20th Century Electronic Music Composer


The 20th century, and especially the last half of it, was a golden age for the composer of electronic music. While the first two decades of the century were dominated by the ballet, opera, and orchestral works of composers like Stravinsky and Bartok, who used electronic techniques only sporadically, by the 1960s a whole genre of electronic music had developed.

In contrast to traditional western music, which is based on a system of scales and octaves, electronic music is made up of sounds that are organized into patterns.

Composing electronic music in the 20th century was a long and tedious process. Conventional musical instruments were used to create original compositions, which could then be recorded onto cassette tape. In today’s age it is much easier to compose professional sounding music. With the advent of computers, sequencers, synthesizers and samplers, many of the conventional rules no longer apply.

Although composing music has become easier as technology advances, there are still many obstacles that must be overcome to produce professional sounding pieces. One of the most important aspects of producing good sounding music is the recording environment. Without a good acoustic environment, even the best equipment will sound bad. This article will outline some techniques which can be used in any room you have available to improve the sound quality.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

The first electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the 19th century, and shortly afterward Italian futurists explored sounds that had not been considered musical. During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production, an electronic musician being a musician who composes and/or performs such music. 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, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar. Purely electronic sound production can be achieved using devices such as the theremin, sound synthesizer, and computer.

During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s, in Egypt and France. Musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. Music produced solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was also created in Japan and the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers for the purpose of composing music.[1] Algorithmic composition with computers was first demonstrated in the

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production, an electronic musician being a musician who composes and/or performs such music. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds designed to mimic natural sounds or create new timbres.

Cage created his first work using manipulated phonograph records, Imaginary Landscape no. 1. He then collaborated with Lou Harrison on Imaginary Landscape no. 2 (1941), which used a variety of instruments, radios, and recorded sound. The two composers also collaborated for the first time on the Balinese-inspired Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano, written from 1946 to 1948. In addition to his compositions and performing, Cage lectured widely, co-founded the New School for Social Research’s Department of Experimental Composition in 1945 (later renamed the Department of Musical Composition), and taught experimental composition at Black Mountain College from 1948 to 1952. He established the Cooperative Composers’ Guild in Los Angeles in 1947 and became director of music production at CBS Radio Workshop in 1952.

In 1952 Cage also published his “Statement on Experimental Music,” an articulate defense of contemporary musical experimentation that he had presented as a lecture three years earlier. This manifesto was provocative enough to cause a formal protest by some members of the audience when it was delivered at the University of Illinois in 1949. In this lecture Cage argued that new sounds were necessary to expand musical experience, that music should be fully organized – not only rhythmically but dynamically and timbrally – and

The 20th century saw an explosion in musical styles that challenged the accepted definitions of music. The invention of recording technology and the rise of the music industry created a new economic model for composers, performers, and music publishers. This article explores the changes in composition and performance practices that shaped classical music at the end of the 20th century.

Classical music underwent a broad array of innovations at the turn of the 20th century and through to the present day. These changes were not just limited to orchestral works, but also encompassed opera, chamber, vocal and choral music. Composers explored new approaches to rhythm, melody and harmony as well as incorporating new elements of style into their works. These trends can be seen in both Western European and Eastern European traditions as well as North America.


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