A sidenote before we start…


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A sidenote before we start….

  • A sidenote before we start….

  • Music has always been tied to technology!

    • From the development of early instruments to the latest in DSP processing!
  • There is a balance between inventor/performer/composer with each new invention

    • Each respective creator has a role in the evolution of music and its technology


Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934)

  • Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934)

    • “Father of Muzak”
  • Aka: Dynamophone

  • Huge

    • Bigger than your living room!
  • Transmitted through telephone lines

    • Complete failure!
  • Demise brought on by advent of radio

  • Triggered birth of electronic music



Patented in 1897

  • Patented in 1897

    • Music-generation:
      • Pitch shafts, or axles, which were mounted “tone wheels” that were made of metal and notched
      • Used multiple tone wheels per pitch to make multiple overtones per pitch to create a warm sound
    • Two parts
      • Keyboard console
      • Machinery in a different room


Absolutely massive!

  • Absolutely massive!

    • 12 pitch shafts, 30 feet each!
    • 2,000 switches!
    • 200 tons!
  • Moving it required 30 railroad cars

  • Used an enormous amount of power

    • The power grid could not grow exponentially
    • Pressing more key would split available power and reduce the volume on each note


Concerts began in NY in 1906

  • Concerts began in NY in 1906

  • Initially successful, then amazingly unsuccessful

    • It was too expensive to operate
    • Not portable
    • Run concerts over phone lines
    • People just lost interest
  • Final Concert in 1908

    • No known recordings




1917 (1920)

  • 1917 (1920)

  • Leon Theremin

  • Protruding metal antennae = pitch

  • Metal loop = volume

  • Monophonic continuous tone

  • Fixed Timbre



Leon Theremin (1896-1993)

  • Leon Theremin (1896-1993)

    • (Russian name Lev Termen)
  • Important pioneer of electronic music

  • 1920s-moved to US

    • Patented Theremin
  • 1938-kidnapped by Russians!

    • put in Siberian prison
    • Thought to be dead
  • Created first “bug” for tracking and listening to people without their knowledge

  • Later taught at Moscow Conservatory



Uses a method called Heterodyning

  • Uses a method called Heterodyning

    • 2 supersonic radio frequencies
    • Near in frequency
    • Mixed
    • The “combination tones” are heard
      • Tones that are the difference between the frequencies
        • F1+F2 combined with F1-F2 (sound familiar?)
        • Frequencies are mixed in the Theremin and output


Unfortunately used mostly as novelty

  • Unfortunately used mostly as novelty

    • People performed single-line literature that could be played on a stringed instrument
  • John Cage’s early view:

      • “When Theremin provided an instrument with genuinely new possibilities, Thereminists did their utmost to make the instrument sound like some old instrument, giving it a sickeningly sweet vibrato, and performing upon it, with difficulty, masterpieces from the past. Although the instrument is capable of a wide variety of sound qualities, obtained by the turning of the dial, Thereminists act as censors, giving the public those sounds they think the public will like. We are shielded from new sound experiences.” -From Silence


Theremin could play the instrument

  • Theremin could play the instrument

  • Two virtuosic students

      • Clara Rockmore (1910-1998)
        • Played mostly rep for other instruments
        • Remembered at the greatest master
      • Lucie Bigelow Rosen (1890-1968)
        • Pioneer of new music
        • Explore new territories
        • Commissioned several composers
  • Many others could play the Theremin, but not with the skill and aptitude of Rockmore and Rosen

    • Theremins still make their way into film soundtracks and popular music today!


1928

  • 1928

  • Maurice Martenot (1898-1980)

    • Influenced by Theremin
  • First successful electronic instrument

    • Still used today!
  • Early-string attached to finger ring

  • Later- keyboard added

  • Expression key to change timbre



Used by many composers! (>300)

  • Used by many composers! (>300)

    • Messiaen
    • Varese
    • Milhaud
    • Honegger
    • Peringer
    • Messiaen - “Turangalila Symphony” (excerpt)




A few videos to check out:

  • A few videos to check out:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy9UBjrUjwo

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpdK-kSW4KA

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh6Fk0gLFog





Construction of music using:

  • Construction of music using:

        • Sound recording tools
        • Natural sounds
        • Electronic signals
        • Instrumental sounds
  • 1948 - France (Paris)

  • Pierre Schaeffer

      • Radio engineer, broadcaster, writer, and biographer
  • Pierre Henry



Different approach from traditional composing.

  • Different approach from traditional composing.

  • Works directly with the sound material

    • Rather than with a score
  • The material preceded the structure



Means “the sound object”

  • Means “the sound object”

    • Developed by Schaeffer and Abraham Moles (1922-92)
    • Moles view on musical material,
        • “separable in experiments from the continuity of perception”
    • Sound object is sound that exists apart from human perception.
        • Music becomes a “sequence of sound objects” in musique concrete
        • 3 characteristics; amplitude, frequency, time


Radiodiffusion-Television Français

  • Radiodiffusion-Television Français

        • Schaeffer worked in the Studio d’Essai of the Radiodiffusion Nationale (he developed in 1943)
        • Devoted to experiments in radio production and musical acoustics
  • Had a wealth of radio broadcasting equipment

      • Filters, microphones, disc-cutting lathes, reverb chamber, portable recording, SFX library


“Etude aux Chemins de Fer” (1948)

  • “Etude aux Chemins de Fer” (1948)

      • First EA piece
      • Uses turntables
      • From Études de Bruits
        • “Studies of noise”
  • Significance to electronic music:

      • Composing was realized through technological means
      • Any manner of sounds were used
      • Could be replayed identically over and over
      • Presentation of the work required no performers


Symphonie pour un homme seul (1949-50)

  • Symphonie pour un homme seul (1949-50)

    • “Symphony for a Man Alone”
  • First major collaboration between Schaeffer and Henry

  • 12-Movements

  • Early use of turntables for composition and not just for record playback

  • Based on two categories of sounds:

    • Human sounds (breathing, vocal fragments, shouting, humming whistling)
    • Non-Human sounds (foot stomping, knocking, percussion, prepared piano, orchestral instruments)


Groupe de Recherches Musicales

  • Groupe de Recherches Musicales

  • Originally called GRMC (musique concréte), 1951

  • Henry resigned and Schaeffer renamed it GRM in 1958

  • Originators (GRM):

      • Pierre Schaeffer
      • Iannis Xenakis
      • Francois Bayle
      • Luc Ferrari


Never was comfortable as a composer:

  • Never was comfortable as a composer:

  • “I fought like a demon throughout all the years of discovery and exploration in musique concréte. I fought against electronic music [electronische musik, germany], which was another approach, a systemic approach, when I preferred an experimental approach actually working directly, empirically with the sound. But at the same time, as I defended the music I was working on, I was personally horrified at what I was doing…I was deeply unhappy at what I was doing. I was happy at overcoming great difficulties-my first difficulties with the turntables when I was working on Symphonie pour un homme seul…that was good work, I did what I set out to do…But each time I was to experience the disappointment of not arriving at music. I couldn’t get to music, what I call music. I think of myself as an explorer struggling to find a way through the far north, but I wasn’t finding a way through.”

  • - from Interview with Pierre Schaeffer



1951 - Germany (Cologne)

  • 1951 - Germany (Cologne)

  • Herbert Eimert

  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

  • Electronically-generated sounds

    • (Uses oscillators, amplifiers, etc.)
  • Extension of serialism



There was animosity between the Germans and the French studios

  • There was animosity between the Germans and the French studios

  • The roots of dislike was formed by Schaeffer

        • “…we liberated ourselves politically, but music was still under an occupying foreign power, the music of the Vienna School.”
  • The Germans had little respect for musique concréte, which they saw as “fashionable and surrealistic”.

        • Eimert’s thoughts on French music was that they were “any incidental manipulations or distortions haphazardly put together for radio, film or theater music.”


Both sides of the line were aware of the importance of electronic music, not as novelty, but as a part of the future of music.

  • Both sides of the line were aware of the importance of electronic music, not as novelty, but as a part of the future of music.

      • A split from the traditional, and a different view of what “music” is, questions we still explore today
  • Eimert said it best:

      • “Electronic music is, and remains, part of our music and is a great deal more than mere “technology.” But the fact that it cannot be expected either to take over or imitate the functions of traditional music is clearly shown by the unequivocal difference of its material from that of traditional music. We prefer to see its possibilities as the potentialities of sound itself.
          • -from die Reihe (1955)


Gesang der Junglinge (1956)

  • Gesang der Junglinge (1956)

    • “Song of the Youths”
    • Idea of unifying vocal sounds and electronically produced sounds
    • Sung sounds - appear to be electronic; and electronic to be sung
    • Composed for 5 groups of loudspeakers to be distributed in space around listeners (later changed to 4 channels)


For as much as they were divided aesthetically, the audio results of WDR were often indistinguishable from RTF

  • For as much as they were divided aesthetically, the audio results of WDR were often indistinguishable from RTF

      • Even as early at 1952
  • Other notable composers:

      • Henri Pousseur
      • Gyorgi Ligeti
      • Mauricio Kagel


“The Italians”

  • “The Italians”

  • 1955

  • Milan

  • Started by:

    • Luciano Berio
    • Bruno Maderna
  • Maderna and Berio both studied in Germany at Darmstadt with Stockhausen and Boulez (both of whome are associated with WDR and GRM)



Radio Audizioni Italiane (RAI)

  • Radio Audizioni Italiane (RAI)

  • One of the best-equipped studios in Europe for many years

  • Did not align themselves aesthetically with the French or Germans, as Berio states:

      • “Bruno and I immediately agreed that our work should not be directed in a systematic way, either toward recording acoustic sounds or toward a systematic serialism based on discrete pitches.”
  • Known also for using speech as sound material



“Thema Omaggio a Joyce” (1958)

  • “Thema Omaggio a Joyce” (1958)

    • Based on beginning of Ch. XI of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (so-called siren chapter)
    • Idea was to create “continuity between music and literature, to make possible and imperceptible transition from the one to the other.”
    • Recorded material with electronic sounds


Music in the US during the 1950s was neither organized or institutional

  • Music in the US during the 1950s was neither organized or institutional

      • America’s “rugged individualism” was apparent in the way electronic music developed
  • US composers did not adhere to a “school” of thought in their aesthetics

      • Viewed with amusement the aesthetic wars in France and Germany
      • France – rooted in experimentation and freedom of thought
      • Germany – rooted in systemization and extremely calculated music


Louis (1920-89) and Bebe Barron (b.1927) were two of the first electronic composers in the US

  • Louis (1920-89) and Bebe Barron (b.1927) were two of the first electronic composers in the US

      • Heavenly Menagerie (1950)
        • First electronic piece in US, magnetic tape
      • “We had to earn a living somehow so we opened a recording studio that catered to the avant-garde. We had some pretty good equipment, considering. A lot of it we built ourselves…”
  • Located in NYC



Had a lot of gear, some of it unorthodox

  • Had a lot of gear, some of it unorthodox

  • Louis did circuitry design, Bebe composing and production

  • Worked with influential NYC composers:

      • John Cage
      • David Tudor
      • Earle Brown
      • Morton Feldman
      • Christian Wolff
  • 1951, Cage started Project of Music for Magnetic Tape

  • Most well known for composing score to Forbidden Planet (1956)

  • First soundtrack to be entirely composed with electronic instruments

  • Sound effects and music were amazing for the time

      • When the spacecraft landed on Altair IV the crowd erupted in applause.


The “NY school” are a collective of composers, artists, etc. who were on the edge of the US avant-garde.

  • The “NY school” are a collective of composers, artists, etc. who were on the edge of the US avant-garde.

  • They contributed not only to electronic music, but American music and experimentalism

  • John Cage is the most well-known composer from this group

      • His ideas were revolutionary, thought-provoking, and on the edge of music thought at the time


Here’s a short list of the NY school’s electronic output in the 1950s

  • Here’s a short list of the NY school’s electronic output in the 1950s

    • John Cage:
        • Imaginary Landscape #1 (1939)
        • Williams Mix (1952) - with David Tudor
        • Imaginary Landscape #5 (1952) - w/Tudor
        • Fonatana Mix
    • Earle Brown:
        • Octet I (1953)
    • Morton Feldman (SUNY Buffalo)
        • Intersection (1953)
    • Christian Wolff (SUNY Buffalo)
        • For Magnetic Tape (1953)




Columbia Composers:

  • Columbia Composers:

      • Vladimir Usschevsky (1900-96)
      • Otto Luening (1911-90)
  • Princeton Composers:

      • Milton Babbitt (b. 1916)
      • Mario Davidovsky (b. 1934)
  • Columbia started with tape manipulation

        • Had success as tape composers, using initially recorded instruments to expand their sounds and create new timbers


Became the US spokesmen for electronic music

  • Became the US spokesmen for electronic music

  • Featured on television

      • Live appearance on NBC’s Today show
  • After a few years of lecturing, demonstrating, and performing, received Rockefeller grant and visited the French and German studios, among more

  • Both were successful composers and researchers in the early developments of electronic music



Milton Babbitt

  • Milton Babbitt

        • Ensembles for Synthesizer (1962-65)
  • Ussachevsky

        • Linear Contrasts (1958)
  • Ussachevsky and Luening

        • Mathematics (1958)
  • Edgard Varese (French composer)

        • Desertes (INSERT DATE HERE)


Indiana University (Bloomington) had a prominent electronic music studio in the early days of American electronic music

  • Indiana University (Bloomington) had a prominent electronic music studio in the early days of American electronic music

  • Fred Fox was a key figure in the department

  • However, the electronic music research at IU was headed primarily by Iannis Xenakis

    • And why is Xenakis important?


Started in 1960s

  • Started in 1960s

  • Home to composers:

    • Terry Riley
    • Morton Subotnik
    • Pauline Oliveros
  • Independent cooperative of musicians

      • Not funded by academia


Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique

  • Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique

  • Est. 1969, Paris

  • Pierre Boulez, director

  • Today a huge influence on computer music

  • Max/MSP and jMax were both developed there





Ussachevsky and Luening were important figures in American electronic music

  • Ussachevsky and Luening were important figures in American electronic music

  • Eventually they received a grant to do research in Europe

  • Main idea was to find new advances in technology and equipment. When they returned to America they found this waiting for them…



1958-59

  • 1958-59

  • First instrument developed in US to use synthesis and sequencing. Other instruments were manually operated in real-time

  • Oscillators and noise generators

  • Operator gave instructions on punch paper roll

    • Pitch, volume, duration, timbre
  • Milton Babbitt was one of the leading composers who used the RCA Mark II



Robert Moog

  • Robert Moog

  • 1964

  • Began by making Theremins!

  • Became more common in pop music

    • Beatles
    • Mick Jagger
  • Set a future standard for the analog synthesizer



Wendy Carlos (formerly Walter)

  • Wendy Carlos (formerly Walter)

  • Used Moog Synths

  • Switched on Bach” (1968)

    • Top-selling classical album of the year
  • Commercialization of electronic music

    • Switched on Bach
    • Well-Tempered Synthesizer
    • Digital Moonscapes
  • Semi-famous movie scores:

      • A Clockwork Orange
      • Tron (the original). Not the Daft Punk version…


Don Buchla - designer

  • Don Buchla - designer

  • Built instruments for live electronic music and composing

  • Built the first analog sequencers

  • Still in business -- mostly making MIDI controllers



Morton Subotnik

  • Morton Subotnik

  • Silver Apples of the Moon (1967)

    • 1st composition made specifically for a record
  • The Wild Bull (1968)



Did not experience as much commercial success as Moog.

  • Did not experience as much commercial success as Moog.

      • But was able to remain independent during the synth boom of the 70s and 80s
  • However, Moog liked the designs of Buchla’s synths and made attempts to capture the portability of them into his own equipment.



Digital synthesizer, polyphonic sampler, sequencer/workstation

  • Digital synthesizer, polyphonic sampler, sequencer/workstation

    • All-in-one unit!
  • 1977-78: original design

  • Originated at Dartmouth college through work with Jon Appleton, Sydney Alonso and Cameron Jones.

    • Operated entirely using FM synthesis and was mostly sold to universities


1980: Synclavier II was introduced.

  • 1980: Synclavier II was introduced.

    • Had a keyboard interface, making it a performance tool as well as a composition tool
  • Also introduced digital sampling system and recording memory. Became popular for use in television and movies as well as music recording studios



Possibly the most influential piece of equipment in music and recording history

  • Possibly the most influential piece of equipment in music and recording history

  • Genesis, Chic Corea, Michael Jackson, Pat Metheny, Mr. Mister, John McLaughlin, Mannheim Steamroller, Triumph, Howard Shore, Sting…and many more

  • Can be heard on the soundtracks of Apocalypse Now, the Princess Bride, the X-files and the amazing Rocky IV

  • Frank Zappa was one of the most influential synclavier users and one of the first people to own one of his own.

    • Jazz from Hell was an album that consisted of music made entirely on a Synclavier II


Transition from analog synths to computers in late 70s early 80s

  • Transition from analog synths to computers in late 70s early 80s

      • No standardization for linking synths to computers until….
  • 1984!

      • With the introduction of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
  • Represents the merging of analog and digital domains!



Many companies bickered as to how to standardize

  • Many companies bickered as to how to standardize

      • Roland, Oberhein, Sequential Circuits, Yamaha, Korg, and Kawaii
          • All “worked” together to develop MIDI
          • Unleashed in August 1983
  • Conceived of with keyboards in mind

      • Limitations overcome throughout the years as composers creatively adapted it


At this point in history we move to digital concepts

  • At this point in history we move to digital concepts

  • Electronic music branches out into a less organized and easily definable “schools.”

  • Much of the electronic music produced from 1980 onward is categorized not by where it is written, but whether or not it is classified as fixed media, acousmatic, computer music, live/interactive or multimedia

  • Spectralism is possibly the only definable school of electronic composition, however it exists as a method of acoustic composition as much as electronic composition



Music intended to be diffused through loudspeakers

  • Music intended to be diffused through loudspeakers

  • Fixed media – uses a fixed recording and is heard the same way each time it is performed

  • The term goes back to Schaeffer and the early GRM composers

    • Uses the idea of sound objects
  • emprentes Digitales is a record label that specializes exclusively in releasing CDs by acousmatic composers (primarily European and Canadian)

    • INSERT LINK TO WEBSITE HERE!


Max Mathews, The Father of Computer Music (1926-2011)

  • Max Mathews, The Father of Computer Music (1926-2011)

  • 1958-59

  • Bell Labs

  • Computer programs generating sound materials

  • The MUSIC Series

      • MUSIC I (1957)- Single voice, created a 17 sec. piece
      • MUSIC II - 4 voices, wavetable synth
      • MUSIC III - Even better
      • MUSIC V (1969) - ran on FORTRAN computer language
        • Multi-platform so anyone could program with it
    • After V, called MUSIC N and many composers/programmers developed other programs


Bicycle Built for Two (1961)

  • Bicycle Built for Two (1961)

      • One of the more famous moments in Bell Labs' synthetic speech research was the sample created by John L. Kelly in 1962, using an IBM 704 computer. Kelly's vocoder synthesizer recreated the song "Bicycle Built for Two," with musical accompaniment from Max Mathews. Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, saw this remarkable demonstration and later used it in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for "2001: A Space Odyssey," where the HAL9000 computer sings this song as he is disassembled by astronaut Dave Bowman.


Computer music is a term that generally applies to any music created entirely by computers or software synthesizers.

  • Computer music is a term that generally applies to any music created entirely by computers or software synthesizers.

  • Uses an array of software platforms:

    • Max/MSP
    • Open Music
    • Csound
    • Supercollider
    • nGen
    • Unix
  • Can be acousmatic/fixed media, live performance (with or without an instrument), multimedia, installation, live coding, etc.



Live performers with electronics, in which the performers control and manipulate the electronics

  • Live performers with electronics, in which the performers control and manipulate the electronics

  • The electronics don’t exist without the performer’s input!

  • Often includes a great deal of improvisation

  • Uses software programs such as Max/MSP, KIMA, CHUCK, and PureData for live processing (but more on that in tech 3…)

  • Interactive electronic music is computer music, but not all computer music is classified as live/interactive EA music



Started at Princeton University: PLOrk!

  • Started at Princeton University: PLOrk!

  • Ensemble of composers, programmers, and tech enthusiasts

    • Everyone has a computer and omnidirectional speaker
    • Group play laptops using live processing/coding to create entirely interactive and improvised computer music
  • Many exist worldwide

    • SLOrk – Stanford Laptop orchestra
    • Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Seattle
    • Toshiba-funded virtual laptop orchestra
    • Jomenico – one-time only show at SEAMUS 2004


Not a new invention with PLOrk! Just a new approach

  • Not a new invention with PLOrk! Just a new approach

  • PLOrk and SLOrk developed a new “standardized” approach to live avant-garde computer music



Includes electronic music (fixed and interactive), live performers, video, dancers, etc.

  • Includes electronic music (fixed and interactive), live performers, video, dancers, etc.

  • Multimedia is a kind of interdisciplinary field of art in which multiple avenues of electronic/digital media come together to form a single piece of digital artwork.

  • Big Robot! Dr. Lillios’ video piece



Movement pioneered by Gerard Grisey and his student Tristan Murail

  • Movement pioneered by Gerard Grisey and his student Tristan Murail

  • Strong focus on timbre and instrument color

  • Composers use spectral analysis of sounds as a starting point for composition.

  • Often uses altered tuning systems or “out of tune” chords to create difference tones or for psychoacoustic effects

  • Prominent spectral composers:

    • Grisey (French)
    • Murail (French)
    • Philippe Leroux (French)
    • Philippe Manoury (French)
    • Josh Fineberg (American)
    • Georg Friederich Haas (German)


  • This is a short list of some accomplished/important figures in electronic music

  • Mostly composers/innovators

  • Different aesthetics/philosophies of music



1883-1965

  • 1883-1965

  • Very very very very…very Experimental composer

  • Focused on timbre and rhythm

      • Coined the term “organized sound”
  • Some famous acoustic works

      • Density 21.5 (flute solo)
      • Hyperprism
      • Octandre


Two famous Electronic works

  • Two famous Electronic works

  • Déserts (1954)

      • Composed at GRM
      • For orchestra and tape
          • 7 sections, 4 orchestra, 3 tape
          • Dovetailed so that tape and orchestra never played simultaneously
          • Criticized for the different sections
          • Later reworked and completed at the Columbia-Princeton studios with help from Ussachevsky and Luening.


Was not well received at premiere in Paris

  • Was not well received at premiere in Paris

        • Crowd was really waiting for Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony
        • “A riot almost as furious and bloody as that provoked by the first performance of Le Sacre ensued, and the work was often inaudible through the barrage of stamping, clapping, and catcalls that arose after a few minutes. Even for those listening to the radio broadcast, the music was completely submerged in the general melee.”
          • -“review of Deserts”, The Score, 1955


Commissioned for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair

  • Commissioned for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair

      • The Phillips Pavilion was designed for Varése’s new piece.
        • Inside were 400 loudspeakers
        • Accompanied by visual projections
    • Composed in the Phillips studio in Eindhoven
        • The directors of Phillips did not understand his music and tried to take him off the project
    • Received well!
      • 500 people at a time listened to it
        • Over 2 million people experienced it!


Greek composer, theorist, architect

  • Greek composer, theorist, architect

    • 1922-2001
    • Used stochastic (mathematical/random) methods to create music
  • Designed the Phillips Pavilion for 1958 World’s Fair

        • Also composed a piece to be played after every two repeats of Poemé électronique, called Concret PH
    • Important works:
        • Metastasis (1964) - Orchestra
        • Orient-Occident (1960) - tape
        • Bohor (1962) - tape


b. 1931

  • b. 1931

  • Godfather of process music (even if he doesn’t have the title)

      • Piece begins a process that is carried out throughout according to the written rules
  • Most famous work:

  • Other important works:

      • Music for Solo Performer (1965), for brain waves and instruments
      • Music on a Long Thin Wire (1977), for stretched piano wire
      • Nothing Is Real (1990), for piano, recorder and amplified teapot


Born 1934

  • Born 1934

  • Stanford student, and now professor

  • Worked on improving quality of computer sounds

    • Using FM synthesis and only two-oscillators was making brass sounds more realistic than more complicated processes
  • Patented this process, then bought by Yamaha in 1974

    • Became the DX-7 Digital Synth in 1985, probably the top-selling synth of all time
  • A few representative works

      • Turenas (1972)
      • Stria (1977)
      • Phoné (1980-81)


b. 1935

  • b. 1935

  • Worked at the SF Music Tape Center

  • Process music, but very different from Lucier’s version of process music

  • Minimalism:

      • Music that is based mostly in consonant harmony, steady pulse (if not immobile drones), stasis and slow transformation, and often reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells.
  • People use process music interchangeably with Minimalism

      • This is not entirely correct, although minimalism deals with transformation over time, it may not be as strict as process music


Famous works:

  • Famous works:

    • In C (1964)
        • Any instrument combinations/#players performs small musical fragments, performers decide how many repetitions to play before moving to the next
    • A Rainbow in Curved Air (1969)
    • Shri Camel (1980)
      • Used organs and synths to create transcendental atmospheres


b. 1932

  • b. 1932

  • Founding member of SFTMC

  • Founded “Deep Listening”

      • A philosophy of listening beyond your ears, uses whole body and more
  • “Sonic Awareness”

      • is the ability to consciously focus attention upon environmental and musical sound, requiring continual alertness and an inclination towards always listening


Uses tape loops to create process music

  • Uses tape loops to create process music

    • I of IV (1966)
        • Used 2 tape machines on an eight second delay, then sound fed back into the first tape recorder, with addition of reverb the result was a barrage of slowly unfolding undulations that changed dynamically as sounds were repeated
        • Could be replicated live


b. 1936

  • b. 1936

  • Pioneer of minimalism

  • Uses a lot of “phasing” in acoustic music

      • Playing a repeating pattern that gets shifted by a small duration.
      • Used in acoustic and electronic music


Two famous tape loop pieces

  • Two famous tape loop pieces

      • Both employ phase shifting
    • Come Out (1966)
    • It’s Gonna Rain… (1965)
  • Pieces for tape and performer

    • Different Trains (1988) String Quartet, tape
    • Electric Counterpoint (1987) E. Guitar, tape
    • New York Counterpoint (1985) Clarinet, tape


b. 1934

  • b. 1934

  • Serial composer

  • Originally a Princeton composer. Now teaches at Mannes College in NYC

  • Famous series of works:

    • Synchronisms (up to 12 now)
      • For instrument and tape
      • No. 6 (piano and tape) won the Pulitzer prize in 1971


1939-2012

  • 1939-2012

  • Highly celebrated composer. Taught at many universities and summer festivals around Europe and the US

  • Did important work in the field of speech synthesis at IRCAM in the 80s

  • Important works:

    • Speakings for large orchestra and electronics
    • Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco for computer manipulated sounds
    • Bhakti for 15 players and quadriphonic tape


B. 1939

  • B. 1939

  • Important figure in American electronic music

  • Taught at Dartmouth College for many years and developed what would eventually become the Synclavier system

  • Founded SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) after becoming part of international EA music societies.

    • SEAMUS is currently the leading society for electroacoustic art music in the United States
  • Has composed a great deal of music, both electronic and acoustic, and has done lots of monumental work and research in computer music



B. 1946

  • B. 1946

  • British composer, specializes in acousmatic music

  • Studied at the Paris Conservatory, GRM and with musique concrete pioneer Francois Bayle

  • Developed the idea of spectromorphology, the manner in which a composer develops source sounds over time

  • Pentes (1974) for tape is regarded as one of the classic pieces in the acousmatic EA literature



B. 1949

  • B. 1949

  • Studied at Dartmouth (with Jon Appleton) and later at Columbia University

  • Currently head of composition and computer music at University of Texas – Austin

  • Co-founder of SEAMUS and former president

  • Important figure in development of live processing and interactive electronic music for performers and dance



Composer, researcher, computer programmer, author…

  • Composer, researcher, computer programmer, author…

  • Studied at Cal-Arts and UC-Sand Diego. Now teaches at UC-Santa Barbara

  • Co-founded the International Computer Music Associated in 1980 and edited the Computer Music Journal from 1978-2000. Also wrote the Computer Music Tutorial in 1996.

  • First composer to implement digital granular synthesis



B. 1952

  • B. 1952

  • British composer of acousmatic music and researcher in computer music

  • Professor at University of Birmingham, specializing at the British Electroacoustic Sound Theater (BEAST)

    • Contains a 100-channel 3-D sound diffusion system
  • Key figure in acousmatic music and electronic music of the late 20th century

  • Important pieces:

    • Klang
    • Unsound Objects


b. 1957?

  • b. 1957?

    • The new Max Matthews?
  • B.A. in Mathematics from MIT. PhD in Mathematics from Harvard

  • Researcher at IRCAM

    • Developed Max and later Max/MSP while there
    • Also developed Puredata (“freeware version of Max”)
  • Teaches composition and computer music at UCSD



b. 1948

  • b. 1948

  • Father of Ambient music

    • Pop musician, composer, producer, etc….
  • Played in the band Roxy Music and later became a successful solo musician. Produced albums by Devo, Talking Heads and many other experimental electronic sound artists of the 80s

  • Famous works:

    • Music for Airports (1978)
    • Discreet Music (1975)


1940-1993

  • 1940-1993

  • Rock musician, composer, film maker, writer, visual artist…modern-day Renaissance man

  • Most prominent as a career rock musician

    • Also wrote a lot of orchestral music and did pioneering work in electronic music and avant-garde/pop crossover music
  • One of the first people to personally own a Synclavier. Also was invited to IRCAM by Pierre Boulez



B. 1971

  • B. 1971

  • Guitarist, composer and computer programmer

    • Known best for his work with Radiohead
  • Also a prominent film composer (There Will Be Blood)

  • Effects rig contains an array of digital effects (some built by Greenwood)

    • Also incorporates Max/MSP in his gear and writes software programs used in Radiohead and other side/solo projects


For more great reading about EA music, check the following:

  • For more great reading about EA music, check the following:

  • empreintes Digitales

  • SEAMUS online

  • ICMC

  • Canadian Electroacoustic Community




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