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.

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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)

Andrey Smirnov: Sound in Z: Experiments in Sound and Electronic Music in Early 20th-century Russia (2013)

Sound in Z supplies the astounding and long-lost chapter in the early story of electronic music: the Soviet experiment, a chapter that runs from 1917 to the late 1930s.

Complete post at:  Monoskop Log

Video at Vimeo:

Andrey Smirnov’s Sound In Z

Russian Sound Pioneers

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Clara Rockmore plays the terpsitone, an electronic instrument invented by Léon Theremin, at Carnegie Hall in 1932 

Daphne Oram And Delia Derbyshire: The BBC Radiophonic Workshop Gallery

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, one of the sound effects units of the BBC, was created in 1958 to produce effects and new music for radio, and was closed in March 1998.  Daphne Oram was a true pioneer of electronic music and this great gallery of photographs gives some great insight into the work being done at BBC.

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop: http://whitefiles.org/rwg/index.html

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Daphne Oram at the north-west end of Room 13.

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 Room 12. Delia edits a tape as Desmond stands in front of the Leevers-Rich 8-track and reads the script.

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Delia at the controls of the desk in Room 12. The rotary control to the extreme bottom right is a ‘Glowpot’ gain control.

2013-01-05_0843Daphne Oram demonstrating Radiophonic techniques on television by means of Brenell tape recorders and Jason oscillator.

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 Room 13 in 1958. Daphne Oram plays the Mijwiz, an Arabic twin-reeded double shepherd’s pipe.

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An early view looking north through Rooms 14 and 13.

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An early picture, taken on the 13th of May, 1958, looking through the window of Room 15 towards Rooms 13 and 14

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A Tempophon, similar to the one used at the Workshop. The drum at the centre contains the rotating heads. The pitch control is marked in musical intervals.

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One of the prototype keying units and its oscillators in 1962.

Synapse Magazine: Archive of Twelve Issues Of This 1970’s Electronic Music Magazine

Synapse was published  from March 1976 to June 1979 and was a source of great electronic music information at a time before the internet.  I still have my collection in the basement but the magazine can be read here without dusting anything off.

Synapse Magazine

Electronic Music Review N°4

Contents:
EMscope
Tristram Cary– Superserialismus: Is There a Cure?
Symposium: Mixers and Level Controls
Robert A. Moog- Introduction to Mixers and Level Controls
James Seawright- Fundamental Concepts of Electronic Music Mixers
Gerald Shapiro- Functional Design of Electronic Music Mixers
Hugh Le Caine- Some Applications of Electrical Level Controls
Frederic Rzewski- A Photoresistor Mixer For Live Performance
Fernando von Reichenbach- The Sound Level Photoprogrammer
Robert A. Moog- Construction of a Simple Mixer
Paul Ketoff- The-Synket
Kurt Stone, Joel Chadabe- Reviews
Contributors

Download The PDF Here: Electronic Music Review N°4 

The Complete Series Is At UbuWeb: UbuWeb Electronic Music Resources  As Always, Thanks to UbuWeb!

Electronic Music Review N°1 (Jan 1967)

Contents:
EMscope
Raymond Wilding-White- Happy Birthday
Harold Bode- The Multiplier-Type Ring Modulator
Karlheinz Stockhausen- Notes on Mixtur (1964)
Robert Ceely- Electronic Music Three Ways
Symposium: Programmed Control
Robert A. Moog- Introduction to Programmed Control
Emmanuel Ghent- The Coordinome in Relation to Electronic Music
George w. Logemann- Techniques for Programmed Electronic Music Synthesis
James Gabura and Gustav Ciamaga- Digital Computer Control of Sound Generating Apparatus for the Production of Electronic Music
Luciano Berio- Remarks to the Kind Lady of Baltimore
Contributors

Press Here To Download: Electronic Music Review 1

Thanks To UbuWeb