The History Of Electronic Music Essay

The History Of Electronic Music Essay

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When you listen to music on the radio in your car or on your iPod, it’s very likely that you’re listening to some form of electronic music. For example, genres such as pop or rap often use electronic sounds. Electronic music plays a part in the majority of what we listen to today. However, you may be asking yourself: where did it come from? What led it to crawl out of humble studios with primitive machinery, to escape from the harsh criticism of those who preferred more classical methods of composition?
If you look for the very beginnings of electronic music instruments, you’ll find yourself in France during 1759. It was here that Jean-Baptiste Delaborde created the Clavecin Electrique. This instrument operated similarly to a carillon, except it used electricity to vibrate the bells which, in turn, played the desired sound (Crab). Nearly a century and a half later, Thaddaeus Cahill strung together a multi-ton set of Edison dynamos to create the Dynamaphone. Cahill was able to control the sound of this instrument by altering the speed at which the dynamos operated; the sound of his instrument, however, was transmitted over telephone wires (Hass).
These inventions were merely the first few stepping stones in electronic music’s path to worldwide prominence. In 1930, the tape recorder was invented, allowing musicians to record and alter the sounds they heard in real life (Hass). Furthermore, musicians able to string together multiple different sounds in order to create rhythms and tunes by means of tape splicing: cutting out pieces from one recording and then attaching them to another length or recorded tape. Of course, the instruments that created what we may consider to be ‘true’ electronic music were oscillators. These devices ca...


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...decades ahead of us will be amazed by the history made in our time? Indeed, just as time told for the aforementioned composers and studios, so too will time tell for us.



Works Cited

History of Electronic Music: Bibliography
Hass, Jeffry. “Electronic Music Historical Overview” Electronic Music Historical Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Crab, Simon. “Clavecin Electrique” 120 Years of Electronic Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Crab, Simon. “MUSIC N” 120 Years of Electronic Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Sword, Harry. “Brief History of Early Electronic Music” Little White Earbuds. N.p., 6 June 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Elsea, Peter. “Analog Tape Recorders” Analog Tape. Electronic Music Studio of the University of California, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014
“A Brief History of the Synthesizer” Logic 9 Express Instruments. Apple Inc., 2009. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

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