6th Edition

Electronic and Experimental Music Technology, Music, and Culture

By Thom Holmes Copyright 2020
    672 Pages
    by Routledge

    672 Pages
    by Routledge

    Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music, and Culture, Sixth Edition, presents an extensive history of electronic music—from its historical beginnings in the late nineteenth century to its everchanging present—recounting the musical ideas that arose in parallel with technological progress. In four parts, the author details the fundamentals of electronic music, its history, the major synthesizer innovators, and contemporary practices. This examination of the music’s experimental roots covers the key composers, genres, and techniques used in analog and digital synthesis, including both art and popular music, Western and non-Western.

    New to this edition:

    • A reorganized and revised chapter structure places technological advances within a historical framework.
    • Shorter chapters offer greater modularity and flexibility for instructors.
    • Discussions on the elements of sound, listening to electronic music, electronic music in the mainstream, Eurorack, and more.
    • An appendix of historically important electronic music studios around the globe.

    Listening Guides throughout the book provide step-by-step annotations of key musical works, focusing the development of student listening skills. Featuring extensive revisions and expanded coverage, this sixth edition of Electronic and Experimental Music represents an comprehensive accounting of the technology, musical styles, and figures associated with electronic music, highlighting the music’s deep cultural impact.

    PART 1: ELECTRONIC MUSIC FUNDAMENTALS / 1 What Is Electronic Music? / 2 Listening to Electronic Music / 3 How Electronic Music is Composed / 4 Electronic Music Composition by Process / 5 The Physics of Musical Sound / 6 Analog and Digital Synthesis Basics / 7 Computer Music Basics / 8 Tape Composition and Sound Editing / 9 MIDI, Noise Reduction, and Audio Compression Technologies / PART 2: HISTORY OF ELECTRONIC AND COMPUTER MUSIC / 10 Earliest Experiments in Electronic Music (Pre-1920) / 11 Electronic Music Performance Instruments (1920-1940) / 12 The History of Audio Recording Technology / 13 Edgard Varèse and The Listener’s Experiment / 14 Musique Concrète In France / 15 Elektronische Musik in Germany / 16 Other European Electronic Music Studios / 17 John Cage in the United States / 18 The Columbia–Princeton Electronic Music Center, New York / 19 The Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music, Ann Arbor / 20 The Experimental Music Studio, University of Illinois / 21 The San Francisco Tape Music Center / 22 Electronic Music in Canada / 23 Radiophonic Music in the United Kingdom / 24 Electronic Music in Latin America / 25 Electronic Music in Asia and Australia / 26 Early Computer Music (1950-1969) / 27 Computer Music (1970-1985) / PART 3: MAKERS OF VINTAGE ANALOG AND DIGITAL SYNTHESIZERS / 28 Moog Analog Synthesizers / 29 Buchla Analog Synthesizers / 30 EMS Analog Synthesizers / 31 ARP Analog Synthesizers / 32 Other Analog Synthesizers / 33 Digital Synthesizers and Samplers / PART 4: LIVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND CONTEMPORARY PRACTICES / 34 Live Electronic Music — Foundations / 35 Live Electronic Music — Historical Practices / 36 Modern Turntablism / 37 Contemporary Software and Synthesis / 38 Eurorack / Appendix: Historic Studios of Electronic Music by World Region 1948-70


    Thom Holmes is a music historian and composer. He studied composition with Paul Epstein in Philadelphia, published the magazine Recordings of Experimental Music (1979–85), and worked with John Cage. He has recently been a member of Composers Inside Electronics, an electronic music performing ensemble dedicated to the realization of works by David Tudor. Holmes produces a personal blog, Noise and Notations, writes the blog Moog: A History in Recordings for the Bob Moog Foundation, and originated and maintains the Holmes Archive of Electronic Music, a curated collection of vintage electronic music recordings spanning the years 1930-85.

    "Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music, and Culture is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date references for teaching experimental computer music. This work provides an incisive overview of the field, to understand the history and current practice of computer music."

    —Terence M. Pender, Associate Director, Computer Music Center, Columbia University