Experimental Electronic Music: Origin, History and Chronology of Electronica
Experimental Electronic Music: Origin, History and Chronology of Electronica: a highly informative blog about one of the most important genres in history.
The following is reblogged from Experimental Electronic Music: Origin, History and Chronology of Electronica: a highly informative blog about one of the most important genres in history.
I have always been an avid reader of blogs, but I am not really a blogger myself. However, my book has been out for some time now and I thought it was about time I started to put some thoughts and ideas that did not make it into the final manuscript onto a blog. In order to get this project off the ground, I thought I would start by re-blogging some interesting articles (with permission) that deal with issues raised in my book. So here we go!
The following is a guest post by Conor Curran (© 2016 Conor Curran). Conor is currently a Master’s student in electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. His research focuses on the development of spatial audio production techniques for live performances using interactive sound systems and real-time sound synthesis environments
Experimental Electronic Music: Origin, History and Chronology of Electronica traces the history of electronic music from early experiments in the 19th century to modern-day artists. With illustrations and audio clips, this is a highly informative blog about one of the most important genres in history.
Experimental Electronic Music is a blog that covers the history and chronology of electronic music. It contains articles, interviews, reviews and other information related to electronic music.
The site was started in late 2011 by UK-based writer and researcher Ed Pinsent. It was inspired by the need for a coherent chronology of the genre which doesn’t exist anywhere else on the internet or in print. The site also contains a wealth of articles about the genre’s pioneers, as well as its more obscure figures; it also covers documentary films, festivals, live events and releases from contemporary artists.
Electronic music is often considered a rather difficult genre, and it’s true that many of its followers are nerds. But they’re nice nerds. And the fact that electronic music may be perceived as difficult by some just goes to show how broad the genre actually is.
Electronic music covers a vast range of styles, from the experimental and obscure to pop-oriented mainstream sounds. This can be confusing for new listeners, so I created this site to help you navigate through it all.
I also added a lot of background information on the history of electronic music and its most important subgenres. Discovering new things is always risky, but it is a risk worth taking, because that’s how we learn and grow.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information and discussion on the origins, history and development of experimental electronic music. Most of the material I have studied has been published in books and magazines or found online. Much of it is contradictory and difficult to verify. I make no claim that everything I write here is absolutely true but I do hope that it will be useful for readers who want to know more about the subject.
I started buying records in the late 1950s when I was a teenager in London. At first I bought jazz records but from around 1960 onwards my interests changed towards modern classical music. By 1963 I was interested enough in electronic music to purchase “An Introduction To Electronic Music” by Kingsley Widmer and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center on a record called “Music From Mathematics”. Both these releases were important in their own way. The book was unusual because, although there were already several books on electronic music, most of them had been written by musicians who used electronics as just another compositional tool among many others, such as tape machines and tape loops etc.
The book was also unusual because it contained a lot of information about the technical aspects of electronic music (which may explain why my copy has several pages with diagrams and mathematical formulae marked by
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 (electroacoustic music), 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 electroacoustic instruments 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, 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 Sixties were a decade of great change in music, particularly pop and rock music. The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, which is widely regarded as one of the most important albums in the history of pop music. The same year saw the release of Pink Floyd’s debut album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which would inspire many musicians for decades to come. Electronic music was becoming more popular throughout Europe and the United States. Karlheinz Stockhausen was an influential German composer who worked with electronic music during this time. His piece Gesang der Jünglinge (1955-6) is a classic work that uses a boy soprano voice and technology to create a new kind of music. In France, Pierre Schaeffer developed Musique concrète, a term that refers to music made from sounds recorded from everyday objects.