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Artful NoisePercussion Literature in the Twentieth Century$
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Thomas Siwe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043130

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043130.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Electronic Music

Electronic Music

(p.107) Chapter 7 Electronic Music
Artful Noise

Thomas Siwe

University of Illinois Press

With the end of World War II came the rebirth of European radio. Government stations in both France and Germany established experimental studios for research, from which arose a new kind of music, “electronic music.” The station in France, Office de Radiodiffusion Télevision Française (ORTF), was directed by the engineer/composer Pierre Schaeffer and his partner, Pierre Henry, who called their musical creations musique concrète. In Germany the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) studio produced music through the process of “synthesis.” This chapter will explain the difference between the two approaches used to create electronic music with examples from the percussion solo and ensemble repertoire. Early experiments using wire recorders, test records, and tape recorders by composers Halim El-Dabh, John Cage, and Edgard Varèse precede the major electronic works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mario Davidovsky, and the American composer Stephen Everett, whose use of computers in “real time” brings the reader into the next century.

Keywords:   Pierre Schaeffer, Halim El-Dabh, John Cage, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mario Davidovsky, electronic music, musique concrète, Stephen Everett

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