During the 1940s, magnetic tape was employed to alter natural sounds, giving rise to musique concrete as a musical genre. After this breakthrough came voltage-controlled oscillators and filters which allowed composers to build synthesizers that allowed for complex conglomerations of sounds.
Iannis Xenakis popularized what is now known as musique stochastique (or stochastic music) during the 1960s. This composition method made use of different probability systems in its creation process.
The first electronic music was created in the 1890s
Thaddeus Cahill made the first serious attempt at electronically producing musical sounds during the 1890s with his instrument known as the Telharmonium, an assembly of rotary generators and telephone receivers which converted electrical signals to sound. Though unsuccessful in producing music directly via electricity, its existence served as an important precursor for modern electronic instruments; challenging assumptions behind instrumental music’s harmony and melodic structures while raising questions regarding non-musical qualities of sounds such as whether cymbals should be struck with sticks or palms of hands etc.
Luigi Russolo proposed in the 1910s that all traditional music be dismantled and new instruments be constructed to produce music expressing industrialized society. He later constructed mechanically activated intonarumori (noise instruments), such as ones which grated, hissed, scratched and rumbled loudly – however many of these instruments disappeared during World War II.
By the 1920s, record players made it possible for composers to utilize sound recordings during performances, enabling them to experiment with new ways of using sound – such as speeding up recorded tone. Composers utilized this technique in experimental works such as Paul Hindemith’s chamber orchestra compositions or Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie I and Mixtur compositions.
In the 1950s, many composers experimented with electronic devices in their works. John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape No. 1 included two variable-speed turntables and frequency recordings of a muted piano and cymbals as well as frequency recordings made using frequency records on two variable-speed turntables; other works used similar techniques as well, including aural collages and sound-on-film technology.
Since disco became so wildly popular during the late 70s, artists like Ultravox, Yazoo, Depeche Mode and Spandau Ballet began utilizing synthesizers in their music composition – leading to the subgenre known as synth-pop which features synthetic instruments in its soundscape.
Today’s Electronic Dance Music (EDM) embraces cutting-edge equipment and software, but its roots date back to 1970s synthpop mixed by DJs in small nightclubs. EDM has since evolved through influences including techno, house, Detroit techno (which was created by three Detroit musicians named Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May), house music as well as reggae.
The first electronic instrument was the telharmonium
At the turn of the 20th century, early experiments with electronic music instruments led to their invention. Some were simply novelty items; others like telharmonium were capable of accurately synthesizing orchestral instrument sounds while generating enough public interest and investors for further development.
Thaddeus Cahill’s Telharmonium was the first electronic instrument ever created to stream music over telephone lines. This incredible creation was huge: an immense 200-ton electromechanical leviathan with one million watts of music-making electricity generated from massive dynamos that powered its massive generators tuned at different frequencies to emulate different musical instruments’ sounds; an operator controlled this instrument via pressing buttons on a keyboard keyboard or turning knobs; for instance, to play piano notes simply pull back on its piano lever or press down its button while to play an oboe sound then press its Oboe button was pressed;
The Telharmonium was large because its generators required large amounts of electricity in order to produce loud signals. Their cogwheels turned with enormous amounts of alternating current, creating sound which was transmitted over telegraph wires to subscribers with special telephone receivers fitted with acoustic horns; subscribers amplified it further using telephone receivers with built-in amplifiers that amplified it further, creating musical concerts heard across the nation: Muzak in its infancy!
The Telharmonium was an early additive synthesiser. It generated pitches using tone wheels that produced different combinations of partials that could then be mixed with harmonics of its fundamental, creating musical sounds. Furthermore, this instrument featured organ-style stop keys to allow users to control pitch and timbre.
Although the telharmonium was an innovative electronic instrument, its limited capability made it inappropriate for creating complex music due to its complicated operation and interference on telephone networks that obscured other signals or interrupted phone conversations. Still, its success contributed to further innovation in audio technology; with the introduction of the phonograph in 1925 came advances in recording techniques including electric recordings and sound speed adjustments; by 1930 recording technology had evolved even further with electric sound on film recordings as well as graphic sound.
The first electronic music was created in the 1950s
Electronic music is created using electronic and electromechanical instruments as well as digital circuitry-based music technology, most frequently synthesizers. Synthesizers have become a mainstay in pop, rock and other genres today with use ranging from basic oscillators to complex computer installations with microprocessors; they may be played solo or with conventional musical instruments.
The advent of practical audio tape recorders accelerated the growth of electronic music during the 1950s. Musicians could manipulate sounds by changing speed and direction; this led to early forms of electronic music such as musique concrete and tape music that focused on altering natural sounds. Other significant developments included digital computing as well as computers capable of playing music.
By the 1950s, composers began to incorporate electronic instruments into their work. John Cage made use of two variable-speed turntables and frequency recordings in creating his Imaginary Landscape No. 1. Karlheinz Stockhausen later composed Mikrophonie I using hand-held and tam-tam microphones; Mixtur utilized four sine wave generators and four ring modulators – among others.
Egypt’s Halim El-Dabh was another pioneer of electronic music who laid down one of the earliest examples of electroacoustic tape music with Leiyla and the Poet, his 1959 series that seamlessly fused electronic with folk music.
In the 1960s, electronic sounds began making an increasingly significant presence in popular music. Producers like Joe Meek and inventors such as Bob Moog introduced more sounds to popular musicians through invention. As a result, new genres emerged, including krautrock and disco.
By the 1970s, electronic instruments had become an accepted part of mainstream music production. Genres such as krautrock and synthpop made extensive use of electronic instruments – from drum machines to polyphonic synthesizers and bass synthesizers. Many bands also integrated theremins or Mellotrons into their sound.
The first electronic music was created in the 1960s
Electronic music is an all-encompassing genre that encompasses various musical styles. Its distinguishing characteristics include synthesized tones and digital manipulation of sounds; often found in dance music or experimental genres. Electronic music’s popularity has given rise to numerous electronic producers and bands. Furthermore, its influence can also be found across other genres such as rock or jazz music.
Electronic instruments first emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including electric pianos, percussion instruments and organs. Later on in history, magnetic tape recorders allowed musicians to record and edit sounds, leading them to create electroacoustic tape music by layering natural and industrial sounds together on magnetic tape recorders. Paul Hindemith and Ernst Toch also employed this method in their compositions.
By the 1950s, electronic music had emerged as a distinct genre. With the launch of commercial synthesizers in this decade, composers and musicians working with new instruments and sounds quickly formed an active community resulting in works such as Eimert’s Funf Stucke, Luening’s Gargoyles and Stockhausen’s Gesang der Junglinge being produced during this era.
Iannis Xenakis made notable strides with algorithmic composition using computers during the 1960s. His musique stochastique or stochastic music technique used a series of probabilistic algorithms to generate musical works like ST/4, ST/48 and Mycenes Alpha.
Joe Meek and Bob Moog revolutionized electronic music during this same decade, pioneering instruments that allowed artists like Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk to develop new styles using synthesized tones – marking an important turning point in electronic music’s history.
At around this same time, some musicians began experimenting with electronic instruments and effects in improvised performances known as “circuit bending.” Circuit bending involved using electronics to build experimental instruments while exploring timbral elements without regard for pitch or rhythm – inspired by John Cage’s aleatoric music concept.