Peter Manning

in Electronic and Computer Music

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195144840
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849802 | DOI:

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Events in America after the Second World War followed quite different paths from those in Europe, primarily because of a lack of institutional support during the early years. Indeed, until the mid-1950s, no major systems of lasting significance were constructed, many so-called studios consisting merely of a collection of tape recorders and interconnecting wires assembled in a back room or, at best, commercial recording systems leased for experimentation. Despite this general lack of resources, several composers managed to investigate the creative possibilities of manipulating sounds recorded on tape. In 1948, two recording engineers working in New York, Louis and Bebe Barron, began to experiment with the medium, playing recordings of instruments backward and forward and investigating the effects of splicing out selected elements and juxtaposing others. John Cage became interested in their work and in 1951 gathered together a group of musicians and technical advisers for the purpose of making music directly on to tape.

Keywords: John Cage; Louis Barron; Bebe Barron; recorded sounds; tape recording

Chapter.  9782 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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