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Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States Contents Louis and Bebe Barron John Cage and the Project of Music for Magnetic Tape Cage in Milan.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States Contents Louis and Bebe Barron John Cage and the Project of Music for Magnetic Tape Cage in Milan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States Contents Louis and Bebe Barron John Cage and the Project of Music for Magnetic Tape Cage in Milan The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center The Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music Roots of Computer Music

2 2 Chapter 3 The development of electronic music in the United States in the early 1950s was largely the effort of independent artists working without institutional support. The first piece of electronic music for magnetic tape composed in America was Heavenly Menagerie (1950) by Louis and Bebe Barron, who had one of the first well-equipped private studios. Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States

3 3 Chapter 3 In 1951, John Cage organized the Project of Music for Magnetic Tape in New York. The group worked with the Barrons as technical advisors and comprised composers Cage, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Earl Brown, and Christian Wolff. Williams Mix (1952) by Cage used chance operations to determine the way in which a variety of recorded sounds would be edited together using magnetic tape. He further extended the application of chance operations to the creation of Fontana Mix (1958), a work scored for any number of tracks of magnetic tape. Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States

4 4 Chapter 3 In 1951, Luening and Ussachevsky founded the Columbia Tape Music Center, a collection of audio recording equipment borrowed from Columbia University. The first public recital of tape music from Columbia Tape Music Center took place in Among the works premiered was Ussachevsky’s Sonic Contours, featuring the electronically modified sounds of the piano. This was followed by a much-publicized concert at the Museum of Modern Art in the fall of 1952 featuring works by both Luening and Ussachevsky. Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States

5 5 Chapter 3 The RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer was publicly unveiled in January, It was the first sound synthesizer in the modern era and was comprised of integrated components that could generate, modify, process, record, and present complex sonorities intended for musical applications. Luening and Ussachevsky, along with Milton Babbit, began working experimentally with the machine in the composition of electronic music. The Columbia–Princeton Electronic Music Center was founded in 1958 with the help of a Rockefeller grant. By agreement with RCA, the Center became the new home of the RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer. Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States

6 6 Chapter 3 Mumma and Ashley founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in 1958 in Ann Arbor. The composers built their own sound-generating circuits and produced live multimedia performances twice a week for seven years at Milton Cohen’s Space Theater. Hiller and Isaacson experimented with the composition of music using a computer, producing the Illiac Suite for String Quartet in Chapter 3 Early Electronic Music in the United States

7 7 Chapter 3 Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley, Ann Arbor, 1960


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