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.

Helmholtz

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.

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

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The Avant-Garde Project

“The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical, experimental, and electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today.”

Press Here To Enter The Site

Press Here For FLAC Versions Of  The AGP Site

Iannis Xenakis Documents, Writing, Notation & Music

Last FM:

“Iannis Xenakis (Greek: Ιωάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001) was Romanian-born Greek modernist composer, musical theoretician, and architect. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential composers of the twentieth century. His music theory book, Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition, is regarded as one of the most important theoretical works of 20th century music.”

More At “Arts Electric”

“Edgar Varèse and the Jazzmen” Audio

Wiki:
“Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse (December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965), was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.

Varèse’s music features an emphasis on timbre and rhythm. He was the inventor of the term “organized sound”, a phrase meaning that certain timbres and rhythms can be grouped together, sublimating into a whole new definition of music. Although his complete surviving works only last about three hours, he has been recognised as an influence by several major composers of the late 20th century. His use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the “Father of Electronic Music” while Henry Miller described him as “The stratospheric Colossus of Sound”.

From wfmu.org (Beware Of The Blog)

“Today’s post is something I stumbled upon in the dark and dusty corners of the Internet, a tape recording of composer Edgar Varèse conducting a workshop of Jazz musicians in the year 1957. Here is the original announcement of the MP3 release of these tapes.

Edgard Varèse conducts a workshop with jazzmen Art Farmer (trumpet), Hal McKusik (clarinet, alto sax), Teo Macero (tenor sax), Eddie Bert (trombone), Frank Rehak (trombone), Don Butterfield (tuba), Hall Overton (piano), Charlie Mingus (bass), Ed Shaughnessy (drums), probably John La Porta (alto sax)… We don’t know who is on vibes…

It might be the first free jazz recording (totally unissued) of History of Music. Varèse might have influenced jazzmen or was he only aware of what was happening on the jazz scene? No matter of the answer, it’s a bomb, as this music is 3 years earlier than Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman! We also know Charlie Parker wanted to study with Varèse in autumn 1954 but the composer flew to Europe to conduct Déserts. When he came back to New York in May 1955, Parker had already died. We also know that Varèse used to listen to John Coltrane at the Village.

Between March and August 1957, these Sunday jam-sessions were followed by arranger George Handy, journalist Robert Reisner, composers James Tenney, Earle Brown and John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham. The organizers were Earle Brown and Teo Macero who will become Miles Davis‘ producer among others. Varèse used certain extracts of the workshop for his Poème électronique.

The original of this tape is at Fondation Paul Sacher.

“Please excuse the crappy audio quality, it is the best we have.”

SONUS: A Online Listening Library of Electroacoustic Works

“The CEC created SONUS to make electroacoustic pieces easily accessible to audiences everywhere. SONUS is a valuable tool for composers to promote their work, and a fascinating resource for listeners, with over 1800 works in a wide variety of aesthetics already in the catalogue.”

Press here to enter SONUS