Digital Music History And At Present's Best Fashionable Proponents!

Digital Music History And At Present's Best Fashionable Proponents!

Digital music history pre-dates the rock and roll era by decades. Most of us weren't even on this planet when it began its typically obscure, beneath-appreciated and misunderstood development. Immediately, this 'other worldly' body of sound which started close to a century ago, may now not seem strange and unique as new generations have accepted much of it as mainstream, but it's had a bumpy road and, to find mass audience acceptance, a gradual one.

Many musicians - the modern 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 Associates Electric?'. It was in this period that these gadgets grew to become smaller, more accessible, Zippyshare more user pleasant and more affordable for a lot of of us. In this article I'll try to trace this history in easily digestible chapters and offer examples of in the present day's greatest modern proponents.

To my thoughts, this was the beginning of a new epoch. To create electronic music, it was now 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 digital devices and custom built gadgetry the remainder of us may solely have dreamed of, even when we could perceive the logistics of their functioning. Having stated this, on the time I was rising up within the 60's & 70's, I nevertheless had little data of the complexity of work that had set an ordinary in previous decades to reach 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 digital music from the 1950's onwards, influencing a movement that will eventually have a robust impact upon names such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Brain Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, not to mention the experimental work of the Beatles' and others within the 1960's. His face is seen on the quilt of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", the Beatles' 1967 master Opus. Let's start, however, by traveling somewhat additional back in time.

The Flip of the 20th Century

Time stood still for this stargazer when 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 played 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 prestigious Carnegie Corridor in New York, experienced a efficiency of classical music using nothing but a collection of ten theremins. Watching a number of expert musicians taking part in this eerie sounding instrument by waving their hands round its antennae should 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 good the instrument during its early years and have become its most acclaimed, sensible and recognized performer and representative all through her life.

On reflection Clara, was the first celebrated 'star' of real electronic music. You might be unlikely to search out more eerie, yet beautiful performances of classical music on the Theremin. She's definitely a favorite of mine!

Electronic Music in Sci-Fi, Cinema and Television

Sadly, and due primarily to problem in talent mastering, the Theremin's future as a musical instrument was short lived. Finally, it found a distinct segment in 1950's Sci-Fi films. The 1951 cinema classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still", with a soundtrack by influential American film music composer Bernard Hermann (known for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", etc.), is rich with an 'extraterrestrial' rating using two Theremins and other electronic units melded with acoustic instrumentation.

Using the vacuum-tube oscillator know-how of the Theremin, French cellist and radio telegraphist, Maurice Martenot (1898-1980), began creating the Ondes Martenot (in French, known as the Martenot Wave) in 1928.

Employing a normal and acquainted keyboard which may very well be more easily mastered by a musician, Martenot's instrument succeeded where the Theremin failed in being user-friendly. In actual fact, it grew to become the first profitable electronic instrument to be used by composers and orchestras of its period till the current day.

It's featured on the theme to the unique 1960's TV collection "Star Trek", and will 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 have heard which approaches the sound of contemporary synthesis.

"Forbidden Planet", released in 1956, was the primary main business studio film to function an exclusively digital soundtrack... aside from introducing Robbie the Robot and the stunning Anne Francis! The ground-breaking score was produced by husband and wife team Louis and Bebe Barron who, within the late 1940's, established the first privately owned recording studio within the USA recording digital experimental artists resembling the long-lasting John Cage (whose personal Avante Garde work challenged the definition of music itself!).

The Barrons are usually credited for having widening the applying of electronic 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. Once carried out, these sounds couldn't be replicated because the circuit would purposely overload, smoke and burn out to provide the desired sound result.

Consequently, they had 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 tip product using 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 Television signature ever: the theme to the lengthy running 1963 British Sci-Fi adenterprise series, "Dr. Who". It was the first time a Television collection featured a solely electronic theme. The theme to "Dr. Who" was created at the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop utilizing tape loops and test oscillators to run by effects, report these to tape, then have been re-manipulated and edited by another Electro pioneer, Delia Derbyshire, decoding the composition of Ron Grainer.

As you'll be able to see, digital music's prevalent usage in classic Sci-Fi was the precept source of most of the people's perception of this music as being 'different worldly' and 'alien-weird sounding'. This remained the case till no less than 1968 with the release of the hit album "Switched-On Bach" performed completely on a Moog modular synthesizer by Walter Carlos (who, with just a few surgical nips and tucks, subsequently became Wendy Carlos).