A Short History of Electronic music


Composers must forge forms out of the many influences that play upon them and never close their ears to any part of the world of sound.     —Henry Cowell



Adventures in Classical Music Small Plate: Electronic Music.

A small taste of the Adventures in Classical Music series, this one is on the genre called Electronic Music. 

There was an avant-garde movement, championed by the Ultra-Modernists, particularly George Antheil and Edgard Varèse, in the 1920s and 30s, which explored the fascination with environmental sounds and sounds produced from found objects, such as sirens and airplane engines. After the magnetic tape recorder was invented, this principle was extended to the use of tape-splicing together sounds from different sources, changing the speed of the tape, layering sound upon sound, rearranging the order of the splices, etc.

This was one of two sources for electronic sounds. 

The other was totally synthesized sound, initially produced by sound generators and modifiers, which eventually evolved into the synthesizer. These lecture segments explore this genre called, “Electronic Music.”

These lecture segments explore both of these types of electronic music.


Lecture 32.1

A quick and dirty history of electronic music, part 1

Lecture 32.2 
A quick and dirty history of electronic music, part 2