IPEM – Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music

“IPEM’S HISTORY: IPEM was founded in 1963, as a joint venture between the Belgian Radio and Television broadcasting company (BRT) and Ghent University. The idea was to combine audio engineering with music production, thus building a bridge between scientific research and artistic research. The institute was first located in the electronics laboratory of Prof. H. dr. ir. Vuylsteke, but soon after it was associated with the department of musicology, which was lead by Prof. dr. J.L. Broeckx and later on by Prof. dr. H. Sabbe. Together with ir. W. Landrieu, they developed the institute into a music studio and a center for the study of contemporary music. Music production at IPEM was lead by the composers L. De Meester, K. Goeyvaerts and L. Goethals, all employed by the BRT. They realized many compositions and radio transmissions related to contemporary music. Since 1968, research results at IPEM were published in yearbooks. In collaboration with Sonology (then at Utrecht), this resulted in 1972 in an international journal, called Interface.”

From: Journal of New Music Research

IPEM studio synthesizer (ca.1960-1980)


Composer Micheline Lesaffre at Brussels’s Musical Instrument Museum (MIM


David Van de Woestijne operating an echo and reverb machine (circa 1963).


Sound technician Ivan Schepers at work in IPEM’s Muinkaai studio (early 1980s).


Composer Louis De Meester at work in IPEM’s Technicum studio (circa 1963)


Landrieu’s mixer with filters.


Generator bank with sine wave oscillator group, developed by Walter Landrieu


Landrieu’s electronic organ (based on a design by Hubert Vuylsteke).


A generator group developed by Walter Landrieu.


Landrieu’s electronic organ (based on a design by Hubert Vuylsteke).


The mechanics lab at IPEM’s Muinkkaai space (1965–1970).


The insides of a Melowriter.


The Melowriter – a kind of music typewriter – designed at IPEM in 1976 by Hans Janssen. The Melowriter allowed users to notate compositions into an 8 bit code.


Composer Robin Heifetz on the piano at IPEM’s Muinkkaai studio. This photo was taken by Michiel Hendryckx to illustrate Heifetz’s piano and tape composition That Which Is The Beginning

Images from WikiMedia

IPEM – Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music : ’50 years of electronic and electroacoustic music at the Ghent University’

In commemoration of IPEM’s 50th anniversary, Metaphon presents next to the CD edition (2 CD’s with lavishy illustrated 88 page book) a deluxe vinyl edition containing 3 LP’s with the book and the 2 CD’s (same material as the LP’s) all housed in a hardboard linen LP box. From the huge archive of IPEM recordings a selection was made featuring works by Lucien Goethals, Didier Gazelle, Louis De Meester, David Van de Woestijne, Stefan Beyst, Helmut Lachenmann, Boudewijn Buckinx, Karel Goeyvaerts, Emmanuel Van Weerst, Peter Beyls, Raoul De Smet, Frank Nuyts, Ricardo Mandolini, Peter Schuback, Stephen Montague and Yves Knockaert. All tracks were recorded at the IPEM studio and mastered from the original tapes. Most tracks are previously unreleased.

Book & CD Available Here : IPEM

Internet :





Proportion in Musical Scales | Sacred Geometry

“Sacred Geometry is the geometry underlying Life in all of its forms. We can see it everywhere in Nature. In this context the word Sacred has nothing to do with religion. This site is devoted to the study and dissemination of knowledge about Sacred Geometry. I work to keep it as simple as possible, because there is no commercial interest behind it.”

Link to Website

Proportion in Musical Scales

MIMO – Musical Instrument Museums Online

Explore the world collections of musical instruments:


Welcome to the world’s largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections. Our database now contains the records of 55535 instruments.

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120 Years Of Electronic Music

120 Years of Electronic Music* is a project that outlines and analyses the history and development of electronic musical instruments from around 1880 onwards.


Press Here To Enter The Main Site: 120 Years Of Electronic Music 

The ideas put forward in Ferrucio Busoni’s ‘Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music’ (1907) inspired a generation of composers to explore micro-tonal and varied intonation and Hermann von Helmholtz’s ‘On the Sensations of Tone’ (1863) provided an understanding of the physics of sound suggesting the possibility of creating an unlimited palette of tones and shapes beyond the restriction of traditional instrumentation. This lead directly to the design of several new instrument; Thadeus Cahill’s Telharmonium (1897) and Jörg Mager’s Sphäraphon (1920s) amongst many other, that explored new forms of interaction freeing the composer and musician from the ‘tyranny’ of the fixed tempered Piano keyboard (which at the beginning of electronic music instrument design was a fairly recent standard). Though this experiment was ultimately doomed due to commercial pressure on instrument designers to provide simulations of existing instruments on a fixed tempered scale for popular music, the concept survived into the 1960s in ‘serious’ experimental music with the era of the Electronic Music Studio; GRM, Milan, WDR, Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center etc. and even Moog (in the original instruments) and Buchla’smodular synthesisers. More recently interest in atonality and non-manual control has re-surfaced with software synthesis and audio computer languages.





PDF Version Located Here: 120 Years of Electronic Music (PDF)

Michel Chion’s “Guide to Sound Objects: Pierre Schaeffer and Musical Research” (PDF)


“Our ambition, with this Guide to Sound Objects, has always been to give researchers, musicians, music-lovers and all who are directly or indirectly interested in the sound-universe an unbiased, clear and dependable tool (if this can be done) for a better knowledge and understanding of Pierre Schaeffer’s considerable contribution to this field, by means of an inventory of the ideas and concepts developed in his most important work, the Traité des Objets Musicaux.”

Download PDF : Guide To Sound Objects

Recreating the sound of Tutankhamun’s trumpets

Tutankhamun’s trumpet was one of the rare artefacts stolen from the Cairo Museum during the recent uprising. The 3,000-year-old instrument is rarely played, but a 1939 BBC radio recording captured its haunting sound.

BBC Link:  Tutankhamun’s trumpets

io9 Link:    Tutankhamun’s trumpets

YouTube:  Tutankhamun’s trumpets


1939 Recording: BBC Recording






Tutankhamun’s military trumpet is one of three known examples of this instrument preserved from ancient Egypt. It was fashioned from metal sheets covered with gold.

The mouthpiece is in the shape of a cylindrical sleeve with a silver ring at the outer end, fixed to a tube. On the outside of the bell is a panel depicting the king wearing the Blue Crown and holding the crook scepter “Heka”. He stands before a shrine containing the figure of the god Ptah in the form of a mummy.

The inscription reads, “The Great One, Ptah, south-of-his-wall, Lord of Truth, Creator of all that the king receives, Life from Amun-Re, King of all Gods. He who rests his other hand on the king’s shoulders, behind the falcon-headed god, Re-Horakhty, the good god, Lord of Gold”.

All the figures are shown standing under the hieroglyphic sign for heaven and the baseline symbolizes the earth.

Translation of text:
“The Great One, Ptah, south-of-his-wall, Lord of Truth, Creator of all that the king receives, Life from Amun-Re, King of all Gods. He who rests his other hand on the king’s shoulders, behind the falcon-headed god, Re-Horakhty, the good god, Lord of Gold”.

Via: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/ (Dead Link)