Sunday, November 20, 2011

Musique Concrete and early electronic music

Early Electronic Instruments
  • Telharmonium
  • Theremin
  • Ondes Martenot

Music Concrete
  • Music produced from recorded sounds of all Kinds
  • Concept and term introduced in 1948 by Pierre Schaeffer on the basis of his work at the French Radio in Paris
  • Schaeffer's view: The concept excludes sounds that are electronically synthesized
Capabilities of Tape Technology
  1. altered playback
  2. reversed direction
  3. cutting and splicing of tape
  4. creation of a tape loop
  5. tape delay

The Rise of the Radio Stations
  1. French Radio - Pierre Schaeffer, Herbert Eimert
  2. German Radio - Loenig, Stockhausen (first electronic music studio 1952)
  3. Italian Radio - Berio, Maderna, Pousseur
  4. USA - Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center - Ussachevsky, Luening, Babbit

Columbia-Princeton
  • First large music center in the USA
  • Ussachevsky collaborated with Mauser to experiment
  • Summer of 1952, recorded Sonic Contours
  • October 28th, 1952, first electronic composition presentation at the Museum of Modern Art
  • 1954-55 - small studio in the gatehouse of an asylum
  • 1957 - permanent studio, but too small for teaching
  • 1959 - music center founded

Examples

Etude aux chemis de fer
~ Pierre Schaeffer
(1948)
  • recorded sounds of locomotives
Etude Noire ~ Pierre Schaeffer
(1948)

Sonic Contours ~ Vladimir Ussachevsky
(1952)
  • superimposed tape loops of piano
Inventions in 12 Tones ~ Otto Luening
(1952)
  • flute
Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) ~ Luciano Berio
(1958)
  • Spoken/ sung text from Ulysses

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