1/26/2014

A Chronological History of Electronic and Computer Music (from 200 BC-1974).

2nd century, BC:
The Hydraulis was invented by Ktesibios sometime in the second century B.C. Ktesibios, the son of a Greek barber, was fascinated by pneumatics and wrote an early treatise on the use of hydraulic systems for powering mechanical devices. His most famous invention, the Hydraulis, used water to regulate the air pressure inside an organ. A small cistern called the pnigeus was turned upside down and placed inside a barrel of water. A set of pumps forced air into the pnigeus, forming an air reservoir, and that air was channeled up into the organ's action.

Greek Aeolian harp. This may be considered the first automatic instrument. It was named for Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. The instrument had two bridges over which the strings passed. The instrument was placed in a window where air current would pass, and the strings were activated by the wind current. Rather than being of different lengths, the strings were all the same length and tuned to the same pitch, but because of different string thicknesses, varying pitches could be produced.
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5th-6th centuries BC, Pythagoras discovered numerical ratios corresponding to intervals of the musical scale. He associated these ratios with what he called "harmony of the spheres."

890 AD, Banu Musa was an organ-building treatise; this was the first written documentation of an automatic instrument.

ca. 995-1050, Guido of Arezzo, a composer, developed an early form of solmization that used a system of mnemonics to learn "unknown songs." The method involved the assignment of alphabetic representations, syllables, to varying joints of the human hand. This system of mnemonics was apparently adapted from a technique used by almanac makers of the time.

1400s The hurdy-gurdy, an organ-grinder-like instrument, was developed.

Isorhythmic motets were developed. These songs made use of patterns of rhythms and pitches to define the composition. Composers like Machaut (14th century), Dufay and Dunstable, (15th century) composed isorhythmic motets. Duration and melody patterns, the talea and the color respectively, were not of identical length. Music was developed by the different permutations of pitch and rhythmic values. So if there were 5 durations and 7 pitches, the pitches were lined up with the durations. Whatever pitches were 'leftover,' got moved to the first duration values. The composer would permute through all pitches and durations before the original pattern would begin again.

Soggetto cavato, a technique of mapping letters of the alphabet into pitches, was developed. This technique was used Josquin's Mass based on the name of Hercules, the Duke of Ferrara. One application of soggetto cavato would involve be to take the vowels in Hercules as follows: e=re=D; u=ut=C (in the solfege system of do, re, mi, fa, etc., ut was the original do syllable); e=re=D. This pattern of vowel-mapping could continue for first and last names, as well as towns and cities.

1500s The first mechanically driven organs were built; water organs called hydraulis were in existence.

Don Nicola Vicentino (1511-1572), Italian composer and theorist, invented Archicembalo, a harpsichord-like instrument with six keyboards and thirty-one steps to an octave.

1600s Athanasius Kircher, described in his book, Musurgia Universalis (1600), a mechanical device that composed music. He used number and arithmetic-number relationships to represent scale, rhythm, and tempo relations, called the Arca Musarithmica.

1624 English philosopher and essayist, Francis Bacon wrote about a scientific utopia in the New Atlantis. He stated "we have sound-houses, where we practice and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter-sounds, and less slides of sounds."

1641Blaise Pascal develops the first calculating machine.

1644 The Nouvelle invention de lever, an hydraulic engine produced musical sounds.

1738 Mechanical singing birds and barrel organs were in existence.

The Industrial Revolution flourished. There were attempts to harness steam power to mechanical computation machines

1761 Abbe Delaborde constructed a Clavecin Electrique, Paris, France.

Benjamin Franklin perfected the Glass Harmonica.

Maelzel, inventor of the metronome, and friend of Beethoven invented the Panharmonicon, a keyboard instrument.

1787 Mozart composed the Musikalisches Wurfelspiel (Musical Dice Game). This composition was a series of precomposed measures arranged in random eight-bar phrases to build the composition. Each throw of a pair of dice represented an individual measure, so after eight throws the first phrase was determined.

1796 Carillons, "a sliver of steel, shaped, polished, tempered and then screwed into position so that the projections on a rotating cylinder could pluck at its free extremity," were invented.

1830 Robert Schumann composer the Abegg Variations, op. 1. This composition was named for one of his girlfriends. The principal theme is based on the letters of her name: A-B-E-G-G--this was a later application of a soggetto cavato technique.

1832 Samuel Morse invented the telegraph.

1833-34 Charles Babbage, a British scientist builds the Difference Enginer, a large mechanical computer. In 1834, he imagines the Analytical Engine, a machine that was never realized. Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, assisted in the documentation of these fantastic devices.

1835 Schumann composed the Carnaval pieces, op. 9 , twenty-one short pieces for piano. Each piece is based on a different character.

1850 D.D. Parmelee patented the first key-driven adding machine.

1859 David E. Hughes invented a typewriting telegraph utilizing a piano-like keyboard to activate the mechanism.

1863 Hermann Helmholtz wrote the book, On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music. Historically this book was one of the foundations of modern acoustics (this book completed the earlier work of Joseph Sauveur).

1867 Hipps invented the Electromechanical Piano in Neuchatel, Switzerland. He was the director of the telegraph factory there.

1876 Elisha Gray (an inventor of a telephone, along with Bell) invented the Electroharmonic or Electromusical Piano; this instrument transmitted musical tones over wires.

Koenig's Tonametric was invented. This instrument divided four octaves into 670 equal parts--this was an early instrument that made use of microtuning.

1877 Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invented the phonograph. To record, an indentation on a moving strip of paraffin coated paper tape was made by means of a diaphragm with an attached needle. This mechanism eventually lead to a continuously grooved, revolving metal cylinder wrapped in tin foil.

Emile Berliner (1851-1929) developed and patented the cylindrical and disc phonograph system, simultaneously with Edison.

Dorr E. Felti, perfected a calculator with key-driven ratchet wheels which could be moved by one or more teeth at a time.

1880 Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) financed his own laboratory in Washington, D.C. Together with Charles S. Tainter, Bell devised and patented several means for transmitting and recording sound.

1895 Julian Carillo's theories of microtones, 96 tone scale, constructed instruments to reproduce divisions as small as a sixteenth tone. He demonstrated his instruments in New York, 1926. The instruments included an Octavina for eighth tones and an Arpa Citera for sixteenth tones. There are several recordings of Carillo's music, especially the string quartets.

1897 E.S. Votey invented the Pianola, an instrument that used a pre-punched, perforated paper roll moved over a capillary bridge. The holes in the paper corresponded to 88 openings in the board.

1898 Valdemar Poulson (1869-1942) patented his "Telegraphone," the first magnetic recording machine.

1906 Thaddeus Cahill invented the Dynamophone, a machine that produced music by an alternating current running dynamos. This was the first additive synthesis device. The Dynamophone was also known as the Telharmonium. The instrument weighed over 200 tons and was designed to transmit sound over telephone wires; however, the wires were too delicate for all the signals. You can sort of consider him the 'Father of Muzak.' The generators produced pure tones of various frequencies and intensity; volume control supplied dynamics. Articles appeared in McClure's Magazine that stated "democracy in music...the musician uses keys and stops to build up voices of flute or clarinet, as the artist uses his brushes for mixing color to obtain a certain hue...it may revolutionize our musical art..."

Lee De Forest (1873-1961) invented the Triode or Audion tube, the first vacuum tube.

1907 Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) believed that the current musical system was severely limited, so he stated that instrumental music was dead. His treatise on aesthetics, Sketch of a New Music, discussed the future of music.

1910 The first radio broadcast in NYC (first radio station was built in 1920, also in NYC).

1912 The Italian Futurist movement was founded by Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), a painter, and Filippo Marinetti, a poet. Marinetti wrote the manifesto, Musica Futurista; the Futurist Movement's creed was "To present the musical soul of the masses, of the great factories, of the railways, of the transatlantic liners, of the battleships, of the automobiles and airplanes. To add to the great central themes of the musical poem the domain of the machines and the victorious kingdom of Electricity."

Henry Cowell (1897-1965) introduced tone clusters in piano music. The Banshee and Aeolian Harp are good examples.

1914 The first concert of Futurist music took place. The "art of noises" concert was presented by Marinetti and Russolo in Milan, Italy.

1920 Lev (Leon) Theremin, Russia, invented the Aetherophone (later called the Theremin or Thereminovox). The instrument used 2 vacuum tube oscillators to produce beat notes. Musical sounds were created by "heterodyning" from oscillators which varied pitch. A circuit was altered by changing the distance between 2 elements. The instrument had a radio antenna to control dynamics and a rod sticking out the side that controlled pitch. The performer would move his/her hand along the rod to change pitch, while simultaneously moving his/her other hand in proximity to the antenna. Many composers used this instrument including Varese.

1922 Darius Milhaud (b. 1892) experimented with vocal transformation by phonograph speed changes.

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) called for a phonograph recording of nightingales in his Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome).

1926 Jorg Mager built an electronic instrument, the Spharophon. The instrument was first presented at the Donaueschingen Festival (Rimsky-Korsakov composed some experimental works for this instrument). Mager later developed a Partiturophon and a Kaleidophon, both used in theatrical productions. All of these instruments were destroyed in W.W.II.

George Antheil (1900-1959) composed Ballet Mechanique. Antheil was an expatriate American living in France. The work was scored for pianos, xylophones, pianola, doorbells, and an airplane propeller.

1928 Maurice Martenot (b. 1928, France) built the Ondes Martenot (first called the Ondes Musicales). The instrument used the same basic idea as the Theremin, but instead of a radio antenna, it utilized a moveable electrode was used to produce capacitance variants. Performers wore a ring that passed over the keyboard. The instrument used subtractive synthesis. Composers such as Honegger, Messiaen, Milhaud, Dutilleux, and Varese all composed for the instrument.

Friedrich Trautwein (1888-1956, Germany) built the Trautonium. Composers such as Hindemith, Richard Strauss, and Varese wrote for it, although no recordings can be found.

1929 Laurens Hammond (b. 1895, USA), built instruments such as the Hammond Organ, Novachord, Solovox, and reverb devices in the United States. The Hammond Organ used 91 rotary electromagnetic disk generators driven by a synchronous motor with associated gears and tone wheels. It used additive synthesis.

1931 Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931 was composed. This is one of the first works to employ extended serialism, a systematic organization of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation.

Henry Cowell worked with Leon Theremin to build the Rhythmicon, an instrument which could play metrical combinations of virtually unlimited complexity. With this instrument Cowell composed the Rhythmicana Concerto.

Jorg Mager (Germany) was commissioned to create electronic bell sounds for the Bayreuth production of Parsifal.

1935, Allegemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft (AEG), built and demonstrated the first Magnetophon (tape recorder).

1937, "War of the Worlds" was directed by Orson Welles. Welles was the first director to use the fade and dissolve technique, first seen in "Citizen Kane." To date, most film directors used blunt splices instead.

Electrochord (the electroacoustic piano) was built.

1938, Novachord built.

1939, Stream of consciousness films came about.


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John Cage (1912-1992) began experimenting with indeterminacy. In his composition, Imaginary Landscape No. 1, multiple performers are asked to perform on multiple record players, changing the variable speed settings.

1930s Plastic audio tape was developed.

The Sonorous Cross (an instrument like a Theremin) was built.

1941, Joseph Schillinger wrote the The Schillinger System of Musical Composition. This book offered prescriptions for composition--rhythms, pitches, harmonies, etc. Schilllinger's principal students was George Gershwin and Glenn Miller.

The Ondioline was built.

1944, Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross patented a machine that "freed" music from the constraints of conventional tuning systems and rhythmic inadequacies of human performers. Mechanical invention for composing "Free Music" used eight oscillators and synchronizing equipment in conjunction with photo-sensitive graph paper with the intention that the projected notation could be converted into sound.

1947, Bell Labs developed and produced the solid state transistor.

Milton Babbitt's Three Compositions for Piano serialized all aspects of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation.

The Solovox and the Clavioline were built.

1948 John Scott Trotter built a composition machine for popular music.

Hugh LeCaine (Canada) built the Electronic Sakbutt, an instrument that actually sounded like a cello.

Pierre Schaeffer
(b. 1910), a sound technician working at Radio-diffusion-Television Francaise (RTF) in Paris, produced several short studies in what he called Musique Concrete. October, 1948, Schaeffer's early studies were broadcast in a "concert of noises."

Joseph Schillinger wrote The Mathematical Basis of the Arts.

1949 Pierre Schaeffer and engineer Jacques Poullin worked on experiments in sound which they titled "Musique Concrete." 1949-50 Schaeffer and Henry (1927-96), along with Poullin composed Symphonie pour un homme seul (Symphony for a Man Alone); the work actually premiered March 18, 1950.

Olivier Messiaen composed his Mode de valeurs et d'intensities (Mode of Durations and Intensities), a piano composition that "established 'scales' not only of pitch but also of duration, loudness, and attack."

The Melochord was invented by H. Bode.

1940s The following instruments were built: the Electronium Pi (actually used by a few German composers, including: Brehme, Degen, and Jacobi), the Multimonica, the Polychord organ, the Tuttivox, the Marshall organ, and other small electric organs.

1950 The Milan Studio was established by Luciano Berio (b. 1925, Italy).

1951-> Clara Rockmore performed on the Theremin in worldwide concerts.

Variations on a Door and a Sigh was composed by Pierre Henry.

The RTF studio was formally established as the Groupe de Musique Concrete, the group opened itself to other composers, including Messiaen and his pupils Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and George Barraque. Boulez and Stockhausen left soon after because Schaeffer was not interested in using electronically-generated sounds, but rather wanted to do everything based on recordings.

John Cage's use of indeterminacy culminated with Music of Changes, a work based on the charts from the I Ching, the Chinese book of Oracles.

Structures, Book Ia was one of Pierre Boulez' earliest attempts at employing a small amount of musical material, called cells (whether for use as pitches, durations, dynamics, or attack points), in a highly serialized structure.

1951-53 Eimert and Beyer (b. 1901) produced the first compositions using electronically-generated pitches. The pieces used a mechanized device that produced melodies based on Markov analysis of Stephen Foster tunes.

1952 The Cologne station of Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (later Westdeutscher Rundfunk) was founded by Herbert Eimert. He was soon joined by Stockhausen, and they set out to create what they called Elektronische Musik.

John Cage's 4'33" was composed. The composer was trying to liberate the performer and the composer from having to make any conscious decisions, therefore, the only sounds in this piece are those produce by the audience.

1953Robert Beyer, Werner Meyer-Eppler (b. 1913) and Eimert began experimenting with electronically-generated sounds. Eimert and Meyer-Eppler taught at Darmstadt Summer School (Germany), and gave presentations in Paris as well.

Louis and Bebe Baron set up a private studio in New York, and provided soundtracks for sci-fi films like Forbidden Planet (1956) and Atlantis that used electronic sound scores.

Otto Luening (b. 1900, USA; d. 1996, USA) and Vladimir Ussachevsky (b. 1911, Manchuria; d. 1990, USA) present first concert at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, October 28. The program included Ussachevsky's Sonic Contours (created from piano recordings), and Luening's Fantasy in Space (using flute recordings). Following the concert, they were asked to be on the Today Show with Dave Garroway. Musicians Local 802 raised a fuss because Luening and Ussachevsky were not members of the musicians' union.

1953-4 Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) used Helmholtz' research as the basis of his Studie I and Studie II. He tried to build increasingly complex synthesized sounds from simple pure frequencies (sine waves).

1954 The Cologne Radio Series "Music of Our Time" (October 19) used only electronically-generated sounds by Stockhausen, Eimert, Pousseur, etc. The pieces used strict serial techniques.

Dripsody was composed by Hugh LeCaine. The single sound source for this concrete piece is a drip of water.

1955 Harry Olson and Belar, both working for RCA, invent the Electronic Music Synthesizer, aka the Olson-Belar Sound Synthesizer. This synth used sawtooth waves that were filtered for other types of timbres. The user programmed the synthesizer with a typewriter-like keyboard that punched commands into a 40-channel paper tape using binary code.

The Columbia-Princeton Studio started, with its beginnings mostly in the living room of Ussachevsky and then the apartment of Luening.

Lejaren Hiller (1924-92) and Leonard Isaacson, from the University of Illinois composed the Illiac String Quartet, the first piece of computer-generated music. The piece was so named because it used a Univac computer and was composed at the University of Illinois.

1955-56 Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Gesang der Junglinge. This work used both concrete recordings of boys' voices and synthesized sounds. The original version was composed for five loudspeakers, but was eventually reduced to four. The text from the Benedicite (O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord), which appears in Daniel as the canticle sung by the three young Jews consigned to the fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar.

1956 Martin Klein and Douglas Bolitho used a Datatron computer called Push-Button Bertha to compose music. This computer was used to compose popular tunes; the tunes were derived from random numerical data that was sieved, or mapped, into a preset tonal scheme.

Tokyo at Japanese Radio, an electronic studio established.

Luening and Ussachevsky wrote incidental music for Orson Welles' King Lear , City Center, New York.

1957 Of Wood and Brass was composed by Luening. Sound sources included trumpets, trombones and marimbas.

Scambi, composed by Henri Pousseur, was created at the Milan Studio, Italy.

Warsaw at Polish Radio, an electronic studio established.

Munich, the Siemens Company, an electronic studio established.

Eindhoven, the Philips Company, an electronic studio established.

David Seville created the Chipmunks, by playing recordings of human voices at double speed. Electronic manipulation was never really used again in rock for about ten years.

1958 Edgard Varese (1883-1965) composed Poeme Electronique for the World's Fair, Brussels. The work was composed for the Philips Pavilion, a building designed by the famous architect, Le Corbusier who was assisted by Iannis Xenakis (who later became well-known as a composer rather than an architect). The work was performed on ca. 425 loudspeakers, and was accompanied by projected images. This was truly one of the first large-scale multimedia productions.

Iannis Xenakis (b.1922) composed Concret PH. This work was also composed for the Brussels World's Fair. It made use of a single sound source: amplified burning charcoal.

Max Mathews, of Bell Laboratories, generated music by computers.

John Cage composed Fontana Mix at the Milan Studio.

London, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, an electronic studio established.

Stockholm, Swedish Radio, an electronic studio established.

The Studio for Experimental Music at the University of Illinois established, directed by Lejaren Hiller.

Pierre Henry leaves the Group de Musique Concrete; they reorganize as the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM)

Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music, Ann Arbor , MI (University of Michigan).

Luciano Berio composed Thema-omaggio a Joyce. The sound source is woman reading from Joyce's Ulysses.

1958-60, Stockhausen composed Kontakte (Contacts) for four-channel tape. There was a second version for piano, percussion and tape.

1958-9 Mauricio Kagel, an Argentinian composer, composed Transicion II, the first piece to call for live tape recorder as part of performance. The work was realized in Cologne. Two musicians perform on a piano, one in the traditional manner, the other playing on the strings and wood. Two other performers use tape recorders so that the work can unites its present of live sounds with its future of pre-recorded materials from later on and its past of recordings made earlier in the performance.

Max Mathews, at Bell Labs, began experimenting with computer programs to create sound material. Mathews and Joan Miller also at Bell Labs, write MUSIC4, the first wide-spread computer sound synthesis program. Versions I through III were experimental versions written in assemble language. Music IV and Music V were written in FORTRAN. MUSIC4 did not allow reentrant instruments (same instrument becoming active again when it is already active), MUSIC5 added this. MUSIC4 required as many different instruments as the thickest chord, while MUSIC5 allowed a score to refer to an instrument as a template, which could then be called upon as many times as was necessary.

The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was formally established. The group had applied through the Rockefeller Foundation, and suggested the creation of a University Council for Electronic Music. They asked for technical assistants, electronic equipment, space and materials available to other composers free of charge. A grant of $175,000 over five years was made to Columbia and Princeton Universities. In January, 1959, under the direction of Luening and Ussachevsky of Columbia, and Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions of Princeton, the Center was formally established.

The RCA Mark II synthesizer was built at Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (the original version was built for the artificial creation of human speech). The Mark II contained oscillators and noise generators. The operator had to give the synthesizer instructions on a punched paper roll to control pitch, volume, duration and timbre. The synth used a conventional equal-tempered twelve-note scale.

1960 Composers of more traditional orchestral music began to rebel. Many composers tried to get quasi-electronic sounds out of traditional instruments. Bruno Bartelozzi, wrote new book on extended instrumental techniques.

Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros, and Ramon Sender established the San Francisco Tape Music Center.

John Cage composed Cartridge Music, an indeterminate score for several performers applying gramophone cartridges and contact mics to various objects.

1961 The first electronic music concerts at the Columbia-Princeton Studio were held; the music was received with much hostility from other faculty members.

Varese finally completed Deserts at the Columbia-Princeton Studio.

Fortran-based Music IV was used in the generation of "Bicycle Built for Two" (Mathews).

The production of integrated circuits and specifically VLSI-very large scale integration.

Robert Moog met Herbert Deutsch, and together they created a voltage-controlled synthesizer.

Luciano Berio composed Visage. This radio composition is based on the idea of non-verbal communication. There are many word-like passages, but only one word is spoken during the entire composition (actually heard twice), parole (Italian for 'word'). Cathy Berberian, the composer's wife, was the performer.

The theoretical work, Meta+Hodos, written in 1961 by James Tenney (META Meta+Hodos, 1975 followed).

1962 Bell Labs mass produces transistors, professional amplifiers and suppliers.

PLF 2 was developed by James Tenney. This computer program was used to write Four Stochastic Studies, Ergodos and others.

Iannis Xenakis composed Bohor for eight tracks of sound.

Milton Babbitt composed Ensembles for Synthesizer (1962-64) at the Columbia-Princeton Studio.

At the University of Illinois, Kenneth Gaburo composed Antiphony III, for chorus and tape.

Paul Ketoff built the synket. This synthesizer was built for composer John Eaton and was designed specifically as a live performance instrument.

1963 Lejaren Hiller and Robert Baker composed the Computer Cantata.

Babbitt composed Philomel at the Columbia-Princeton Studio. The story is about Philomel, a woman without a tongue, who is transformed into a nightingale (based on a story by Ovid).

Mario Davidovsky composed Synchronism I for flute and tape. Davidovsky has since written many "synchronism" pieces. These works are all written for live instrument(s) and tape. They explore the synchronizing of events between the live and tape.

1964 The fully developed Moog was released. The modular idea came from the miniaturization of electronics.

Gottfried Michael Koenig used PR-1 (Project 1), a computer program that was written in Fortran and implemented on an IBM 7090 computer. The purpose of the program was to provide data to calculate structure in musical composition; written to perform algorithmic serial operations on incoming data. The second version of PR-1 completed, 1965.

Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Mikrophonie I, a piece that required six musicians to generate. Two performers play a large tam-tam, while two others move microphones around the instrument to pick up different timbres, and the final two performers are controlling electronic processing.

Ilhan Mimaroglu, a Turkish-American composer, wrote Bowery Bum. This is a concrete composition, and used rubber band as single source. It was based on a painting by Dubuffet.

1965 Hi-fi gear is commercially produced.

The first commercially-available Moog.

Varese died.

Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Solo. The composition used a tape recorder with moveable heads to redefine variations in delay between recording and playback, live manipulation during performance.

Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Mikrophonie II for choir, Hammond organ, electronics and tape.

Steve Reich composed It's gonna rain. This is one of the first phase pieces.

1966 The Moog Quartet offered world-wide concerts of (mainly) parlor music.

Herbert Brun composed Non Sequitur VI

Steve Reich composed Come out, another phase piece.

1967 Walter Carlos (later Wendy) composed Switched on Bach using a Moog synthesizer.

Iannis Xenakis wrote Musiques Formelles (Formalized Music). The first discussion of granular synthesis and the clouds and grains of sound is presented in this book.


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Leon Kirschner composed String Quartet No. 3, the first piece with electronics to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Kenneth Gaburo composed Antiphony IV, a work for trombone, piccolo, choir and tape.

Morton Subotnick composed Silver Apples of the Moon (title from Yeats), the first work commissioned specifically for the recorded medium.

The Grateful Dead released Anthem of the Sun and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention released Uncle Meat. Both albums made extensive use of electronic manipulation.

1968 Lejaren Hiller and John Cage composed HPSCHD.

Morton Subotnick composed The Wild Bull

Hugh Davies compiled an international catalogue of electronic music.

1969 Terry Riley composed Rainbow in Curved Air

late 1960s The Sal-Mar Construction was built. The instrument was named for composer Salvatore Martirano and designed by him. The Sal-Mar Construction weighed over fifteen hundred pounds and consisted of "analog circuits controlled by internal digital circuits controlled by the composer/performer via a touch-control keyboard with 291 touch-sensitive keys."

Godfrey Winham and Hubert Howe adapted MUSIC IV for the IBM 7094 as MUSIC4B was written in assembly language; MUSIC4BF (a Fortran-language adaptation of MUSIC4B, one version was written by Winham, another was written by Howe).

Music V variants include MUSIC360 and MUSIC11 for the IBM360 and the PDP11 computers, these were written by Barry Vercoe, Roger Hale, and Carl Howe at MIT, respectively.

GROOVE was developed by Mathews and F. Richard Moore at Bell Labs, and was used to control analog synthesizers.

1970 Charles Wuorinen composed "Times Encomium," the first Pulitzer Prize winner for entirely electronic composition.

Charles Dodge composed Earth's Magnetic Field. This is a great example of mapping numerical statistics into musical data.

Steve Reich composed Four Organs.

1972 Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon was released; it used ensembles of synthesizers, also used concrete tracks as interludes between tunes.

1973 SAWDUST, a language by Herbert Brun, used functions including: ELEMENT, LINK, MINGLE, MERGER, VARY, and TURN.

1974 The Mellotron was built. The instrument was an early sample player that used tape loops. There were versions that played string

3 comments:

HaarFager said...

Your last entry says the Mellotron was created in 1974. Can that be right? I seem to recall the Beatles used a Mellotron on their original version of "Strawberry Fields Forever," and it was recorded in December 1966.

Anonymous said...

Completely true - mellotron WAS used on Strawberry Fields in fall of 66 * all over the Stones' Satanic Majesties Request in 67

Anonymous said...

Agreed.
+ the Stones used it on Satanic Majesties (68) and Moody Blues and King Crimson in 69, etc.