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Electronic Music History And Today's Best Trendy Proponents!

Electronic Music History And Today's Best Trendy Proponents!

Electronic music history pre-dates the rock and roll period by decades. Most of us were not even on this planet when it began its often obscure, under-appreciated and misunderstood development. Today, this 'other worldly' body of sound which started near a century ago, might no longer seem strange and unique as new generations have accepted much of it as mainstream, however it's had a bumpy road and, in finding mass viewers acceptance, a gradual one.

Many musicians - the trendy proponents of electronic music - developed a passion for analogue synthesizers within the late 1970's and early 1980's with signature songs like Gary Numan's breakthrough, 'Are Buddies Electrical?'. It was in this era that these units turned smaller, more accessible, more user pleasant and more affordable for many of us. In this article I'll try to trace this history in easily digestible chapters and offer examples of right now's best fashionable proponents.

To my thoughts, this was the beginning of a new epoch. To create digital music, it was not necessary to have access to a roomful of expertise in a studio or live. Hitherto, this was solely the domain of artists the likes of Kraftwerk, whose arsenal of electronic instruments and customized constructed gadgetry the rest of us could solely have dreamed of, even if we might understand the logistics of their functioning. Having said this, on the time I used to be growing up within the 60's & 70's, I nevertheless had little data of the complexity of labor that had set a standard in previous decades to arrive at this point.

The history of digital music owes a lot 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 will eventually have a powerful impact upon names comparable to Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Mind Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, to not 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, however, by traveling a little bit further back in time.

The Turn of the twentieth Century

Time stood still for this stargazer after I originally discovered that the primary documented, completely electronic, live shows were not in the 1970's or 1980's but within 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. Curiosity generated by the theremin drew audiences to concerts staged throughout Europe and Britain. In 1930, the distinguished Carnegie Corridor in New York, skilled a efficiency of classical music utilizing nothing however a series of ten theremins. Watching a number of skilled musicians playing this eerie sounding instrument by waving their hands around 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) labored with its inventor in New York to excellent the instrument during its early years and became its most acclaimed, good and acknowledged performer and representative throughout her life.

Looking back Clara, was the primary celebrated 'star' of real electronic Exclusive Music. You are unlikely to find more eerie, yet lovely performances of classical music on the Theremin. She's undoubtedly a favorite of mine!

Digital Music in Sci-Fi, Cinema and Tv

Unfortunately, and due primarily to problem in talent mastering, the Theremin's future as a musical instrument was quick lived. Eventually, it found a distinct segment in 1950's Sci-Fi films. The 1951 cinema traditional "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' score using two Theremins and different electronic devices melded with acoustic instrumentation.

Utilizing the vacuum-tube oscillator expertise of the Theremin, French cellist and radio telegraphist, Maurice Martenot (1898-1980), started developing the Ondes Martenot (in French, often called the Martenot Wave) in 1928.

Using a typical and familiar keyboard which may very well be more easily mastered by a musician, Martenot's instrument succeeded where the Theremin failed in being person-friendly. In actual fact, it turned the first successful digital instrument for use by composers and orchestras of its interval until the current day.

It's featured on the theme to the unique 1960's TV sequence "Star Trek", and can 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 contemporary synthesis.

"Forbidden Planet", launched in 1956, was the first major business studio film to function an solely electronic soundtrack... aside from introducing Robbie the Robotic and the gorgeous Anne Francis! The ground-breaking rating was produced by husband and spouse crew 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 enduring John Cage (whose personal Avante Garde work challenged the definition of music itself!).

The Barrons are typically credited for having widening the applying of electronic music in cinema. A soldering iron in a single hand, Louis built 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 because the circuit would purposely overload, smoke and burn out to supply the desired sound result.

Consequently, they had been all recorded to tape and Bebe sifted by means of hours of reels edited what was deemed usable, then re-manipulated these with delay and reverberation and creatively dubbed the end product using multiple tape decks.

In addition to this laborious work method, I really feel compelled to include that which is, arguably, essentially the most enduring and influential electronic Tv signature ever: the theme to the lengthy running 1963 British Sci-Fi adventure sequence, "Dr. Who". It was the primary time a Television sequence featured a solely digital theme. The theme to "Dr. Who" was created on the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop utilizing tape loops and test oscillators to run by means of effects, report these to tape, then had 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 perception of this music as being 'different worldly' and 'alien-bizarre sounding'. This remained the case till a minimum of 1968 with the discharge of the hit album "Switched-On Bach" performed fully on a Moog modular synthesizer by Walter Carlos (who, with a number of surgical nips and tucks, subsequently became Wendy Carlos).