A Brief History of Electronic Music Composers


A Brief History of Electronic Music Composers: A blog about the history of electronic music featuring composers such as Kraftwerk, Pierre Henry, and Sandy Rivera.

A Brief History of Electronic Music Composers: A blog about the history of electronic music featuring composers such as Kraftwerk, Pierre Henry, and Sandy Rivera.

A Brief History of Electronic Music Composers: A blog about the history of electronic music featuring composers such as Kraftwerk, Pierre Henry, and Sandy Rivera.

A Brief History of Electronic Music Composers: A blog about the history of electronic music featuring composers such as Kraftwerk, Pierre Henry, and Sandy Rivera. Electronic music is any kind of music that relies on electronic equipment to produce sound. It has been around since the 1920s when it was first used in radio broadcasting and live performances. The first electronic instruments included a variety of electro-mechanical instruments like theremins, Ondes Martenot, and even fax machines!

Since then, electronic music has become more popular thanks to the invention of synthesizers and other new technologies. The term “electronic music” refers not only to sounds produced electronically but also those made from recordings on magnetic tape or vinyl records as well as digitally programmed sequences that are played back from computer programs such as Pro Tools or Logic Pro X (which have their own dedicated software packages).

The earliest form of electronic music was created by composers who used phonograph cylinders and discs containing pre-recorded sounds such as bird calls or other natural noises which they played back at different speeds in order to produce different pitches or rhythms.”

Electronic music composers have been experimenting with sounds and creating music for over 100 years. As the tools for manipulating sounds and composing music have evolved, so has the art form.

The first electronic musical instrument was invented around 1753 by Jean-Baptiste de Laborde who called it the armonica. It was based on the idea of a wine glass which when rubbed with a wet finger would produce a sound of varying pitch depending on the size of the glass. Laborde’s instrument used 37 bowls filled with water which were arranged horizontally on a spindle, each bowl acting as a note. A foot pedal controlled the speed at which the spindle rotated, thus varying the pitch.

Another early electronic musical instrument was invented in 1830 by Frenchman Georges Jenny who called his invention an oeuf clairon or ‘clarion egg’. This consisted of a single string stretched across a resonator box and plucked by hand to produce sound. Jenny’s invention was later improved upon by Hermann von Helmholtz (1851-1904) who attached a keyboard to Jenny’s instrument so that it could be played like a piano. Helmholtz named his invention the lithophone after ‘lithos’, the Greek word for stone. He demonstrated

Electronic music is a form of music which uses electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. An electronic musician being a composer, musician, or performer.

Electronic music was once associated almost exclusively with Western art music, but from the late 1960s on the availability of affordable music technology led to a style of new electronic or experimental music that combined synthesized sounds with traditional acoustic instruments and jazz and rock and roll elements. By the 1980s dance music was growing popular. By the 1990s, as digital audio workstations became more widespread, the initial distinction between “electronic” and “acoustic” musical instruments began to disappear.

Today electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form (exemplified by EDM) and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.

The history of electronic music goes back to the late 19th century with the invention of the telegraph. At first it was just used to send messages, but some inventors realized that they could also use it in order to transmit music. Shortly after this, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. This was a device that could record and play back sounds via electricity.

In the early 1920’s, a Russian named Leon Theremin invented what he called an “etherphone” in which sound was created electronically via radio waves. A Russian composer named Edgard Varese then came to America and made music using the theremin. He also worked with a man named Herbert Eimert who helped him make instruments out of other materials than metal or wood such as wax cylinders and glass plates.

In 1950 Pierre Henry created “Symphonie pour un homme seul” and that same year, Pierre Schaeffer recorded several records on which he played pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy and others. Then in 1952 Pierre boulez composed “Le Marteau sans Maitre” for orchestra but also added some electronic sounds created on a sine wave generator (an instrument that produces tones at a constant frequency).

In 1953 Karlheinz Stock

Electronic music is a broad term that encompasses several different genres and composers. The earliest forms of electronic music utilized instruments such as the Theremin, ondes martenot, and the Hammond organ. Many of the first electronic music composers were also radio engineers who were interested in the potential of sound broadcasting. One such pioneer was Pierre Schaeffer, the inventor of musique concrète (concrete music).

Musique concrète was an experimental form of music pioneered by Pierre Schaeffer and his colleagues. This style of music used recordings of real world sounds that were then manipulated using techniques such as splicing and overdubbing to create compositions. Sounds could be slowed down or sped up, or played backward in order to create new timbres and harmonies. The first piece of musique concrete to be released was Etude aux Chemins de Fer (Study for Railroads) by Pierre Schaeffer in 1948.

Another development in early electronic music was the use of magnetic tape to record sound. Previously, sound had been recorded onto wax cylinders or discs but magnetic tape allowed for much longer recordings and more precise editing techniques. Magnetic tape was used extensively by Karlheinz Stockhausen to create his Gesang der Jungling


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