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Showing posts from April, 2011

Contemporary Electronic Music

What is MIDI?
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface
The MIDI language allows different electronic instruments and computer interfaces to "talk" to each other. Before the invention of MIDI, musicians had a difficult time syncing up their instrument set-ups because the instruments were not compatible with each other. MIDI was developed in 1982 and was shared freely as open source. Today most music studios and professional software programs operate off of MIDI. At first MIDI sounds were limited to 127 specific sounds that you would most likely recognize from some of the earliest video games of the 1980s.
Ghostbusters Atari Music

Composers like Laurie Anderson took MIDI and found new ways to express music and art through technology like the Drum Suit, samplers, CD-Rom, vocoder, and video.
Puppet Motel CD Rom
O Superman

Pamela Z BodySynth…

A Brief History of Early Electronic Music

When does electronic music history begin?
Many argue that the history of electronic music began with the invention of the record player in the 1870s. Certainly the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Alva Edison. Yes, the same Edison who invented the lightbulb. The record player allowed music lovers to enjoy a concert without leaving their living room! Of course, the music establishment worried that the record player would reduce overall sales, but instead record players allowed further expression of ideas. Not only could music be distributed internationally, for the first time in history, music could be preserved and archived for study.
Phonograph Recording:

Early Electronic Instruments
There were a number of early electronic instruments from the 1900s. Among them were the Theremin (still in use today), the Ondes-Martenot, the Trautonium, and the Hammond Organ. Each of these instruments brought musicians one step closer to digital explosion o…