Electroacoustic music

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Electroacoustic music is a genre of Western art music in which composers use technology to manipulate the timbres of acoustic sounds, sometimes by using audio signal processing, such as reverb or harmonizing, on acoustical instruments (). Electroacoustic music_sentence_0

It originated around the middle of the 20th century, following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. Electroacoustic music_sentence_1

The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition to fixed media during the 20th century are associated with the activities of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at the ORTF in Paris, the home of musique concrète, the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) studio in Cologne, where the focus was on the composition of elektronische Musik, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City, where tape music, electronic music, and computer music were all explored. Electroacoustic music_sentence_2

Practical electronic music instruments began to appear in the early 1900s. Electroacoustic music_sentence_3

Tape music Electroacoustic music_section_0

See also: Musique concrète Electroacoustic music_sentence_4

Tape music is an integral part of musique concrète, utilizing pre-recorded fragments, loops, and sampled sounds, altering and manipulating them through techniques such as speed manipulation (). Electroacoustic music_sentence_5

The work of Halim El-Dabh is perhaps the earliest example of tape (or, in this case, wire-recorded) music. Electroacoustic music_sentence_6

El-Dabh's The Expression of Zaar, first presented in Cairo, Egypt, in 1944, was an early work using musique concrète–like techniques similar to those developed in Paris during the same period. Electroacoustic music_sentence_7

El-Dabh would later become more famous for his work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where in 1959 he composed the influential piece Leiyla and the Poet (, 153–54 & 157). Electroacoustic music_sentence_8

US composer John Cage's assembly of the Williams Mix serves as an example of the rigors of tape music. Electroacoustic music_sentence_9

First, Cage created a 192-page score. Electroacoustic music_sentence_10

Over the course of a year, 600 sounds were assembled and recorded. Electroacoustic music_sentence_11

Cut tape segments for each occurrence of each sound were accumulated on the score. Electroacoustic music_sentence_12

Then the cut segments were spliced to one of eight tapes, work finished on January 16, 1953. Electroacoustic music_sentence_13

The premiere performance (realization) of the 4'15" work was given on March 21, 1953 at the University of Illinois, Urbana (). Electroacoustic music_sentence_14

Electronic music Electroacoustic music_section_1

See also: Electronic music Electroacoustic music_sentence_15

In Cologne, elektronische Musik, pioneered in 1949–51 by the composer Herbert Eimert and the physicist Werner Meyer-Eppler, was based solely on electronically generated (synthetic) sounds, particularly sine waves (, 2; , 11–13; , 13). Electroacoustic music_sentence_16

The beginning of the development of electronic music has been traced back to "the invention of the valve [vacuum tube] in 1906" (, 2). Electroacoustic music_sentence_17

The precise control afforded by the studio allowed for what Eimert considered to be the subjection of everything, "to the last element of the single note", to serial permutation, "resulting in a completely new way of composing sound" (, 8); in the studio, serial operations could be applied to elements such as timbre and dynamics. Electroacoustic music_sentence_18

The common link between the two schools is that the music is recorded and performed through loudspeakers, without a human performer. Electroacoustic music_sentence_19

The majority of electroacoustic pieces use a combination of recorded sound and synthesized or processed sounds, and the schism between Schaeffer's and Eimert's approaches has been overcome, the first major example being Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge of 1955–56 (, 17; , 93–94). Electroacoustic music_sentence_20

Sound generation techniques Electroacoustic music_section_2

All electroacoustic music is made with electronic technology, specifically a device – usually a loudspeaker – that transduces electrical energy to acoustic energy. Electroacoustic music_sentence_21

Circuit bending Electroacoustic music_section_3

Main article: Circuit bending Electroacoustic music_sentence_22

Circuit bending is the creative short-circuiting of low voltage, battery-powered electronic audio devices such as guitar effects, children's toys and small synthesizers to create new musical instruments and sound generators. Electroacoustic music_sentence_23

Emphasizing spontaneity and randomness, the techniques of circuit bending have been commonly associated with noise music, though many more conventional contemporary musicians and musical groups have been known to experiment with "bent" instruments (,). Electroacoustic music_sentence_24

Examples of notable electroacoustic works Electroacoustic music_section_4

Electroacoustic music_unordered_list_0

Electronic and electroacoustic instruments Electroacoustic music_section_5

Centers, associations and events for electroacoustics and related arts Electroacoustic music_section_6

Important centers of research and composition can be found around the world, and there are numerous conferences and festivals which present electroacoustic music, notably the International Computer Music Conference, the International Conference on New interfaces for musical expression, the Electroacoustic Music Studies Conference, and the Ars Electronica Festival (Linz, Austria). Electroacoustic music_sentence_25

A number of national associations promote the art form, notably the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) in Canada, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) in the US, the Australasian Computer Music Association in Australia and New Zealand, and Sound and Music (previously the Sonic Arts Network) in the UK. Electroacoustic music_sentence_26

The Computer Music Journal and Organised Sound are the two most important peer-reviewed journals dedicated to electroacoustic studies, while several national associations produce print and electronic publications. Electroacoustic music_sentence_27

Festivals Electroacoustic music_section_7

See also: List of electronic music festivals Electroacoustic music_sentence_28

There have been a number of festivals that feature electroacoustic music. Electroacoustic music_sentence_29

Early festivals such as Donaueschingen Festival, founded in 1921, were some of the first to include electroacoustic instruments and pieces. Electroacoustic music_sentence_30

This was followed by ONCE Festival of New Music in the 1950s, and since the 1960s there has been a growth of festivals that focus exclusively on electroacoustic music. Electroacoustic music_sentence_31

Electroacoustic music_description_list_1

See also: :Category:Electroacoustic music festivals Electroacoustic music_sentence_32

Conferences and symposiums Electroacoustic music_section_8

Alongside paper presentations, workshops and seminars, many of these events also feature concert performances or sound installations created by those attending or which are related to the theme of the conference / symposium. Electroacoustic music_sentence_33

Electroacoustic music_unordered_list_2

  • NIME – International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (since 2000)Electroacoustic music_item_2_25

See also Electroacoustic music_section_9

Electroacoustic music_unordered_list_3


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroacoustic music.