if it wasn’t for these 15 producers. They are the ones who made the biggest impact on 20th century music.

A lot of these names might not be familiar to you, or in fact you might even know them by a different name – their stage name. From George Martin and Quincy Jones to Kanye West and Brian Eno, here are 15 producers that shaped the sound of 20th century music, from funk to hip hop and everything in between.

When we think of music of the 20th century, we tend to think of composers such as Stravinsky and Schoenberg. We associate those names with the creation of new styles that were to characterise modern music. Yet there is another aspect to the 20th century that is often forgotten: the role of producers and sound engineers.

Sound recording technology had been around for quite a while at the turn of the 20th century, but around a century ago it became something else; it became art. It allowed for experimentation and opened up new possibilities in terms of sound creation.

I have compiled a list of 15 producers who shaped the sound of music throughout the 20th century. They have inspired generations and have helped in shaping our sonic landscape. Their work has had an impact on almost every kind of music genre.

Music producers have the unenviable position of being the unsung heroes of music. Without them, many of our favorite albums wouldn’t be nearly as good, and a select few have gone on to define and shape entire genres.

Here are 15 producers that shaped sound in the 20th century.

1. Scott La Rock (Hip-Hop)

2. Phil Spector (Rock)

3. Quincy Jones (R&B)

4. George Martin (Pop)

5. Rick Rubin (Rock & Hip-Hop)

6. Brian Wilson (Psychedelia)

7. Trevor Horn (Synth Pop/New Wave)

8. Dr Dre (Gangsta Rap/West Coast Hip-Hop)

9. Rick Hall (Soul/Blues)

10. Mark Ronson (Pop/Hip-Hop)

11. Young Guru (Hip-Hop)

12. Alex Da Kid (Hip-Hop/Pop/R&B)

13. Jon Brion (Indie Rock/Pop)

14. Wally Gagel (Alternative Rock/Indie Rock)

It is hard to list all the influential music producers of the 20th century. There were hundreds of them, and they all played a part in the evolution of music. Some were more influential than others, though. I tried to come up with a short list of just 15 producers that made an enormous impact on music over the course of the past 100 years.

I started compiling this list by trying to include all genres of music, but it soon became apparent that there were just too many “sound-shapers” to include in such a short list. So I tried to come up with at least one for each of the major genres; rock, pop, jazz, blues and country. I also included some important producers from outside these genres that made significant contributions to music production as a whole.

This is not meant to be definitive or comprehensive, but rather a brief overview of some important producers from each genre.

Electronic music composers of the 20th century created a revolution in music by widening the possibilities for composers and performers alike. They also changed the role of the performer from one of merely interpreting a work to one of actually creating it. It was an unprecedented leap forward in the art of music.

The earliest electronic instruments were developed beginning in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first synthesizers were created in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until much later that their potential was realized and they were used to create some of the most enduring musical works of our time.

Here are 15 electronic music composers who shaped the sound of 20th century music.

In the 20th century, classical music composers became increasingly autonomous and experimental, challenging the idea that the composer was merely a craftsman who created according to the dictates of patrons, society and entertainment industry.

John Cage was one of the leading figures of post-war avant-garde classical music. His work explored non-traditional use of musical instruments, noise music and indeterminacy in music, while his most influential work was his 1952 composition 4’33” (four minutes and thirty-three seconds), whose total duration consists entirely of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed.

In 1956 Stockhausen composed Gesang der Jünglinge, which is a composition for electronic sounds based on a reading from Book of Daniel (3:25). The electronic soundtrack was produced at Cologne Studio for Electronic Music. This marked the first time an electronic soundtrack was used in a feature film. In 1957 Karlheinz Stockhausen joined Pierre Schaeffer in Paris to co-found musique concrète, where he wrote works such as Studie II and Gesang der Jünglinge, that are considered to be milestones in 20th century music.

John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33” is


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