Chapter

Live Electronic Music

Peter Manning

in Electronic and Computer Music

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195144840
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849802 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195144840.003.0008
Live Electronic Music

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Live electronic music or, to be more specific, compositions wholly or largely based on live synthesis, became a major sphere of activity during the 1960s. There are many antecedents that can be cited, stretching back to Cahill's Dynamophone and the subsequent proliferation of electronic musical instruments during the interwar period. A more positive antecedent, however, lies in the compositions of John Cage during the 1940s and 1950s, which introduced a far less stylized approach to live electronic sounds. Cage's growing interest in live electronics provided the catalyst for the birth of a number of live electronic ensembles in America that, with some justification, considered themselves the pioneers of a new art form that embraced aspects of progressive jazz and even rock. It is to Europe, however, that attention is first turned, for it was here that the most coherent transition from established studio techniques to live synthesis occurred.

Keywords: Cahill; Dynamophone; live synthesis; John Cage; electronic sounds

Chapter.  5250 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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