It has now been over a century since some of the first electronic musical instruments were created. Early electronic music was often made by composers of other genres and music types, but some of these composers grew to be famous for their works using early electronic musical instruments. A lot of these artists are still well-known today, though many people do not know about their work in the field of early electronic music.
Here, we will look at five people who were instrumental in popularizing early electronic music.
Famous Artist 1
An Italian composer from Milan, Luciano Berio was best known for his experimental music and his use of various different genres. Although he is known for working with pop singers such as Madonna and Bjork, he also composed a lot of pieces using early electronic instruments. One example is his 1968 composition “Sequenza V” which uses an oboe with a tape recorder.
Famous Artist 2
From France, Pierre Schaeffer was one of the earliest composers of early electronic music. He was also an engineer who discovered the technique of musique concrete, which involves altering magnetic tape recordings to create soundscapes and sounds that could not be produced by traditional means. His works include “Cinq Etudes de Bruits”, which
The first electronic music was produced by electronic devices and instruments, with the first public concert being given in Paris, in 1924. A few years later, the Well-Tempered Synthesizer, presented by Harry Olson at RCA Victor’s Studio B in New York City (1939), became the first fully developed musical synthesizer. The most significant of these were the so-called modular synthesizers, the precursors of the modern analog synthesizers.
The first electronic music was made in the early 1900s. In fact, the first electronic instrument, the Telharmonium, was built by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. Electronic music is characterized by the use of electronic musical instruments or electronic music technology as a central aspect of the sound of the music.
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop is perhaps the earliest example of an institutionalized effort to create and issue electronic music on record. The BBC had been commissioned in 1957 to produce a series of educational programs for schools, which included several hours of material that employed electronics for its sound.
The Workshop’s composers were all working as freelance musicians before being hired by the BBC, and had varying levels of experience with electronic instruments and techniques. Many had worked on composing and scoring film and radio features and documentaries before moving into composing works specifically for connecting tone electronics (sequencers).
By the 1950s, advances in technology had brought about a number of innovations that opened up new vistas for musicians working with sound. The first and most significant was the development of magnetic tape recording systems, which allowed for the manipulation of sound by means of cutting and splicing tape, and a variety of other techniques.
The early 1950s also saw the development of electronic musical instruments, including the RCA synthesizer and the first electronic drum machine. These made it possible to create and manipulate sounds using entirely electronic means. (A synthesizer is a device that creates sounds using electronic oscillators.)
During this period, a number of composers and performers began to experiment with these new technologies. These included Pierre Schaeffer, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Tod Dockstader, Raymond Scott, Pauline Oliveros and Morton Subotnick. These early works were made possible through funding from GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales) in Paris.
By the 1960s, composers were beginning to combine these new technologies with traditional instruments in live performance settings. One example is Luciano Berio’s “Sinfonia” (1968), which combines an orchestra with four-track magnetic
The earliest electronic musical instruments were developed in the early 20th century.
Electronic instruments are now widely used in most styles of music.
Electronic musical instruments include the theremin, synthesizer, and computer.
Electronic music was once associated almost exclusively with Western art music, 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 art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music.
A distinction has been made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music) and that produced using electronics only.**
For the past forty years, electronic music has been made using powerful computers or using keyboards connected to a synthesizer. The sound of electronic music has become a popular form of music for many genres (techno, hip hop, ambient and new age) in the modern world. However, electronic music has been around for over one hundred years and is generally divided into three categories: pre-electronic instruments (1860-1930), early electronic instruments (1930-1960) and modern electronic instruments (1960-present).
In the mid nineteenth century, various scientists began experimenting with what was possible when electricity was applied to sound. In 1860, Jean-Baptiste de la Salle invented an electric piano called the Clavecin Electrique. It took more than twenty years before this invention was improved by Edwin Votey who added a pneumatic device that used compressed air to amplify the vibrations created by the piano strings. This instrument was called the pneumatic piano or pneumonicon.
In 1876, Elisha Gray invented the Telharmonium which used rotating electromagnetic dynamos to generate sound waves that were transmitted over telephone lines. A year later, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph which recorded sound on a tinfoil wrapped cylinder. The phon
Conductive Shielding Tape
Used for patching holes in the conductive coating of the aluminum foil tape. Can also be used as a barrier between the foil and skin to avoid contact with the adhesive.
Copper Shielding Tape
Used for patching holes in the conductive coating of the copper tape. Can also be used as a barrier between the copper and skin to avoid contact with the adhesive.
Zinc Anode Rods – 3/8″ diameter (per foot)
Used to create a surface on which copper can oxidize. Zinc is electrically connected to the copper through a piece of electrical wire or conductive thread, allowing it to act as an anode and oxidize over time. The water soluble zinc oxide that forms over time will produce a blue-green patina on the copper surface.
Aluminum Foil Tape – 1″ x 10 yards (1 roll) [SOLD OUT]
Provides a conductive surface for sensing and connecting electronic circuits. Aluminum foil is electrically connected to other electronic components using alligator clips or alligator clip leads, which allows it to act as an electrode in sensor applications. It can be easily cut out into any shape using scissors or an exact