The History Of Electronic Sound And Music Essay

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Even 100 Years History of Electronic Instruments before the turn of the century, when the electronic age was still in its infancy, the first attempts to generate sound from electricity had begun. By 1901, Thaddeus Cadhill had already manufactured the Telharmonium, an electric organ, powered by dynamos and designed to send sound down telephone lines. The Telharmonium proved to be the first of several forward-thinking electronic instruments to be developed in the early part of the century, the most important of which was the Theramin. Named after its Russian inventor Leon Theramin and consisting of a box with two ariels sticking out to control volume and pitch, the Theramin was the favorite instrument of Russian revolutionary leader Lenin. It was also manufactured for a short time in the United States, and although Theramin’s ideas proved too progressive for the American public, they would later inspire Robert Moog to develop his first synths. Other electronic instruments, like the rautonium, the Odnes Martenot and the first mass-market electronic instrument, the Hammond Organ, continued to pop up through the 20′s and 30′s. It was with the arrival of magnetic tape, developed around the same period and perfected during World War II, that the next major innovation in electronic music occurred, as the use of found-sound opened a new world of musical possibilities. Steve Reich experimented with manipulating tape to affect pitch or speed. Although tape editing was a difficult process that involved physically cutting and splicing the different sections together, tape continued to be used by anyone wishing to manipulate recorded sound until samplers were introduced in the 1980s. At the same time as tape was being used to unlock the world of found-sound, the development of electronically generated or synthesized sound was continuing apace. American Hugh Le

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