Electronic digital music history pre-dates the rock and roll time by decades. Most of us were not even about this planet when it commenced its often unknown, under-appreciated and misunderstood development. Today, this ‘other worldly’ body of sound which started out near a hundred years ago, may will no longer seem strange and unique as new generations have accepted much of it as mainstream, but it’s a new bumpy road and, to find mass audience acknowledgement, a slow one. nhac san
A large number of musicians – the modern proponents of electronic music – developed a love for analogue synthesizers again in the 1970’s and early 1980’s with unsecured personal songs like Gary Numan’s breakthrough, ‘Are Friends Electric powered? ‘. It had been in this era these devices became smaller, readily available, more user friendly and more affordable for a lot of of all of us. In this article My spouse and i will make an attempt to trace this history in easily comestible chapters and give examples of today’s best modern advocates.
To my mind, it was the beginning of a new epoch. To produce electronic digital music, it was not a longer necessary to have access to a roomful of technology in a studio or live. Hitherto, this was entirely the domain of music artists the likes of Kraftwerk, whose arsenal of electronic digital instruments and custom built gadgetry the rest of us could only have imagined, even if we could be familiar with logistics of their working. Explained this, at the time I was growing up in the sixties & 70’s, I nevertheless had little knowledge of the complexity of work that had set a standard in previous many years to arrive at this point.
The history of electronic music owes much to Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007). Stockhausen was a German born Avante Garde composer and a pioneering figurehead in electronic music from the 1950’s onwards, influencing a movement that would eventually have an effective impact after names such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Brain Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Setting, not to mention the experimental work of the Beatles’ and others in the 1960’s. His face is viewed on the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Depressed Hearts Club Band”, the Beatles’ 1967 master Gyvas. Let’s start, however, by traveling a little further back in time.
The Turn of the 20 th 100 years
Time stood still just for this stargazer when We at first uncovered that the first documented, exclusively electric, concerts weren’t in the 1970’s or 1980’s but in the 1920’s!
The first purely electronic tool, the Theremin, which is played without touch, was invented by Russian researchers and cellist, Lev Termen (1896-1993), circa 1919.
In 1924, the Theremin made its concert debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic. Fascination made by the theremin drew audiences to concert events staged across Europe and Britain. In 1930, the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York, experienced a performance of classical music using nothing but a series of ten theremins. Watching a number of skilled musicians playing this eerie sounding instrument by waving their hands around its antennae must have been so exhilarating, unreal and alien for a pre-tech audience!
For those interested, see the recordings of Theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore (1911-1998). Lithuanian born Rockmore (Reisenberg) individuals its designer in Ny to perfect the instrument during it is early years and became its most acclaimed, amazing and recognized performer and representative throughout her life.
In retrospect Clara, was the first celebrated ‘star’ of genuine electronic music. You are unlikely to find more eerie, yet beautiful performances of time-honored music on the Theremin. She’s definitely a favorite of mine!
Electronic Music in Sci-Fi, Cinema and Television
Unfortunately, and thanks mainly to trouble skill mastering, the Theremin’s future as a game was short lived. Eventually, it found a niche in 1950’s Sci-Fi films. The 1951 cinema classic “The Day the Earth Endured Still”, with a soundtrack by influential American film music composer Bernard Hermann (known for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, and so on ), is rich with an ‘extraterrestrial’ score using two Theremins and other electronic devices melded with acoustic instrumentation.
Using the vacuum-tube oscillator technology of the Theremin, French cellist and radio telegraphist, Maurice Martenot (1898-1980), started out growing the Ondes Martenot (in French, referred to as Martenot Wave) in 1928.
Employing a standard and familiar keyboard which could be more easily acquired by a musician, Martenot’s instrument succeeded where the Theremin failed in being user-friendly. In fact, it became the first successful electronic instrument to be employed by composers and orchestras of its period until the present day.
That is featured on the theme to the original 1960’s TV series “Star Trek”, and can be heard on modern-day songs by famous brands Radiohead and Brian Ferry.