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Chapter 14
Classical and
Experimental Music
•Perspectives on Electronic Music
•Varèse and the Listener’s Experiment
•Composing Electronic Music
•Stockhausen: Vibrations of His
•Wendy Carlos: In a More Classical
•The Art of Drones and Minimalism
•Process Music
•The San Francisco Tape Music Center
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• The aesthetic clash over approaches to
electronic music between the French and
Germans during the 1950s was short-lived
due to the refusal of artists to be contained by
any single school of thought or dogmatic
approach to organizing such sounds.
• Because electronic music was reliant on
technology, the music itself was going to
become a testing ground for new aesthetic
ideas about the art of musical sound.
Chapter 14
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• Three cultural perspectives on electronic music
assume that technology naturally leads to
experimentation, the acceptance of electronic music
will succeed by comparing it to other forms of music,
and composing and listening to electronic music
requires new skills.
• Poème électronique was perhaps the first work of
electronic music to be so thoroughly integrated into a
performance space and implemented on such a
grand, immersive scale.
Chapter 14
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• Techniques for composing electronic music
include sound crafting/montage, the use of a
technical score, the combining of electronics
with other instruments, and instructional
composition that follows a set of directions
written in text.
• Among his many contributions to electronic
music, Stockhausen pioneered the
orchestration of live electronic musicians
accompanied by recorded passages.
Chapter 14
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• Wendy Carlos pioneered the
synthesizing of orchestral sounds using
both analog synthesis and digital
algorithms of her own design.
Chapter 14
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• Elements of minimalism include a
tendency to repeat lines of notes many
times, greatly reducing the motion and
tension of a piece of music so that it
does not appear to change or progress.
Chapter 14
Chapter 14 Classical and Experimental Music
• Process music involves rules established by a
composer that govern the way that a piece
unfolds, sometimes with a minimum of human
intervention. A piece of process music lasts
as long as it takes to complete the predefined
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14