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A comparison of electronic and non electronic music

Early developments in electronic instruments Precursors of electronic instruments Electricity was used in the design of musical instruments as early as 1761, when J. Delaborde of Paris invented an electric harpsichord.

Experimental instruments incorporating solenoids, motors, and other electromechanical elements continued to be invented throughout the 19th century. Complex and impractical, the Telharmonium nevertheless anticipated electronic organs, synthesizers, and background music technology.

Early electronic instruments The dawn of electronic technology was marked by the invention of the triode vacuum tube in 1906 by Lee De Forest. The triode gave musical instrument developers unprecedented ability to design circuits that would produce repetitive waveforms oscillators and circuits that would strengthen and articulate waveforms that had already been produced amplifiers.

In the time period between World A comparison of electronic and non electronic music I and II, many new musical instruments using electronic technology were developed. These may be classified as follows: Instruments that produce vibrations in familiar mechanical ways—the striking of strings with hammers, the bowing or plucking of strings, the activation of reeds—but with the conventional acoustic resonating agent, such as a sounding board, replaced by a pickup system, an amplifier, and a loudspeaker, which enable the performer to modify both the quality and the intensity of the tone.

These instruments include electric pianos; electric organs employing vibrating reeds; electric violins, violas, cellos, and basses; and electric guitars, banjos, and mandolins. Instruments that produce waveforms by electric or electronic means but use conventional performer interfaces such as keyboards and fingerboards to articulate the tones.

The most successful of these was the Hammond organwhich implemented the same technical principles as the Telharmonium but used tiny rotary generators in conjunction with electronic amplification in place of large, high-power generators.

The Hammond organ was placed on the market in 1935, and it remained a commercially important keyboard instrument for more than 40 years. Other, more experimental early electronic keyboard instruments used rotating electrostatic generators, rotating optical disks in conjunction with photoelectric cells, or vacuum-tube oscillators to produce sound. Instruments that were designed for performance in the conventional sense but which implemented novel forms of performer interfaces.

The Present and Future of Electronic Music

Instruments that were not intended for conventional live performance but instead were designed to read an encoded score automatically. The first of these was the Coupleux-Givelet synthesizer, which the inventors introduced in 1929 at the Paris Exposition. Unlike a player piano, however, the Coupleux-Givelet instrument provided for control of pitch, tone colourand loudness, as well as note articulation.

The principles of score encoding and sound control embodied in this instrument have become increasingly important to contemporary composers as electronic musical instrument technology has continued to develop. The tape recorder as a musical tool The next stage of development in electronic instruments dates from the discovery of magnetic tape recording techniques and their refinement after World War II.

These techniques enable the composer to record any sounds whatever on tape and then to manipulate the tape to achieve desired effects. Sounds can be superimposed upon each other mixedaltered in timbre by means of filters, or reverberated.

  • Instruments that produce waveforms by electric or electronic means but use conventional performer interfaces such as keyboards and fingerboards to articulate the tones;
  • Pierre Henry perhaps is an example, but, in general, the important names in instrumental music of the 1950s and 1960s are the significant contributors in electronic music too;
  • As time passed, the techniques and equipment in the newer studios became more standardized and reliable, and the rather peculiar issue of concrete versus electronic sounds ceased to concern anyone;
  • These and similar works created a sensation when first presented to the public;
  • Tape splicing can be used to rearrange the attack beginning portion and decay ending portion of a sound or to combine portions of two or more sounds to form striking juxtapositions of sound with arbitrarily great length and complexity.

Repeating sound-patterns can be created by means of tape loops. Tape splicing can be used to rearrange the attack beginning portion and decay ending portion of a sound or to combine portions of two or more sounds to form striking juxtapositions of sound with arbitrarily great length and complexity.

Thus, the composer can exercise precise control over every aspect of his original sound material. These sounds were shaped, processed, and then put together composed to form a unified artistic whole.

In 1951 a studio for elektronische Musik was founded at Cologne, W. While the composers associated with this studio used many of the same techniques of tape manipulation as did the French group, they favoured electronically generated rather than natural sound sources. In particular, they synthesized complex tones from sine waveforms, which are pure tones with no overtones. Carlton Gamer Robert A.

These instruments used small keyboards and were designed to mount immediately under the keyboard of a piano. They were capable of simulating a wide variety of traditional orchestral timbres, which the player selected by setting an array of tablet-shaped switches along the front of the instrument. Also during this postwar period, electronic organs became one of the largest segments of the musical instrument industry.

These multikeyboard, polyphonic chord-playing instruments were first modeled after traditional pipe organs, but they later evolved into a new class of musical instruments for domestic use.

The electronic home organ offered a variety of timbres, which were oriented toward popular musicas well as such performance assists as automatic rhythm production, easily enabling it to replace the player piano in popularity.

Unlike commercial keyboard-controlled organs and related instruments, the score-reading instruments were large, experimentally oriented devices. The scanner, which was mounted on a carriage that rolled along a 60-foot table, read an encoded score that was drawn on cardboard cards that covered the table.

The RCA synthesizer was capable of producing four musical tones simultaneously. Pitches, tone colours, vibrato intensities, envelope shapes, and portamento of the four tones were encoded in binary form on a perforated paper roll. The development of tape music as a compositional medium, the advancement of the technology of score-reading music systems, and the commercial proliferation of electronic organs and other keyboard-controlled electronic instruments all set the stage for the appearance of the electronic music synthesizer in the 1960s.

Other contributing factors were the advancement of electronic technology itself and the domination of popular music by the electric guitar and other amplified instruments. The electronic music synthesizer The word synthesize means to produce by combining separate elements. Thus, synthesized sound is sound that a musician builds from component elements. A synthesized sound may resemble a traditional acoustic musical timbre, or it may be completely novel and original.

One characteristic is common to all synthesized music, however: The notions that synthesized music is intended to imitate a more traditional entity and that synthesized music is generated by automated, mechanical means without control by a musician are generally not true. A traditional musical instrument is a collection of acoustic elements whose interrelationships are fixed by the instrument builder. The violinist brings the strings into contact with the fingerboard and a bow to cause the strings to vibrate; but he does not change the position of the strings relative to the bridge, a comparison of electronic and non electronic music position of the bridge relative to the body, or the configuration of the body itself.

A synthesist, on the other hand, views his instrument as a collection of parts that he configures to produce the desired timbre and response. The elements, or parts, that a synthesist works with depend on the design of the instruments that he is using.

Generally, synthesizers include oscillators to generate repetitive waveformsmixers to combine waveformsfilters to increase the strength of some overtones while reducing the strength of othersand amplifiers to shape the loudness contours of the sounds.

Other sound-producing and -processing elements, which can exist as electronic circuits or as built-in computer programs, may also be available. To facilitate the musical control of these elements, a synthesizer may have any combination of a conventional keyboard; other manual control a comparison of electronic and non electronic music, such as wheels, sliders, or joysticks; electronic pattern generators; or a computer interface. The appearance of high-quality, low-cost silicon transistors in the early 1960s enabled electronic instrument designers to incorporate all the basic synthesizer features in relatively small, convenient instruments.

The Synketbuilt by the Italian engineer Paolo Ketoff in 1962, was designed for live performance of experimental music. It had three small, closely spaced, touch-sensitive keyboards, each of which controlled a single tone. These instruments differed primarily in the control interfaces they offered. The Buchla instruments did not feature keyboards with movable keys; instead, they had touch-sensitive contact pads that could be used to initiate sounds and sound patterns.

Switched-on Bachthe music of J. Bach transcribed for Moog synthesizer and recorded by Walter Carlos and Benjamin Folkman in 1968, achieved a dramatic commercial success. In the years following the appearance of Switched-on Bach, many synthesizer recordings of traditional and popular music appeared, and synthesizer music was frequently heard in movie soundtracks and advertising commercials. Most electronic music synthesizers that were designed before 1980 are called analog synthesizers, because their circuits directly produce electric waveforms that are analogous to the sound waveforms of acoustic instruments.

This is in contrast to digital synthesizers and music systems, the circuits of which produce series of numbers that must then be converted to waveforms. The first digital music synthesis systems were general-purpose computers.

The computer as a musical tool The direct synthesis of sound by computer was first described in 1961 by Max Mathews and coworkers at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, N. Computer sound synthesis involves the description of a sound waveform as a sequence of numbers representing the instantaneous amplitudes of the wave over very small successive intervals of time.

Electronic music

The waveform itself is then generated by the process of digital-to-analog conversionin which first the numbers are converted to voltage steps in sequence and then the steps are smoothed to produce the final waveform. The algorithm is written by a composer or programmer as a series of instructions that are stored in digital media i.

The composer then also writes a score that specifies properties of the individual sound events that make up the composition.

  • Thus the notion that the tape recorder could function as one instrument in an ensemble grew more and more popular;
  • But in fact many compositions for electronic instruments may be performed live with virtuosity and drama;
  • It should be stressed, however, that it was the objective of these organ builders to simulate and replace pipe organs and harmoniums , not to provide novel instruments that would stimulate the imaginations of avant-garde composers;
  • The triode gave musical instrument developers unprecedented ability to design circuits that would produce repetitive waveforms oscillators and circuits that would strengthen and articulate waveforms that had already been produced amplifiers;
  • The Hammond organ has odd qualities because the richness of its harmonic content does not diminish as the player goes up the keyboard.

A great variety of sound-synthesis and music-composition algorithms have been developed at research institutions around the world. Music V, created in 1967—68, is the most widely used sound-synthesis program to have been developed at Bell Laboratories. Music V consists of computer models of oscillator and amplifier modules, plus procedures for establishing interactions among the a comparison of electronic and non electronic music.

By the end of the 1980s, computer music systems surpassed tape studio techniques and analog synthesizers as the electronic composition medium of choice among modern and experimental music composers.

Digital synthesizers, the music workstation, and MIDI Digital synthesizers During the 1980s, commercial electronic instrument manufacturers introduced many performance-oriented keyboard instruments that used digital computer technology in combination with built-in sound-synthesis algorithms. Introduced in 1983, the DX-7 was polyphonic, had a five-octave touch-sensitive keyboard, and offered a wide choice of timbres, which the player could adjust or change to suit his requirements.

Well over 100,000 DX-7s were sold, and Yamaha adapted their FM technology to a line of instruments ranging from portable, toylike keyboards to rack-mounted modules for studio and experimental use. Another important early digital synthesizer was the Casio CZ-101, a battery-powered four-voice keyboard instrument using simple algorithms that were modeled after the capabilities of analog synthesizers.

The CZ-101 was introduced in 1984 at a price approximately one-quarter that of the DX-7 and achieved widespread popularity. Sampling instruments; music workstations A sound waveform from a microphone or tape recorder can be digitized, or converted to a sequence of numbers that is the digital representation of the waveform. Instruments that enable a musician to digitize a sound waveform and then process it and play it back under musical control are called sampling instruments.

The Fairlight CMI was a general-purpose computer with peripheral devices that allowed the musician to digitize sounds, store them, and then play them back from a keyboard. In 1980 Roger Linn introduced the Linn Drum, an instrument containing digitized percussion sounds that could be played in patterns determined by the musician.

In 1984 Raymond Kurzweil introduced the Kurzweil 250, a keyboard-controlled instrument containing digitally encoded representations of grand piano, strings, and many other orchestral timbres.

We take a look at non-electronic artists that made the switch from one genre, to house music.

A comparison of electronic and non electronic music the end of the 1980s, many instrument manufacturers had combined the technologies of the digital computer, digital sound synthesis, and sampling digital sound recording into integrated composition and sound-processing systems called music workstations.

Musical instrument digital interface In 1983 several commercial instrument manufacturers agreed on a way of interconnecting instruments so that they could work together or in conjunction with a personal computer. MIDI embodies the means for transmitting commands that tell which notes are being played, what timbre is desired, what nuances are being produced, and so forth.

With a personal computer and the appropriate software programsMIDI-equipped instruments are capable of performing as a system similar to the larger music workstations. By the end of the 1980s, MIDI systems had become very popular with amateur as well as professional musicians. Moog Assessment Electronic instruments have contributed to a tremendous expansion of musical resources.

Their increasing sophistication has made available to the composer a palette of sounds ranging from pure tones at one extreme to the most complex sonic structures at the other. In addition, it has made possible the rhythmic organization of music to a degree of subtlety and complexity previously unattainable. One consequence of the use of electronic instruments has been the wide acceptance of a new definition of music as organized sound.

Another consequence is the acceptance of the notion that the composer may communicate directly with an audience without the need for a performer as interpreter. Yet another consequence is the democratization of both experimental and traditional music composition through the availability of high-quality, reasonably priced instruments and computer software.

Some observers have felt that the elimination of the performer as interpreter, while it may enable the composer to realize perfectly his intentions, is nevertheless a serious loss.

Performance, it is argued, is a creative discipline complementary to that of composition itself, and varieties of interpretation add richness to the musical experience; moreover, the physical presence of the performer infuses drama into what would be otherwise a purely aural, intellectualand, by implicationsomewhat lifeless event. But in fact many compositions for electronic instruments may be performed live with virtuosity and drama.

With contemporary electronic instrument technology, the composer is free to choose whether or not the creative contribution of a performer will serve his artistic goals.