Electronic and Experimental Music

Technology, Music, and Culture, 4th Edition

By Thom Holmes

© 2012 – Routledge

546 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415896368
pub: 2012-02-24
US Dollars$64.95
Hardback: 9780415896467
pub: 2012-03-01
US Dollars$170.00

Look Inside Comp Exam Copy Companion Website

About the Book

Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music, and Culture, Fourth Edition provides a comprehensive history of electronic music, covering key composers, genres, and techniques used in both analog and digital synthesis. This textbook has been greatly expanded and revised with the needs of both students and instructors in mind. The reader-friendly style, logical organization, and pedagogical features provide easy access to key ideas, milestones, and concepts. Now a four-part text with fourteen chapters, the new fourth edition features new content:

  • Audio CD of classic works of electronic music—a first for this book.
  • Listening Guides providing annotated, moment-by-moment exploration of classic works—a new chapter feature that improves critical listening skills.
  • Expanded global representation with new discussions of classic electronic music in the United Kingdom, Italy, Latin America, and Asia
  • New discussion of early experiments with jazz and electronic music
  • More on the roots of electronic rock music.
  • Additional accounts of the under-reported contributions of women composers in the field, including new discussions of Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, Lily Greenham, Teresa Rampazzi, and Jacqueline Nova
  • Two appendices that trace the evolution of analog and digital synthesis technology.

The companion website, launching June 2012, includes a number of student and instructor resources, such as additional Listening Guides, links to audio and video resources on the internet, PowerPoint slides, and interactive quizzes.


'For me, this book is my student’s primary resource – it exists as a place to reference what is done in class, it’s there to show a historical path, it’s there to read about how others have treated the electronic world in a musical fashion – I view its place very highly at present.' – Frank Felice, Butler University

'…Holmes clearly worked meticulously to provide a well-written, easily understandable text delving into the history of electronic music. The content is thoughtfully prepared, thoroughly investigated and presented in a way that invites and informs newcomers and experts alike. The 4th edition’s expansions enhance the text and make it even more appealing as a text for courses delving into electronic music with pop culture, rock, or jazz…' – Elainie Lillios, Bowling Green State University

Table of Contents

Part 1. Early History—Predecessors and Pioneers (1874 to 1960) 1. Electronic Music Before 1945 2. Early Electronic Music in Europe 3. Early Electronic Music in the United States and Latin America 4. Early Electronic Music in Japan, Southeast Asia, and China Part 2. Analog Synthesis and Instruments 5. Tape Composition and Fundamental Concepts of Electronic Music 6. Early Synthesizers and Experimenters 7. Principles of Analog Synthesis and Voltage Control 8. The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer Part 3. Digital Synthesis and Computer Music 9. Early Computer Music (1953-95) 10. The Microprocessor Revolution (1975–2011) 11. The Principles of Computer Music Part 4. The Music 12. Classical and Experimental Music 13. Jazz, Live Electronic Music, and Ambient Music 14. Rock, Space Age Pop, and Turntablism Pioneering Works of Electronic Music Appendix 1. The Evolution of Analog Synthesizers Appendix 2. The Evolution of Computer Music

About the Author

Thom Holmes is a composer and music historian. He studied composition with Paul Epstein in Philadelphia, was the longtime publisher of the magazine Recordings of Experimental Music (1979–85), and worked with John Cage.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General