Electronic Music History And Right Now's Best Modern Proponents!

Electronic Music History And Right Now's Best Modern Proponents!

Electronic music history pre-dates the rock and roll era by decades. Most of us were not even on this planet when it began its usually obscure, underneath-appreciated and misunderstood development. Today, this 'different worldly' body of sound which began close to a century ago, may no longer appear strange and unique as new generations have accepted much of it as mainstream, but it's had a bumpy road and, find mass viewers acceptance, a gradual one.

Many musicians - the fashionable proponents of digital music - developed a passion for analogue synthesizers in the late 1970's and early 1980's with signature songs like Gary Numan's breakthrough, 'Are Mates Electrical?'. It was in this period that these units grew to become smaller, more accessible, more consumer friendly and more affordable for a lot of of us. In this article I'll try and trace this history in simply digestible chapters and provide examples of as we speak's finest fashionable proponents.

To my mind, this was the start of a new epoch. To create electronic music, it was not necessary to have access to a roomful of technology in a studio or live. Hitherto, this was solely the domain of artists the likes of Kraftwerk, whose arsenal of electronic instruments and customized built gadgetry the remainder of us could only have dreamed of, even if we may understand the logistics of their functioning. Having mentioned this, on the time I was rising up within the 60's & 70's, Zippyshare I nevertheless had little information of the complexity of work that had set a normal in earlier decades to reach at this point.

The history of digital music owes much to Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007). Stockhausen was a German Avante Garde composer and a pioneering figurehead in electronic music from the 1950's onwards, influencing a movement that may eventually have a powerful impact upon names resembling Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Mind Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, not to point out the experimental work of the Beatles' and others within the 1960's. His face is seen on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", the Beatles' 1967 master Opus. Let's begin, nevertheless, by traveling a little additional back in time.

The Flip of the 20th Century

Time stood still for this stargazer after I initially discovered that the primary documented, completely electronic, concerts were not within the 1970's or 1980's but in the 1920's!

The primary purely digital instrument, the Theremin, which is performed without touch, was invented by Russian scientist and cellist, Lev Termen (1896-1993), circa 1919.

In 1924, the Theremin made its concert debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic. Interest generated by the theremin drew audiences to concerts staged across Europe and Britain. In 1930, the celebrated Carnegie Corridor in New York, skilled a performance of classical music utilizing nothing but a collection of ten theremins. Watching a number of expert musicians playing this eerie sounding instrument by waving their fingers round its antennae will need to have been so exhilarating, surreal and alien for a pre-tech viewers!

For these interested, check out the recordings of Theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore (1911-1998). Lithuanian born Rockmore (Reisenberg) worked with its inventor in New York to perfect the instrument during its early years and became its most acclaimed, brilliant and recognized performer and representative all through her life.

In retrospect Clara, was the primary celebrated 'star' of genuine digital music. You're unlikely to seek out more eerie, yet stunning performances of classical music on the Theremin. She's undoubtedly a favourite of mine!

Electronic Music in Sci-Fi, Cinema and Tv

Unfortunately, and due mainly to problem in skill mastering, the Theremin's future as a musical instrument was short lived. Eventually, it found a niche in 1950's Sci-Fi films. The 1951 cinema basic "The Day the Earth Stood Still", with a soundtrack by influential American film music composer Bernard Hermann (recognized for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", etc.), is rich with an 'extraterrestrial' rating utilizing two Theremins and other electronic devices melded with acoustic instrumentation.

Utilizing the vacuum-tube oscillator technology of the Theremin, French cellist and radio telegraphist, Maurice Martenot (1898-1980), started growing the Ondes Martenot (in French, often known as the Martenot Wave) in 1928.

Using a regular and familiar keyboard which might be more easily mastered by a musician, Martenot's instrument succeeded where the Theremin failed in being person-friendly. In fact, it became the primary successful electronic instrument to be used by composers and orchestras of its interval until the present day.

It is featured on the theme to the original 1960's TV series "Star Trek", and could be heard on contemporary recordings by the likes of Radiohead and Brian Ferry.

The expressive multi-timbral Ondes Martenot, although monophonic, is the closest instrument of its generation I've heard which approaches the sound of recent synthesis.

"Forbidden Planet", launched in 1956, was the first main business studio film to characteristic an completely electronic soundtrack... aside from introducing Robbie the Robotic and the beautiful Anne Francis! The ground-breaking score was produced by husband and wife staff Louis and Bebe Barron who, within the late 1940's, established the first privately owned recording studio in the USA recording digital experimental artists resembling the iconic John Cage (whose own Avante Garde work challenged the definition of music itself!).

The Barrons are generally credited for having widening the appliance of digital music in cinema. A soldering iron in a single hand, Louis constructed circuitry which he manipulated to create a plethora of bizarre, 'unearthly' effects and motifs for the movie. As soon as performed, these sounds could not be replicated as the circuit would purposely overload, smoke and burn out to provide the desired sound result.

Consequently, they have been all recorded to tape and Bebe sifted via hours of reels edited what was deemed usable, then re-manipulated these with delay and reverberation and creatively dubbed the top product utilizing multiple tape decks.

In addition to this laborious work method, I really feel compelled to incorporate that which is, arguably, the most enduring and influential digital Tv signature ever: the theme to the lengthy running 1963 British Sci-Fi adenterprise collection, "Dr. Who". It was the primary time a Television series featured a solely digital theme. The theme to "Dr. Who" was created at the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop utilizing tape loops and test oscillators to run by way of effects, document these to tape, then have been re-manipulated and edited by one other Electro pioneer, Delia Derbyshire, deciphering the composition of Ron Grainer.

As you'll be able to see, digital music's prevalent usage in classic Sci-Fi was the principle supply of most people's notion of this music as being 'different worldly' and 'alien-weird sounding'. This remained the case until at least 1968 with the discharge of the hit album "Switched-On Bach" carried out fully on a Moog modular synthesizer by Walter Carlos (who, with just a few surgical nips and tucks, subsequently turned Wendy Carlos).