Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music

Kevin Heis

History of Electroacoustic Music Professor Jeffrey Stolet December 27, 2009

Abstract
This paper will review fourteen masterpieces of electronic music. Essential information will be provided such as composer biographical information, form and conceptual ideas, associated institutes, technological achievements, recording and electronic processing details, and developments in other media. The pieces were selected for quality, representation of eras, influence, and diversity of stylistic association.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 3

Table of Contents
Introduction The 1950s
Symphonie pour un homme seul by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry Gesang der Jünglinge by Karlheinz Stockhausen Poème électronique by Edgard Varèse

4 5
5 7 10

The 1960s
Orient-Occident by Iannis Xenakis Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles Silver Apples of the Moon by Morton Subotnick

12
13 15 17

The 1970s
Synchronism #6 by Mario Davidovsky Figure in a Clearing by David Behrman Music for Airports by Brian Eno

18
19 21 23

The 1980s
Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco by Jonathan Harvey The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Répons by Pierre Boulez

25
26 29 31

The 1990s and 2000s
Ambiant Otaku by Tetsu Inoue It Only Needs To Be Seen by Kyong Mee Choi

34
34 36

Conclusion Recommended Sources

38 39 40

Introduction
Electronic music is defined as music produced with electronic equipment. This definition means any music that is not performed live is electronic music, and most of the music performed live today is also electronic music. Given the broadness of the definition, this paper will redefine the term for more focus: electronic music is music with conceptual underpinnings which are deeply interwoven with electronic equipment, and could not be produced or replicated otherwise. Textbook histories of electronic music often detail composers' lives, institutions, and technological advances, and focus on academic electronic music exclusively. What seems to be greatly lacking is an understanding of the piece as the ultimate goal, the ultimate statement and reward of electronic music. Perhaps this is because electronic music cannot be analyzed in the same methodology other music uses and the goal of textbook authors to provide a comprehensive and authoritative electronic music history. Under the more focused definition, the goal of this paper is to review the history of electronic music through its masterpieces. While the composers' lives up to the point of the composition and related technology and institutes will be discussed, the piece will take the stage in this paper. When relevant, as a multimedia devotee, I will discuss work in other media. Rather than attempt a thorough history in approximately forty pages, this paper will look at specific lenses over time. The pieces were selected first for quality; even if a piece is historically important, the piece must meet certain qualitative criteria. Secondly, the pieces were selected for diversity: over time, by stylistic association, and by influence. There is no possibility of comprehensively reviewing the history of electronic music and its advances through fourteen pieces, but the

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 5

selection seeks solid representation through unique, important, and influential works of the upmost artistic value. I claim no true objectivity in selection.

The 1950s
The two most influential studios from the 1950s and from the beginning of electronic music as an art form were Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète de RadiodiffusionTélévision Française in Paris, France and Studio für Elektronische Musik des Westdeutschen Rundfunk in Cologne, Germany. This paper begins with the musique concrete masterwork, Symphonie pour un homme seul, from the Paris studio. While many important compositions that precede it, it is the first successful work of electronic music. The second piece is from the Cologne studio; and the third again from the Paris studio. Important developments in electronic music were brewing all over the world, but none match the influence of these works from this era. Symphonie pour un homme seul by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry Symphonie pour un homme seul, or Symphony for One Man Alone in English, is an musique concrete piece, or tape piece, by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry. The first performance of the piece was on March 18, 1950 in the Auditorium of the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France.1 The last revision of the work was in 1966, with a length of 21:40 minutes.2 As the first piece of electronic music that uses a developed syntax, it is also the first successful composition of electronic music. The work was developed at the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française, founded in 1949 by Schaeffer, preceded by Club d'Essai
1 2

Art and Popular Culture. "Musique concrète." www.artandpopularculture.com/Musique_concrète. Cross, Lowell. "Electronic Music, 1948-1953." Perspectives of New Music 7, no. 1 (1968): 44.

which began in 1935. Part of an early radio station, it was the first electronic music studio.3 Later, this studio drew in Stockhausen, Varese, Boulez, Xenakis, and Messiaen.4 Schaeffer began his experimentation at RTF in 1936,5 and Henry joined the studio in 1949, who unlike Schaeffer, could read sheet music. 6 With Henry, the studio's pieces "became longer and more ambitious."7 Schaeffer was concurrently working on A la Recherche d'une Musique Concrete, a document for the syntax of musique concrete, which was finalized in 1952.8 The studio is known for its deviations from other modern music of the time. Serialism, a technique of content ordering, was rejected because, for electronic music, the repetition was overbearing and the composers at GRMC/RTF had more success focusing on the source material.9 Composers emphasized the "isolation of the sound event."10 This freed composers from the restraints of the Schoenberg school as well as tonal theory.11 The idea behind musique concrete is: extra-musical sounds could be treated musically by determining for them a familial or scalar ordering, yet allowing them to retain the essence of their noise like properties. 12 Schaeffer and Henry were influenced by previous works of modern composers, but in many ways in reverse. The primary idea of Symphonie pour un homme seul is exploration of the
3 4 5 6

Palombini, Carlos. "Pierre Schaeffer, 1953: Towards an Experimental Music." Music & Letters 74, no. 4 (1993): 542. Palombini, Carlos. "Pierre Schaeffer, 1953: Towards an Experimental Music." Music & Letters 74, no. 4 (1993): 542. Discogs. "Pierre Schaeffer." http://www.discogs.com/artist/Pierre+Schaeffer.

Xenakis, Iannis, Roberta Brown, and John Rahn. "Xenakis on Xenakis." Perspectives of New Music 25, no. 1/2 (1987): 16-63.
7 8 9

Cross, Lowell. "Electronic Music, 1948-1953." Perspectives of New Music 7, no. 1 (1968): 44. Palombini, Carlos. "Pierre Schaeffer, 1953: Towards an Experimental Music." Music & Letters 74, no. 4 (1993): 549. Palombini, Carlos. "Pierre Schaeffer, 1953: Towards an Experimental Music." Music & Letters 74, no. 4 (1993): 547-8. Cross, Lowell. "Electronic Music, 1948-1953." Perspectives of New Music 7, no. 1 (1968): 41. Stuckenschmidt, H. H. "Contemporary Techniques in Music." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 1 (1963): 13. Cross, Lowell. "Electronic Music, 1948-1953." Perspectives of New Music 7, no. 1 (1968): 41.

10 11 12

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 7

sound object, "sounds that could be produced by man."13 These sounds included piano, human voices speaking and singing, drums, band and orchestra recordings, mallets, and other foley. Symphonie pour un homme seul is divided into twelve movements, which are approximate to classical structures.14 Given the non-restrictive ideas behind the work, the piece was listed in Golea's early catalog of electronic music as "expressive concrete music."15 With the assistance of audio engineer Jacques Poullin, the composers created the work using radio broadcasting equipment and magnetic tape. 16 The large variety of processing techniques includes transposition, reverse, time stretching, layering, artificial reverberation, looping, and sampling. The performance of the work required "several sets of turntables, loudspeakers, and mixing units."17 Maurice Bejart choreographed Symphonie pour un homme seul in 1955.18 Gesang der Jünglinge by Karlheinz Stockhausen Gesang der Jünglinge is a tape piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It debuted at Cologne's West German Radio in its largest auditorium on May 30th, 1956. 19 Stockhausen developed Gesang der Jünglinge at the Studio für Elektronische Musik des Westdeutschen Rundfunk in Cologne,

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Manning, Peter. Electronic and Computer Music. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 24. Manning, Peter. Electronic and Computer Music. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 24. Palombini, Carlos. "Pierre Schaeffer, 1953: Towards an Experimental Music." Music & Letters 74, no. 4 (1993): 543. Cross, Lowell. "Electronic Music, 1948-1953." Perspectives of New Music 7, no. 1 (1968): 41. Manning, Peter. Electronic and Computer Music. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 24. EMF Media. "PIERRE SCHAEFFER." http://www.emfmedia.org/artists/schaeffer.html.

Smalley, John. "Gesang der Jünglinge: History and Analysis." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/ masterpieces/notes/stockhausen/GesangHistoryandAnalysis.pdf. 2000.

Germany.20 It is 13:40 minutes long, and the title translates to Sound of the Youths (in the Fiery Furnace). Gesang der Jünglinge is the best known and most influential work of electronic music. Karlheinz Stockhausen, unique for an early electronic music composer, had worked both at the Paris and Cologne studios. He began in Paris, where he made Studie I and Studie II,21 and left Paris for Cologne in 1952.22 His reason for leaving, among other factors, was to study phonetics at the University of Bonn with professor Werner Meyer-Eppler.23 Gesang der Jünglinge is one of the few pieces of early tape music associated with both elektronische Musik and musique concrete.24 Stockhausen was a student and participant of serialism,25 which is more associated with elektronische Musik. However, he wanted to go beyond the practices of the Cologne studio, to lose the rigidity of serialism and give his work a greater sense of familiarity26 as well as to use serialism similar to how Bach used counterpoint.27
20

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
21

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
22

Decroupet, Pascal, Elena Ungeheuer, and Jerome Kohl. "Through the Sensory Looking-Glass: The Aesthetic and Serial Foundations of Gesang der Jünglinge." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 1 (1998): 97-142.
23

Peters, Gunter, and Mark Schrieber. "".How Creation Is Composed": Spirituality in the Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen."Perspectives of New Music 37, no. 1 (1999): 97-131. Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721. Smalley, John. "Gesang der Jünglinge: History and Analysis." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/ masterpieces/notes/stockhausen/GesangHistoryandAnalysis.pdf. 2000.
24

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
25

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721. Decroupet, Pascal, Elena Ungeheuer, and Jerome Kohl. "Through the Sensory Looking-Glass: The Aesthetic and Serial Foundations of Gesang der Jünglinge." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 1 (1998): 97-142.
26

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
27

Smalley, John. "Gesang der Jünglinge: History and Analysis." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/ masterpieces/notes/stockhausen/GesangHistoryandAnalysis.pdf. 2000.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 9

Stockhausen once described the three aims of his works as: absolute freedom, newness, and a balance of religion and reason.28 The narrative behind the work is: from a Biblical story in The Book of Daniel where Nebuchadnezzar throws Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace but miraculously they are unharmed and begin to sing praises to God.29 A strong theme of purity and vilification ties the segments of the work together.30 The piece is divided into six sections, notably lacking a seventh concluding section. Each section is unique in its "treatment of voice." Section A is introductory, B is swarms of voices, C emphasizes words, D marks the use of chords, section E makes use of polyphony, and section F represents summation.31 The source material for the work is a twelve-year-old boy, both singing and speaking in a normal voice.32 The boy was Josef Protschka, who was given sine tones to sing back along with sacred text in German.33 The piece also uses sine tones in an additive way, white noise, and impulses.34 Stockhausen wanted to develop as piece as a prayer "free [...] from the traces of

28

Peters, Gunter, and Mark Schrieber. "".How Creation Is Composed": Spirituality in the Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen."Perspectives of New Music 37, no. 1 (1999): 97-131.
29

Stone, Kurt. "Review: Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/56) by Karlheinz Stockhausen." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1963): 552.
30

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
31

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
32

Stone, Kurt. "Review: Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/56) by Karlheinz Stockhausen." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1963): 552.
33

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
34

Decroupet, Pascal, Elena Ungeheuer, and Jerome Kohl. "Through the Sensory Looking-Glass: The Aesthetic and Serial Foundations of Gesang der Jünglinge." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 1 (1998): 97-142.

archaic fear of the gods" in the Roman Catholic church.35 The work makes use of the Fibonacci series.36 Stockhausen used the phonetics of the text serially, within the realms of intelligibility, speech versus singing, echo, distance, spatial position, and pitch.37 He made the synthesized tones sound like the phonetics of the boy's voice.38 Stockhausen analyzed and reconstructed the voice using the recent developed vocoder, which aided in fragmentation of speech.39 The final version of the piece is in five channel sound, which was mixed down to four for the original performance.40 This piece, as the most influential work of electronic music, will be mentioned repeatedly in this paper. Poème électronique by Edgard Varèse Poème électronique, or Electronic Poem in English, is a three channel41 tape piece by Edgard Varèse. It premiered at the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair from April 17 to October 19, 1958; and it was developed in Paris, France. It is intended as part of a
35

Smalley, John. "Gesang der Jünglinge: History and Analysis." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/ masterpieces/notes/stockhausen/GesangHistoryandAnalysis.pdf. 2000. Peters, Gunter, and Mark Schrieber. "".How Creation Is Composed": Spirituality in the Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen."Perspectives of New Music 37, no. 1 (1999): 97-131.
36

Decroupet, Pascal, Elena Ungeheuer, and Jerome Kohl. "Through the Sensory Looking-Glass: The Aesthetic and Serial Foundations of Gesang der Jünglinge." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 1 (1998): 97-142.
37

Stone, Kurt. "Review: Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/56) by Karlheinz Stockhausen." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1963): 552.
38

Stone, Kurt. "Review: Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/56) by Karlheinz Stockhausen." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1963): 553.
39

Metzer, David. "The Paths from and to Abstraction in Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge." MODERNISM / modernity 11, no. 4 (2004): 695-721.
40

Stone, Kurt. "Review: Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/56) by Karlheinz Stockhausen." The Musical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1963): 554.
41

Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 11

multimedia, musique concrete installation piece. Poème électronique is "the first electroacoustic work in the history of music to be structurally integrated in an audiovisual context."42 Recently, it has been recreated in a virtual reality environment.43 Varèse at the time of composing Poème électronique was heavily experienced with music technology, with more than five decades of composition experience, four decades of experience with electronics, and had composed major electronic works Ionisation, Espace, and Deserts.44 He developed the piece at Schaeffer's GMRC/RTF near the end of his life.45 Varèse is known for the prominence of timbre and rhythm in his work, and, like his musique concrete colleagues, opposed devotion to any major structural technique.46 The composer was influenced by Renaissance music.47 He is also known for his emphasis on vertical over horizontal composition.48 Poème électronique was part of a multimedia installation, with lighting design and image projections made by futurist architect Le Corbusier,49 and the film was made up of black-andwhite still photography.50 Both Iannis Xenakis, the designer of the Philips Pavilion, and Varèse
42

Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)
43

Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)
44 45 46 47 48

"Edgar Varese Biography." http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Varese_Edgar.html 1883-1965 Wen-Chung, Chou. "Varèse: A Sketch of the Man and His Music." The Musical Quarterly 52, no. 2 (1966): 151-170. "Edgar Varese Biography." http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Varese_Edgar.html

Bayly, Richard, Edgar Varese, and Louise Ussachevsky. "Ussachevsky on Varèse: An Interview April 24, 1979 at Goucher College." Perspectives of New Music 21, no. 1/2 (1982): 145-151.
49

Media Art Net. "Le Corbusier; Iannis Xenakis; Edgard Varèse «Poème électronique: Philips Pavilion»." http:// www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/poeme-electronique/.
50

Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)

were interested in parabolas and hyperbolas across various media: architecture for Xenakis and painting for Varèse.51 In the Philips Pavilion, the sound moved around the space over 425 loudspeakers, designated in 11 groups.52 The plan of the pavilion was conceived as a "stomach": visitors would enter through a curved corridor, stand in a central chamber for the eight-minute presentation, and exit out the other side.53 Structurally, the piece is in binary form with multiple subdivisions or thematic groups, such as similar timbre or rhythms. The musical source material includes bells, wood blocks, sirens, drums, singing, machine noises, animals, and organ. Listening to the recording, the processing techniques immediately evident are splicing, looping, reverse, alterations to playback speed, and movement of sound material in space.

The 1960s
A common theme in the history of electronic music: as the cost of electronic equipment goes down and the availability and accessibility of equipment improves, the diversity of electronic music increases. It is no clearer at any point of history than the 1960s. The first piece is again from the Paris musique concrete studio, although with a twist. The latter two pieces demonstrate the spread of artistic electronic equipment usage in music production. The second piece represents the growth and acceptance of electronic music in the mainstream rock scene, and the third represents the beginnings of computer music.

51

Sikiaridi, Elizabeth. "The Architectures of Iannis Xenakis." Journal of Speculative Research 1, no. 3 (2003): 201-207. Harley, James. "Iannis Xenakis Bibliography and Discography." Leonardo. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/ spec.projects/Xenakisbib.html.
52

Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)
53

Wikipedia. "Philips Pavilion." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips_Pavilion.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 13

Orient-Occident by Iannis Xenakis Iannis Xenakis composed Orient-Occident in 1960 at the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète in Paris, France. The piece is for four-track tape, 10:58 minutes in length, intended for a live viewing audience. Xenakis produced Orient-Occident on commission from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for a film created by Enrico Fulchignoni. 54 Xenakis began his career as a civil engineer in Greece. He was persecuted during World War II, and left for Paris, where he would design the Philips Pavilion for Varèse's Poème électronique. He worked with and was influenced by architect Le Corbusier. The multitalented artist began studying music composition in 1951, particularly with Olivier Messiaen, and joined Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry at the Paris studio in 1957.55 The composer, by the time of creating Orient-Occident, had over ten years of experience in composition. The work was preceded by his Bohor, also considered a musique concrete masterpiece. He would later go on to invent the UPIC, a graphical computer music composition system, in 1977.56

54 55

EMF Media. "IANNIS XENAKIS Electronic Music." http://www.emfmedia.org/items/em102.html.

Harley, James. "Iannis Xenakis Bibliography and Discography." Leonardo. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/ spec.projects/Xenakisbib.html.
56

Harley, James. "Iannis Xenakis Bibliography and Discography." Leonardo. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/ spec.projects/Xenakisbib.html.

Xenakis's music is known for its connection to African and Japanese music,57 stochasticism-- or total randomness,58 and architectural design.59 From his architecture perspective, he once said in interview: The computer should be used not only for sound synthesis but also for macrostructures, large-scale constructions. Xenakis was a devotee of Antiquitial design both in architecture and in music. The film by Enrico Fulchignoni was about transition of civilizations around the time of Alexander the Great,60 based on an exhibit at the Cernuschi Museum in Paris.61 Xenakis used the source materials and structure of the piece to bring forth the qualities of Antiquity.62 Some of the source material included boxes, bells, and metal rods bowed, the atmosphere, and an excerpt from one of his acoustic music works.63 The source material was ordered and layered using a "geometric

57

Di Scipio, Agostino. "Compositional Models in Xenakis's Electroacoustic Music." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 2 (1998): 201-243.
58

Di Scipio, Agostino. "Compositional Models in Xenakis's Electroacoustic Music." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 2 (1998): 201-243.
59

Xenakis, Iannis, Roberta Brown, and John Rahn. "Xenakis on Xenakis." Perspectives of New Music 25, no. 1/2 (1987): 16-63.
60

Solomis, Mark. "Xenakis." Digital Music Archives. http://www.digital-music-archives.com/webdb2/application/ Application.php?fwServerClass=ProductDetail&ProductCode=CDE0053. EMF Media. "IANNIS XENAKIS Electronic Music." http://www.emfmedia.org/items/em102.html.
61

Harley, James. "Iannis Xenakis Bibliography and Discography." Leonardo. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/ spec.projects/Xenakisbib.html.
62

Solomis, Mark. "Xenakis." Digital Music Archives. http://www.digital-music-archives.com/webdb2/application/ Application.php?fwServerClass=ProductDetail&ProductCode=CDE0053.
63

EMF Media. "IANNIS XENAKIS Electronic Music." http://www.emfmedia.org/items/em102.html.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 15

series."64 The composer is known as one of the first in the electronic field to draw associations between visual imagery and sound.65 Xenakis worked with the ideas of slowing moving masses of sound, with contrasting moments of intermittent subtlety.66 This was different from the "more transparent appropriations" of Schaeffer and Henry.67 The author of this paper notes the conceptual similarity with granular synthesis, a technique the composer's later computer music works would implement. Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows is a song from the Beatles, the last track on their controversial Revolver album. The song was written by John Lennon and produced by George Martin. It was recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London, England from April 6 to June 21, 1966. The Revolver album debuted on August 5, 1966. The label was Parlophone, which at the time was heavily tied into big band and jazz music.68 The song is 2:57 minutes in length. The Beatles were a huge success and nearing the end of their run by the time of Revolver, with six previous albums. The Beatles had only one tour after the make of the album, and Revolver was the first album on a path of complete creative and artistic control for the Beatles.

64

Di Scipio, Agostino. "Compositional Models in Xenakis's Electroacoustic Music." Perspectives of New Music 36, no. 2 (1998): 201-243.
65

Harley, James. "Iannis Xenakis Bibliography and Discography." Leonardo. http://www.leonardo.info/isast/ spec.projects/Xenakisbib.html. Lombardo, Vincenzo, Andrea Valle, John Fitch, Kees Tazelaar and others. "A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poème Électronique Based on Philological Research." Computer Music Journal 33, no. 2 (2009)
66

Kim, Rebecca. "Iannis Xenakis's Bohor." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/masterpieces/notes/ xenakis/bio.html.
67

Kim, Rebecca. "Iannis Xenakis's Bohor." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/masterpieces/notes/ xenakis/bio.html.
68

Reck, David R. "Beatles Orientalis: Influences from Asia in a Popular Song Tradition." Asian Music 16, no. 1 (1985): 103.

At this time, EMI was buying out Parlophone. Rock artists of the late 1960s were seeking out worldly sounds.69 At this time, the Beatles were interested in Indian music, musique concrete, and psychedelic pop. They are known for a never ending exploration of sound, worldly influences, as well as an influence from rhythm-and-blues music. Revolver was influenced as well by heavy usage of the drug LSD, also known as acid. Just before Revolver, the Beatles had the most successful tour in North America in the history of rock music. "Lennon's identity crisis at the height of his fame spawned a number of selfreferential confessionals about his identity ('Help!', 'Strawberry Fields' and 'She Said She Said') and alternative realms of the imagination that reached beyond the conscious world ('Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows')."70 The instruments used in Tomorrow Never Knows are tape, vocals, Hammond organ, tambourine, bass, drums, guitar, sitar, tambura (bass like drone),71 and honky-tonk piano. The musique concrete elements are seagulls, a Sibelius symphony in B-flat, guitar, and sitar samples. The English lyrics come from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, transliterated, which Lennon had read under the influence of LSD.72 The song is mostly on a C-major chord, and based on Indian music, particularly for the use of drones.73 Lennon had a copy of Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge, and the musique concrete ideas are based on it.74
69

Bellman, Jonathan. "Indian Resonances in the British Invasion, 1965-1968." The Journal of Musicology 15, no. 1 (1997): 116-136.
70 71

Riley, Tim. "For the Beatles: Notes on Their Achievement." Popular Music 6, no. 3 (1987): 270.

Reck, David R. "Beatles Orientalis: Influences from Asia in a Popular Song Tradition." Asian Music 16, no. 1 (1985): 103.
72

Bellman, Jonathan. "Indian Resonances in the British Invasion, 1965-1968." The Journal of Musicology 15, no. 1 (1997): 116-136.
73

Bellman, Jonathan. "Indian Resonances in the British Invasion, 1965-1968." The Journal of Musicology 15, no. 1 (1997): 116-136.
74

Smalley, John. "Gesang der Jünglinge: History and Analysis." Columbia University. http://music.columbia.edu/ masterpieces/notes/stockhausen/GesangHistoryandAnalysis.pdf. 2000.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 17

Tomorrow Never Knows used a BTR3 tape machine, a Hammond organ, and a Mellotron Mk. II for flute and violin like sounds.75 Some of the processing techniques used include automatic double tracking to double the vocals, reverse, and layering, inspired from Gesang. The automatic double tracking technology used in Tomorrow Never Knows led to the development of the artificial chorus effect.76 Silver Apples of the Moon by Morton Subotnick Silver Apples of the Moon is an album by Morton Subotnick, originally released as an LP in 1967, and re-released on CD on June 14, 1994. It's length is 31:39 minutes, with a part A of 16:40 minutes and a part B of 14:59 to fit on a two-sided LP.77 It was the first electronic piece commissioned by a major record label, Nonesuch.78 It became a bestseller in the classical music category.79 Morton Subotnick "studied with Darius Milhaud and Leon Kirchner at Mills College in Oakland, CA."80 He has been teaching music composition since the early 1960s,81 with his first successful composition in 1958, and first tape piece in 1961.82 At the time of Silver Apples of the Moon, Subotnick was teaching at New York University's Tisch school after having left the San

75

Reck, David R. "Beatles Orientalis: Influences from Asia in a Popular Song Tradition." Asian Music 16, no. 1 (1985): 103.
76

Lenser, Barry. "The Beatles - “Ask Me Why”." Sundance Channel. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/ask-mewhy/.
77 78

Ghezzo, Dino. "Morton Subotnick." International New Music Consortium. http://www.inmc.org/Subotnick.html.

Truax, Barry. ""Sequence of Earlier Heaven": The Record as a Medium for the Electroacoustic Composer." Leonardo 21, no. 1 (1998): 25-28.
79 80 81 82

Ghezzo, Dino. "Morton Subotnick." International New Music Consortium. http://www.inmc.org/Subotnick.html. Subotnick, Morton. "Bio." http://www.mortonsubotnick.com/about.html. Subotnick, Morton. "Bio." http://www.mortonsubotnick.com/about.html. Subotnick, Morton. "Timeline." http://www.mortonsubotnick.com/timeline.html.

Francisco Tape Music Center.83 His music is known for its regular rhythms and classical forms.84 Nonesuch was a major record label, a subsidiary of Warner Music, and a supporter of world music.85 The piece is generated from a Buchla synthesizer, which featured modular voltage-control, sequencing abilities, and a pressure-sensitive keyboard.86 The album, which sounds a bit like an early video game thanks to its use of simple waveforms, features a regular, rapid rhythm. The album's rhythmic qualities have led to it being choreographed multiple times.87 This was unusual for academic circles up to that point, but is prolific throughout the composer's career.88 It was the first major electronic composition to use a sequencer.89

The 1970s
In the era of the 1970s, the biggest theme of electronic music history continued onward: more diversity. The first two pieces in this section represent the desire to connect other kinds of music with electronic music, and third marks the beginning of an important genre of electronic music.

83

Gann, Kyle. "From Moog to Mark II, to MIDI to MAX." American Public Media. http:// musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/essay_gann11.html.
84 85

Subotnick, Morton. "Bio." http://www.mortonsubotnick.com/about.html.

Library of Congress. "The Full National Recording Registry." http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/nrpbmasterlist.html.
86

Gann, Kyle. "From Moog to Mark II, to MIDI to MAX." American Public Media. http:// musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/essay_gann11.html.
87 88

Art and Popular Culture. "Morton Subotnick." http://www.artandpopularculture.com/Morton_Subotnick.

Dockstader, Tod. "Review: Morton Subotnick: The Wild Bull a Composition for Electronic-Music Synthesizer by Morton Subotnick." The Musical Quarterly 55, no. 1 (1969): 136-139.
89

EMF Institute. "Silver Apples of the Moon." http://emfinstitute.emf.org/exhibits/subotnicksilver.html.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 19

Synchronism #6 by Mario Davidovsky Synchronism #6 by Mario Davidovsky is combination tape with live performance electroacoustic piece, intended for concert audience. The entire series, currently up to ten in number, features a solo instrumentalist and electronics. Synchronism #6 features piano as its solo instrumentalist. The tape is eight-channel. It is 7:10 minutes in length. It premiered in 1970, likely in the McMillan Theater at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York. 90 It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971, the second electronic piece of music to do so. Mario Davidovsky is a lifelong composer, who at the time of Synchronism #6 had over ten years of experience working with electronics. The piece developed while he was teaching at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. The Argentine-American composer studied at the University of Buenos Aires, and then studied composition with Aaron Copland and Milton Babbitt, as well as serving as a technician for Varese.91 He was also a student of Stockhausen's work.92 Davidovsky explains how he was drawn to electronic music: The principal reason was that I immediately realized that sounds in electronic music behave in a completely new way. There is no physical constraint, no bow, no air to blow. I learned that the dynamic of the sound was really fantastically new, with a whole new idea of space and time. I immediately thought that those behaviors of sound were so good that I wanted to make them a part of instrumental music.93

90

Gluck, Bob. "Interview with Mario Davidovsky." EMF Institute. http://emfinstitute.emf.org/articles/ gluck.davidovsky_05.html.
91 92

Collage New Music. "Mario Davidovsky." http://www.collagenewmusic.org/davidovsky.html.

Gluck, Bob. "Interview with Mario Davidovsky." EMF Institute. http://emfinstitute.emf.org/articles/ gluck.davidovsky_05.html.
93

Gluck, Bob. "Interview with Mario Davidovsky." EMF Institute. http://emfinstitute.emf.org/articles/ gluck.davidovsky_05.html.

The Synchronism series features tape, or live electronics with later pieces, with one or more live musicians. Davidovsky has a few reasons for this. A major component of this is audience accessibility of electroacoustic music. Davidovsky: I could help the cause of electronic music by introducing a human being playing. The audience can connect with a flutist or violin player. I thought that seeing a real instrumentalist playing could disarm the hostility that someone might have for electronic music.94 The form of the Synchronism pieces borrows from classical forms, but uses elements from modern narratives.95 However, the pieces do not adhere to any major style.96 Davidovsky is greatly interested in sound envelopes, or the shape of amplitude over time, which "takes into account the most basic acoustical properties of the live instrument employed."97 Each of the pieces has a single melodic and rhythmic idea as well as a single timbre and amplitude idea.98 In Synchronism #6, the opening motif is essentially the entire piece.99 Also, the piece generally follows Sonata form, featuring three major sections: Exposition, Development, and Recapitulation.100 #6 uses the quick decay of the piano strike to have a jarring effect, using the tape to lead up to the real piano notes.101
94

Gluck, Bob. "Interview with Mario Davidovsky." EMF Institute. http://emfinstitute.emf.org/articles/ gluck.davidovsky_05.html.
95 96

The Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3. CD. 1998. Liner notes.

Oteri, Frank J. "Mario Davidovsky: A Long Way from Home." New Box Music. http://www.newmusicbox.org/ article.nmbx?id=4839.
97

Chasalow, Eric. "Mario Davidowsky: An Introduction." AGNI Magazine. http://www.bu.edu/agni/reviews/print/ 1999/50-chasalow.html.
98 99

The Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3. CD. 1998. Liner notes.

Chasalow, Eric. "Mario Davidowsky: An Introduction." AGNI Magazine. http://www.bu.edu/agni/reviews/print/ 1999/50-chasalow.html.
100 101

The Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3. CD. 1998. Liner notes.

Chasalow, Eric. "Mario Davidowsky: An Introduction." AGNI Magazine. http://www.bu.edu/agni/reviews/print/ 1999/50-chasalow.html.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 21

Figure in a Clearing by David Behrman Figure in a Clearing is an electroacoustic piece for concert audience and one side of an LP, 19:10 minutes long. The piece is for cello and computer, the Kim-1.102 In the recording, the cello is played by David Gibson. 103 Behrman developed the work in Oakland, California, and it debuted at the electronic music studio at SUNY: Albany on June 9, 1977.104 The work is known as one of the earliest successful pieces using a microcomputer.105 David Behrman was an experienced acoustic composer at the time of working on Figure in a Clearing, and a professor at Mills College;106 however, it was the composer's first work with computer. 107 Behrman is noted for "throwing away established techniques,"108 and has a particular interest in working with lights.109 He is also associated with minimalism, and later works of human performer with computer interaction. The composer was also a founding member of the Sonic Arts Union (1966-1976), a touring group of electroacoustic and modern

102 103 104 105

lovely.com. "Album Notes: "On the Other Ocean" (1977)." http://www.lovely.com/albumnotes/notes1041.html. lovely.com. "Album Notes: "On the Other Ocean" (1977)." http://www.lovely.com/albumnotes/notes1041.html. lovely.com. "Album Notes: "On the Other Ocean" (1977)." http://www.lovely.com/albumnotes/notes1041.html.

Kuivila, Ron, and David Behrman. "Composing with Shifting Sand: A Conversation between Ron Kuivila and David Behrman on Electronic Music and the Ephemerality of Technology." Leonardo Music Journal 8 (1998): 13-16.
106

Tyranny, Gene. "David Behrman Biography." Yahoo! Music. http://new.music.yahoo.com/david-behrman/ biography/;_ylt=A0SO2xc_tClLB1AAFS7HxCUv.
107 108 109

On the Other Ocean. CD. 1996. Liner notes. Holmes, Thom. Electronic and Experimental Music. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Studio Five Beekman. "Pen Light: an interactive sound and light installation." http://diapasongallery.org/ behrman.html.

musicians.110 He studied Gesang der Jünglinge under Stockhausen in 1959 at Darmstadt, and worked with Wallingford Rieger, David Tudor, Gordon Mumma, and Merce Cunningham.111 The cello in Figure in a Clearing is accompanied by the Kim-1, which generates triangles waves.112 Only six pitches are assigned to the cello for the entire piece for improvisation.113 The composer made certain the software enables the imagination of the performer beyond his own ideas for the work.114 The software time-wise is "modeled on the motion of a satellite in falling elliptical orbit around a planet" with the harmonic pattern.115 Behrman has stated he is more interested in relaxing, calming music,116 and the minimalism of the six notes, along with the gentle changes in the computer's sound,117 matches this inclination. The composer directed the cellist to "not speed up" along with the computer,118 further adding a calming effect to the work. The Kim-1 in the piece makes use of triangle wave generators, voltage-control signals and frequency modulation synthesis.119 The composer spent a great deal of his work on the piece getting it to work consistently with the new technology, taking multiple rounds of testing before

110

Kuivila, Ron, and David Behrman. "Composing with Shifting Sand: A Conversation between Ron Kuivila and David Behrman on Electronic Music and the Ephemerality of Technology." Leonardo Music Journal 8 (1998): 13-16.
111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119

Gross, Jason. "David Behrman interview." Perfect Sound Forever. http://www.furious.com/perfect/behrman.html. Amazon. "On the Other Ocean." http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000003Y88. Amazon. "On the Other Ocean." http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000003Y88. Gross, Jason. "David Behrman interview." Perfect Sound Forever. http://www.furious.com/perfect/behrman.html. On the Other Ocean. CD. 1996. Liner notes. Gross, Jason. "David Behrman interview." Perfect Sound Forever. http://www.furious.com/perfect/behrman.html. On the Other Ocean. CD. 1996. Liner notes. lovely.com. "Album Notes: "On the Other Ocean" (1977)." http://www.lovely.com/albumnotes/notes1041.html. Behrman, David. "1970s." dbehrman.net. http://www.dbehrman.net/1970s/1970s-figure.html.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 23

ending with a satisfactory work.120 Behrman was particularly engaged with the technology, saying: It seemed astounding in 1977 that a translucent green circuit board with a tiny brain on it could take a million instructions per second from its little memory and send commands to another device, the home-made music synthesizer, whenever its program asked it to do so.121 Music for Airports by Brian Eno Music for Airports is an ambient electronic music album by Brian Eno. The album was released in 1978 at 48:32 minutes in length by Editions Eg Records, an independent United Kingdom label. The album is intended as an installation for airports and other high stress public locations.122 The first installation of Music for Airports was in 1980 at the La Guardia Airport's Maine Terminal.123 Eno developed Music for Airports in London, England, and the last track at Cologne, Germany. It is one of the major early works of ambient music. Brian Eno began his music career in 1972 in the band Roxy Music.124 He had made five previous successful albums,125 including the ambient album Discreet Music. Eno is credited with

120

Kuivila, Ron, and David Behrman. "Composing with Shifting Sand: A Conversation between Ron Kuivila and David Behrman on Electronic Music and the Ephemerality of Technology." Leonardo Music Journal 8 (1998): 13-16.
121 122

lovely.com. "Album Notes: "On the Other Ocean" (1977)." http://www.lovely.com/albumnotes/notes1041.html.

Baskas, Harriet. "Better branding through music: Original airport theme songs." USA Today. http:// www.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/baskas/2008-03-12-airport-theme-songs_N.htm. Amirkhanian, Charles. "Music For Earthquakes: Brian Eno at the Exploratorium in San Francisco." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/interviews/reha88.html.
123

Lanza, Joseph. "The Sound of Cottage Cheese (Why Background Music Is the Real World Beat!)." Performing Arts Journal 13, no. 3 (1991): 42-53.
124 125

Aikin, Jim. "Eno." Keyboard Wizards, Winter 1985. Haidenbauer , Johann. "Brian Eno Discography." enoweb. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/discog.html.

creating the term ambient music.126 He would continue to make three more ambient albums; and have numerous collaborations with rock stars, video game directors and film makers. Eno, like many artists in this paper, was not satisfied with the music stylings of the time. He despised classic music: Classical music in England is about as interesting as watching someone do trigonometry exercises.127 Also at the time, disco was surging as a genre, along with the beginnings of new wave rock music, neither of which Eno was a fan.128 However, he was inspired by jazz music, reggae, and John Cage's chance music.129 Eno's inspiration for creating Music for Airports was the Cologne Airport: I thought: "What do you most want to feel when you get on a plane?" And I was aware that the music that gets used in airports has exactly the opposite effect that it's supposed to. It's supposed to make you think: 'Don't worry. Everything's all right. It's just a normal day.' [...] I was thinking that Music For Airports should give you the feeling that, 'Well, it doesn't really matter all that much anyway. What's a few humans less?' So that's why the music has a slightly, I'd say, resigned feeling to it.130 Brian Eno used human voices, acoustic piano, and a synthesizer as the source materials for creating Music for Airports. The vocal performers were Christa Fast, Christine Gomez, and Inge Zeininger, with Robert Wyatt on acoustic piano.131 Eno asked the performers to improvise
126

Amirkhanian, Charles. "Music For Earthquakes: Brian Eno at the Exploratorium in San Francisco." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/interviews/reha88.html.
127

Amirkhanian, Charles. "Music For Earthquakes: Brian Eno at the Exploratorium in San Francisco." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/interviews/reha88.html.
128 129

Aikin, Jim. "Eno." Keyboard Wizards, Winter 1985.

Baskas, Harriet. "Better branding through music: Original airport theme songs." USA Today. http:// www.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/baskas/2008-03-12-airport-theme-songs_N.htm.
130

Amirkhanian, Charles. "Music For Earthquakes: Brian Eno at the Exploratorium in San Francisco." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/interviews/reha88.html.
131

Ambient 1: Music for Airports. CD. 2004. Liner notes.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 25

independently in the recording studio, and he took small sections of the recordings to loop.132 He used a twenty-four track tape machine,133 later mixed down to stereo, and an ARP2600 synthesizer.134 Brian Eno made use of exaggerated compression,135 echo, chance operations, and allowing the problems of the synthesizer to become features.136 The album is divided into four sections: 1/1 is piano and synthesizer, 1/2 is piano with voices, 2/1 is only voices, and 2/2 is synthesizer only. The energy level is consistent throughout the album other than the gaps between tracks. There is an emphasis on bass frequencies in the first and last tracks; otherwise Eno falls on the side of consistency over variety. However, it seems each repetition of the looped materials is somehow different each time it is brought back. Tracks from the album are used in documentaries and in public spaces. Eno also made an ambient film in 1981, titled Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan, which features tracks from Music for Airports.137

The 1980s
By the time we review the masterpieces of electronic music of the 1980s, there is such a large diversity of work to choose from that the selection becomes more focused on overall

132

Bass, David. "The Studio As Compositional Tool." Downbeat. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/ interviews/downbeat79.htm.
133

Bass, David. "The Studio As Compositional Tool." Downbeat. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/ interviews/downbeat79.htm.
134 135

Aikin, Jim. "Eno." Keyboard Wizards, Winter 1985.

Bass, David. "The Studio As Compositional Tool." Downbeat. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/ interviews/downbeat79.htm.
136 137

Aikin, Jim. "Eno." Keyboard Wizards, Winter 1985. Haidenbauer, Johann. "enoweb." video. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/videoother.html.

quality than attempts to represent specific movements. The first and third pieces in this section represent developments in academic circles, and the second, the beginnings of one of the most influential genres of mainstream electronic music. Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco by Jonathan Harvey Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco is an eight-channel138 tape piece by Jonathan Harvey. The translation of the title is I lament the dead, I call the living (to prayer). It debuted at the Lille Festival on November 20, 1980139 at 9:00 minutes in length. It is one of the first, if not the first, piece to use convolution, 140 and this author's favorite tape piece. Jonathan Harvey is a British composer, who by the time of composing Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco held two doctorates141 and composed many chamber and choral works. This however was the composer's first work in the electronic realm, 142 although Harvey had worked with the equipment previously.143 Harvey did the recording for the piece at Winchester Cathedral in the United Kingdom, and did the processing work at IRCAM in Paris, France.144 IRCAM had recently

138 139 140

Harvey, Jonathan. "Madonna of Winter and Spring." The Musical Times 127, no. 1720 (1986): 431-433. Harvey, Jonathan. "List of works - 1977 to present." vivosvoco.com. http://www.vivosvoco.com/listofworks.html.

Allen, J Anthony. "Jonathon Harvey, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco: An Analytical Method for Timbre Analysis and Notation." Spark (2005): 78-79.
141

Harvey, Jonathan. "Sketches for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)." BBC, 2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/ cutandsplice/mortuos.shtml.
142 143

Harvey, Jonathan. "List of works - 1977 to present." vivosvoco.com. http://www.vivosvoco.com/listofworks.html.

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 111.
144

Harvey, Jonathan. "Sketches for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)." BBC, 2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/ cutandsplice/mortuos.shtml.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 27

opened in 1977.145 John Chowning was working on FM synthesis, IRCAM gained a new building, and the 4X computer system was all developing at the time.146 Jonathan Harvey's work is known for its spirituality,147 including Buddhism and the eastern mantra,148 and the manifestation of a single idea.149 His compositions are also known for their spectralism, and serialism based on spectralism; wherein the composer uses the spectral content of the source material to generate the form of the work.150 The text of Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco is in Latin, and religious in nature. Harvey recorded his son, Dominic, who was in a choir at Winchester Cathedral. The text is inscribed on the largest bell in the cathedral.151 Harvey also recorded the bell. The composer uses his son's voice to represent life (Vivos Voco) and the bell to represent death (Mortuos Plango).152 Each of the

145 146 147

EMF Institute. "Big Timeline - Composition." http://emfinstitute.emf.org/bigtimelines/composition.html. IRCAM. "History." http://www.ircam.fr/62.html?L=1.

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 112.
148

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 112. Harvey, Jonathan. "Madonna of Winter and Spring." The Musical Times 127, no. 1720 (1986): 432.
149

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 112.
150

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 113. Harvey, Jonathan. "The Composer's View: Atonality." The Musical Times 121, no. 1653 (1980): 699-700.
151

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 112.
152

Harvey, Jonathan. "Sketches for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)." BBC, 2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/ cutandsplice/mortuos.shtml.

eight sections of the piece, unique in timbre characteristics, begins with the bell.153 The eight channel work is spatially propagated in a cube to create three-dimensional sound.154 Harvey used manipulation of timbre both as form and content for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco. In a serial fashion, Harvey analyzed the spectral content of the bell, and used "partials from the bell to form the basis of the pitch structure of the entire composition."155 Under his analysis, there were thirty-three partials that made up the sound of the bell.156 The composer used the Music V software for processing the source material.157 Also, he used a piece of software called Chant, developed at IRCAM, which provides a technique called FOF Synthesis, or formant synthesis in English.158 This allowed Harvey to synthesize the sounds of the bell and the voice in simple waveforms, and mix the two together seamlessly at various stages of the piece. Some of the other processing techniques Harvey used were reverse, FFT partial analysis, additive synthesis, crossfading, glissandi,159 and FM synthesis.160 Being his first

153

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 113.
154

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 112.
155

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 116.
156

Gilbert, Janet. "New Music and Myth: The Olympic Arts Festival of Contemporary Music: Los Angeles June 18-24, 1984."Perspectives of New Music 22, no. 1/2 (1983): 478-482.
157

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 115.
158

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 117.
159

Clarke, Michael. "Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." In Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music, Mary Simoni, 111-144. New York: Routledge, 2006. 115-117 + 131.
160

Allen, J Anthony. "Jonathon Harvey, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco: An Analytical Method for Timbre Analysis and Notation." Spark (2005): 78-79.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 29

released electronic work, Harvey felt "intimidated" by the technology, so despite using advanced processing techniques, the quality of the sounds stay near the source materials.161 The video art group Visual Kitchen, based out of Brussels, created a video installation based on the work that premiered at the Saint Catherine's Church in Vilnius, Lithuania during the Gaida Festival on October 24, 2008.162 The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five The Message is both a song and an album by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This entry will focus on the song. It was written and performed by MC Duke Bootee and MC Melle Mel on the album.163 The album was released in May 1982 by Sugar Hill Studios, the founding label of hip-hop music. It is intended for both radio play and concert performance. While the hip-hop scene began in the Bronx, New York City, the album was recorded in Englewood, New Jersey. The song is 7:10 minutes in length and in English. It is one of the most identifiable hiphop songs, and the first to be entered in the United States National Archive of Historic Recordings, as well as the first internationally successful hip-hop song.164 Hip-hop has its roots in the Bronx, New York City in the early 70s, where DJ Kool Herc invented the form of breakbeats. Essentially, the instrumental versions of songs, particularly funk songs, were taken and sections looped to allow club attendees to break dance. Grandmaster Flash said DJs started to do rapping on top of the breakbeats to keep audiences entertained and not become violent.165 The group had one previous album in 1979, which still
161

Harvey, Jonathan. "Sketches for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)." BBC, 2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/ cutandsplice/mortuos.shtml.
162 163 164 165

Visual Kitchen. "Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco." http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=68198464664. The Message. CD. 2002. Liner notes. The Message. CD. 2002. Liner notes. YouTube. "Grandmaster Flash - Interview 1986." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiojcGahgG4.

had a very strong funk influence. The only greatly successful hip-hop genre song that preceded it was Rapper's Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang.166 Grandmaster Flash, who has an electronics degree,167 along with the Furious Five, had just finished a opening on a tour with The Clash before working on the album.168 At the time, they were still DJing in the clubs in New York City, known as b-boy parties.169 The song is perhaps the first to use hip-hop as a means of making a social statement. Flash: Nobody was really looking for social significance, we was just looking to make the record, but now everyone's pressurized into coming with something like that again, but you can't really come up with nothing like that because you can't really come up with nothing that already was there in the first place. It wasn't like nobody made it up from that point in time just to do it, it was just laying around.170 The song is slow paced, which emphasizes the lyrical content about living in poverty, one author calling it a "dark commentary."171 Flash and crew admitted they were concerned about the viability of a hip-hop song not aimed at the club scene.172 However, in one description, it

166 167

Henry, Ed. "Hip-hop, you don’t stop: landmark records." NEW STATESMAN, 6 July 2009, 45.

Miller, Chuck. "GRANDMASTER CUTS FASTER: THE STORY OF GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE." Goldmine, 1997.
168

Miller, Chuck. "GRANDMASTER CUTS FASTER: THE STORY OF GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE." Goldmine, 1997.
169

Miller, Chuck. "GRANDMASTER CUTS FASTER: THE STORY OF GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE." Goldmine, 1997.
170

LaBrasca, Bob, and Larry Sloman. "Interview: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (1983)." High Times, 31 March 2003.
171

Miller, Chuck. "GRANDMASTER CUTS FASTER: THE STORY OF GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE." Goldmine, 1997.
172

LaBrasca, Bob, and Larry Sloman. "Interview: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (1983)." High Times, 31 March 2003.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 31

"transformed hip-hop from party music to a conscious culture with a socio-political message."173 The famous refrain lyrics of the song are: Don't push me, 'cause I'm close to the edge; I'm tryin' not to lose my head. The piece has four component sound producers: the rapper, the synthesizer, electronic drums, and turntable performance. The technology used represents the lower cost of entry that allowed for a more diversification in the electronic music scene. The song uses a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer, which was one of the first polyphonic synthesizers commercially available.174 It also featured patch memory, FM synthesis, and ring modulation. Also used was a Technics SL-20 turntable175 and a SP12 drum machine.176 The song is the first to use the scratching technique on turntable on a commercial album.177 A music video was also made to accompany the song's release as a single. Répons by Pierre Boulez Répons, or Response in English, is a mixed electroacoustic by Pierre Boulez, which debuted at the Donaueschingen Festival in Germany on October 18, 1981.178 Boulez completed the final version of the piece in 1984, which recorded is 43:31 in length.179 The work is for six soloists:

173 174

Freedoom, Bardos. "Grandmaster Flash interview." Radio 1190, 12 March 2009.

LaBrasca, Bob, and Larry Sloman. "Interview: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (1983)." High Times, 31 March 2003.
175

Miller, Chuck. "GRANDMASTER CUTS FASTER: THE STORY OF GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE." Goldmine, 1997.
176

Doran, John. "Flash Bang Wallop: The Grandmaster Interviewed." The Quietus. http://thequietus.com/articles/ 01169-flash-bang-whallop-grandmaster-interviewed.
177 178 179

Henry, Ed. "Hip-hop, you don’t stop: landmark records." NEW STATESMAN, 6 July 2009, 45. Pierre Boulez: Répons / Dialogue de l'Ombre Double. CD. 1999. Liner notes.

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.

two pianos, vibraphone, glockenspiel, cimbalon;180 twenty-four piece orchestra,181 and electronics. It is intended as a live piece for concert audience. It won a Grammy in 2009.182 Pierre Boulez has been an active composer since the 1940s, and is known for his work with serialism and chance operations. Boulez is know for his "internally consistent style" he provides his work with.183 From his studies of Stockhausen, he is influenced by Asian music and not "going from A to B."184 Pierre Boulez is heavily connected to IRCAM in Paris, France, and even more specifically, Ensemble InterContemporain, who performed Répons.185 Boulez, before composing Répons, found himself dissatisfied with tape pieces, and took IRCAM in a live processing direction.186 Ensemble InterContemporain formed at IRCAM to give experimental composers the flexibility needed to create live, electronically processed music.187 Previously in 1971, he composed a major flute with electronics concerto.188

180

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
181

Gable, David. "Ramifying Connections: An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Journal of Musicology 4, no. 1 (1985): 105-113.
182

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
183

McNamee, Ann K. "Review: Are Boulez and Stockhausen Ready for the Mainstream?." The Musical Quarterly 76, no. 2 (1992): 283-291.
184

Gable, David. "Ramifying Connections: An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Journal of Musicology 4, no. 1 (1985): 105-113. McNamee, Ann K. "Review: Are Boulez and Stockhausen Ready for the Mainstream?." The Musical Quarterly 76, no. 2 (1992): 283-291.
185 186 187 188

Pierre Boulez: Répons / Dialogue de l'Ombre Double. CD. 1999. Liner notes. IRCAM. "History." http://www.ircam.fr/62.html?L=1. IRCAM. "History." http://www.ircam.fr/62.html?L=1. IRCAM. "History." http://www.ircam.fr/62.html?L=1.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 33

The two main ideas behind Répons are call and response and spirals. The physical setup uses six speakers, one for each soloist, and the orchestra. Répons is conceptually made up of "three sound-categories -- natural, amplified, and transformed."189 Boulez: Respons is conceived as a spiral. It was always conceived as a spiral.190 The speakers and soloists are in alteration placed in a circle around the audience, surrounding the audience with the piece.191 The title of the piece comes from Gregorian Chant, wherein a soloist and a choir, spatially separated, respond to each other.192 The spiral idea was inspired by the Guggenheim Museum.193 The effect of the spiral is that of a spatial "whirlwind."194 Boulez composed Répons almost completely in reverse order by section.195 The form of Répons has ten section, an introduction, one through eight, then a coda. The introduction is orchestra only. Section one then introduces the elements around the circle. The work climaxes in section six, and fades out during the coda.196 While Boulez shows great control throughout the work, sporadic moments of complete chaos burst through the piece.197 Boulez

189 190 191

Driver, Paul. "Boulez's 'Répons'." Tempo 140 (1982): 27-28. Driver, Paul. "Boulez's 'Répons'." Tempo 140 (1982): 27-28.

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
192

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
193

Words of Boulez. Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/ joyce/music/boulez_repons.html.
194

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
195

Gable, David. "Ramifying Connections: An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Journal of Musicology 4, no. 1 (1985): 105-113.
196

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
197

Gable, David. "Ramifying Connections: An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Journal of Musicology 4, no. 1 (1985): 105-113.

uses a largely variety of musical techniques, but everything is kept in balance for the overall sound.198 In the 1984 version, the composer used a 4X computer system and a MATRIX32 mixing board.199 Boulez took three additional years to complete the work because technology was improving at a rapid rate. 200 Later versions of the work make use of pitch recognition.201 The electronic equipment is, unlike most of the pieces in this paper, used largely for repetition, embellishment, and decoration.202 Boulez referred to his electronic processing as "wallpaper music [...] each soloist is free to mix in synthesized sound contained on his tape-recorder."203

The 1990s and 2000s
The last two pieces in this paper represent current developments in electronic music. While both works are brilliant, only time will tell how influential these works will be. Ambiant Otaku by Tetsu Inoue Ambiant Otaku is an album by Testu Inoue, released in Frankfurt, Germany204 on March 21, 1994.205 The stereo album was originally limited to one hundred copies worldwide (Inoue):

198

Ruch, Allen B. "Pierre Boulez's Répons." The Modern World. http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/ boulez_repons.html.
199

McCallum, Peter, and Pierre Boulez. "An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Musical Times 130, no. 1751 (1989): 8-10.
200

McCallum, Peter, and Pierre Boulez. "An Interview with Pierre Boulez." The Musical Times 130, no. 1751 (1989): 8-10.
201 202 203 204

Mawhinney, Simon, and Pierre Boulez. "Composer in Interview: Pierre Boulez." Tempo 216 (2001): 2-5. Driver, Paul. "Boulez's 'Répons'." Tempo 140 (1982): 27-28. Driver, Paul. "Boulez's 'Répons'." Tempo 140 (1982): 27-28.

Cooper, Sean. "KALX Berkeley Interview ." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw.html.
205

Apple iTunes. "Ambiant Otaku." http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ambiant-otaku/id83255367.

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 35

No, I'm not to do with the re-release. Peter was mentioning about people paying 100 dollars for a disc and it was really ridiculous. Many people asked, so he decided to release it again.206 It is an underground masterpiece of modern ambient music. Ambiant Otaku was developed at and released by studio and ambient music label FAX +29-69/450464. The label was started by Pete Namlook in Germany in 1992.207 The album was the first solo work for Inoue, but had previously collaborated with Namlook for the the albums Orion and Orion II. 208 Inoue states he was drawn to ambient music because of a lack of access to drugs in Japan. 209 Since Ambiant Otaku, his music has moved from peaceful to more chaotic along with popular style.210 Inoue is associated with the ambient genre of music. Tetsu Inoue is likely not a fan of many pieces in this paper, calling academic music "too difficult to understand" and that it does not "communicate much with people outside the academic world."211 The composer's ideas borrow heavily, as with other ambient composers, from minimalism. His mentor and the studio's owner was Pete Namlook.212 Inoue cites Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra,213 and

206

Opdyke, David. "AmbiEntrance Interview." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw3.html.
207 208 209

FAX +49-69/450464. http://www.namlook.de/. hyperreal.org. "Tetsu Inoue Bio." http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/main.html.

Cooper, Sean. "KALX Berkeley Interview ." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw.html.
210

Opdyke, David. "AmbiEntrance Interview." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw3.html.
211

Cooper, Sean. "Urban Sounds interview." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw2.html.
212 213

FAX +49-69/450464. http://www.namlook.de/. hyperreal.org. "Tetsu Inoue Bio." http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/main.html.

Tomita214 as sources of inspiration. The composer is not greatly concerned with his audience, saying composition is "more like a personal diary."215 Inoue created Ambiant Otaku largely on a Synthi synthesizer; it was not done on a computer as Psycho-Acoustic was his first computer music album.216 Of the five tracks on the album, Karmic Light, Low of Vibration, Ambiant Otaku, Holy Dance, and Magnetic Fields, only Holy Fields uses elements outside of the synthesizer.217 Reviewer Sean Cooper calls the album similar to Eno's Discreet Music, but more modern with "synth passages occasionally accented by subtle beats and lifting melodies."218 The album features a mandala on the front cover, a religious symbol of Buddhism and Hinduism used for meditation. It Only Needs To Be Seen by Kyong Mee Choi The last piece, and most recent, piece in this paper is Kyong Mee Choi's It Only Needs To Be Seen. The 7:10 minute long work premiered at the SEAMUS conference at the University of Oregon in 2006, which was held March 30 to April 1.219 It took first prize in the 2006 ASCAP/ SEAMUS Student Commission program.220 The piece features a guitarist, with stereo electronics processing the sounds of the guitar live.

214

Cooper, Sean. "KALX Berkeley Interview ." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw.html.
215

Opdyke, David. "AmbiEntrance Interview." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw3.html.
216

Cooper, Sean. "KALX Berkeley Interview ." hyperreal.org. http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/press/ inouevw.html.
217 218 219 220

hyperreal.org. "Ambiant Otaku." http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/tetsu/discog/solo/otaku.html. Cooper, Sean. "Ambiant Otaku." allmusic. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wzfqxqyhldse. SEAMUS. "SEAMUS National Conference." http://www.seamusonline.org/conference.html.

Choi Kyong M. kyongmeechoi.com. SEAMUS. "The ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission." http://www.seamusonline.org/ascap.html

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 37

Choi, at the time, was nearing the completion of a DMA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The same year, Choi became faculty at Roosevelt University.221 She was commissioned twice previously to make electronic pieces.222 Choi has been an active electronic music composer since 1998.223 Her works are often multimedia and often interactive. Choi is a classically trained musician, but seeks new areas such as visual notation.224 She is also trained as a painter. Choi's opening program notes on It Only Needs To Be Seen: This piece is inspired by the Steve Hagen's saying, "Truth does not need any explanation. It only needs to be seen. The only way we can be free in each moment is to become what the moment is." I want audience to experience to be the moment through the stream of sound that does not need explanation but only needs to be heard.225 The piece has eventful and calm moments, as well as a fade in at the beginning and fade out near the end. However, as the program notes suggestion, there is no particular form otherwise to the piece. Choi uses advanced electronic processing techniques, but uses them in such a way they that they stay close to the guitar sound. The composer uses spatial techniques to her advantage consistently throughout the piece. Perhaps the most notable processing technique is pitch sliding, which naturally agrees with the guitar's innate abilities. Granular synthesis is also demonstrated in the piece. One reviewer notes:

221 222 223 224

Roosevelt University. "Kyong Mee Choi." http://ccpa.roosevelt.edu/faculty-detail.php?faculty_id=111. Choi Kyong M. kyongmeechoi.com. Choi Kyong M. kyongmeechoi.com.

Tisano, Theresa S. "Interview with Notations 21 Composer, Kyong Mee Choi." Notations 21. http:// notations21.wordpress.com/kyong-mee-choi/
225

SEAMUS Vol. 17. CD. 1998. Booklet.

The gestural interplay between the guitar and accompaniment is evocative and well balanced. --Ross Feller226 When asked in interview about her experience as a modern female electronic music composer, Choi responded: I never felt rejected because I was female. But, often times, females are just not exposed enough to the environment or equipment that is required for electronic music. If anything, I might call it a mental barrier for women to transcend. More or less, as a woman creating electronic music, I feel more appreciated by the music because not as many women are doing what I do. This way, more female students can be exposed to my work, and see electronic music as an option.227

Conclusion
Looking at these pieces, the question comes to mind: what do these masterpieces have in common? Outside of using electronic equipment, there is no answer to this question. If anything, diversity is the single most prominent theme throughout this paper. Masterpieces come in all sorts of lengths, from different kinds of people, different places, all with completely different ideas. There is, then, no defined way to making it to the quality level of these pieces. The entire history of electronic music cannot be represented completely by fourteen pieces, but hopefully this paper has served to show how some of the greatest accomplishments have been conceived and produced. I also hope that this more focused approached has served to be more interesting than the typical temporally oriented approach to electronic music history.

226 227

Feller, Ross. "Various: Music from SEAMUS, Volume 17." Computer Music Journal (2008): 78-80.

Tisano, Theresa S. "Interview with Notations 21 Composer, Kyong Mee Choi." Notations 21. http:// notations21.wordpress.com/kyong-mee-choi/

Heis, Fourteen Masterpieces of Electronic Music 39

Recommended
Highly recommended:
• Listening to the pieces. >> What electronic music is all about. • Holmes, Thom. Electronic and Experimental Music. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008. >> The most comprehensive, inclusive, and focused history available on electronic music. Includes useful timelines and recommended listenings.

Also recommended:
• d'Escrivan, Julio. The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. >> A unique article based approach, includes some topics not regularly mentioned in electronic music.

Recommended with reservations:
• Manning, Peter. Electronic and Computer Music. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. >> Excellent and detailed until the 1980s, after which few people are mentioned and no pieces are included. • Chadabe, Joel. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. New York: Prentice Hall, 1996. >> While an interesting read, unfortunately has an east coast American bias.

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