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The Birth of Electronic Music

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the ooo-weoooooooo dept.

Music 278

fm6 writes "NPR has a story up about the first musicians to compose electronic music. In 1947, Louis and Bebe Barron received an early tape recorder as a wedding present. About the same time, Louis Barron became interested in Norbert Wiener's book Cybernetics and its thesis of common elements in living and artificial systems. This led the Barrons to create a new kind of music using electronic circuits and painstakingly edited magnetic tapes. The Barrons music was featured in various avant-garde records and movies, and finally reached a mass audience in the Science Fiction classic Forbidden Planet."

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278 comments

That is not the first time that happens (2, Insightful)

pulgabm89 (851427) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612159)

Electronic music has been around for longer than that... we all know that

Re:That is not the first time that happens (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612213)

Nope, the first electronic music experiment was done by Lev Sergeivitch Termen and his famus Theremin. Rumor says it was Joseph Stalin's favorite instrument. However, you can mainly hear it on Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene and Pink Floyd's Echoes songs. You can do amazing things with this simple instrument : http://www.obsolete.com/120_years/machines/theremi n/

Re:That is not the first time that happens (2, Informative)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612354)

Let's not forget "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and every horror movie ever made. There's a great documentary [imdb.com] about Theremin.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (4, Informative)

alhaz (11039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612590)

The Beach Boys didn't use a theremin. In fact, there's some hilarious footage of Brian Wilson exhibiting how entirely incompetent he is at playing one in that documentary. He makes it abundantly clear that he doesn't know how it works.

The Beach Boys used an instrument that's referred to variously as a Tannerin, Electro-Theremin, or Slide-Theremin. It's nothing like a Theremin because it requires actual electrical contact to function, where a Theremin doesn't work if you touch it.

Read about it here:

http://www.tompolk.com/Tannerin/Tannerin.html

Re:That is not the first time that happens (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612443)

I've actually had the good luck to have tried playing a Theremin. It's not an original one, but one of the Moog-manufactured from the late 70's.

It's a really fun instrument to fiddle with, but I can really respect the people who play it live, it's really tricky to get certain things right with it.

Just playing around is fine, but precise orchestration requires a helluva concentration and motor-skills.

Theremin wasn't the first, either. (3, Informative)

Kafir (215091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612562)

...the first electronic music experiment was done by Lev Sergeivitch Termen and his famus Theremin.

Also not true - the link you point to lists electronic instruments going back to 1876 [obsolete.com] , forty years before the theremin. The Telharmonium [obsolete.com] (1897) was a pretty sophisticated instrument, but it weighed 200 tons, and vacuum-tube amplifiers hadn't been invented yet, so it wasn't very practical.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612217)

Electronic music has been around for longer than that... we all know that

Just because you consider a sixty-cycle hum a catchy tune makes it music not.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612366)

Dude, if you think the first avante garde electronic music catchy, you need serious counselling!

Re:That is not the first time that happens (2, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612548)

> Just because you consider a sixty-cycle hum a catchy tune makes it music not.

Yeah, but wait 'til you hear Tiesto's club mix.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612338)

Shhh... the captalist running-dog Americanskis are rewriting history again. Don't spoil it for them.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (3, Informative)

abuendia (718124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612351)

BIG BULL SH**.
Electronic music was invented with the Thereminvox or Theremin on 1919.
Just check Wiki... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin

Re:That is not the first time that happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612490)

Yes, but the purpose of the submission is to plug the submitters amazon-referral-links.

Seriously: how hard would it be to strip off the referrals?

Re:That is not the first time that happens (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612364)

Electronic music has been around for longer than that... we all know that

probably true. and probably moot. the real musical revolution, though, isn't "electronic" music, but digital music.

i personally count the begining of digital/electronic music to peter samson who, while at mit in the early 60's, prgrammed the tx-0 to play an entire fugue by bach. the entire piece was written in assembly!

my source is here [totse.com] ... although you'll have to dig through a lot of text to find it.

Re:That is not the first time that happens (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612507)

Interesting that you should mention this, since I'm re-reading Hackers for the umpteenth time right now.

And although Peter Samson did create the first piece of digital music I still cannot call it a catchy tune :)

I quote from the book: "When outsiders heard the melodies of Johann Sebastian Bach in a single-voice, monophonic square wave, no harmony, they were universally unfazed."

And I'd probably have been unfazed too, but at the same time I can totally understand those old-school hackers and their lust for neat tricks. I've done similarly weird things in my days (such as putting a VT-100 in my kitchen)

Birth of Electronic Music (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612166)

More like birth of electronic trash.

JMJ (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612167)

And we all know that Jean Michel Jarre [jarre.net] is the father of medern electronic music.

ive always loved digital music.. gogo techno type (2, Funny)

Nova1313 (630547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612169)

digital music is great. Where would we be without it? Those techno clubs just wouldn't be the same.

Re:ive always loved digital music.. gogo techno ty (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612228)

Where would we be without it?


In the jazz club, down the road :)

Re:ive always loved digital music.. gogo techno ty (1)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612241)

dammit, why did I burn my mod points up on that stupid message queuing thread?

Re:ive always loved digital music.. gogo techno ty (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612260)

digital music is great. Where would we be without it? Those techno clubs just wouldn't be the same.

Do you remember Hot Butter & Popcorn?

Some even dance to it now.

Re:ive always loved digital music.. gogo techno ty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612491)

digital music is great. Where would we be without it?
Listening to cassettes.

around this time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612174)

Doctors first discovered tinnitus.

Wot? No Theremin? (5, Informative)

igb (28052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612176)

The claim that electronic music is all post-war seems a little hard to sustain. Theremin?
Ondes Martineau?

ian

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (4, Informative)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612248)

I was thinking the same thing. The Theramin was invented before 1921 [itotd.com] .

People in the Dada movement were creating mechanical music (or rather, un-music and noisy stuff) before 1920 [peak.org] . Dada has had a pretty heavy influence on the modern industrial scene...

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (2, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612279)

Can't find much information skimming through that link. Are you sure you don't mean the futurists? Luigi Russolo [lvc.edu] for example.

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612498)

Different movements, similar time. And actually their music sounds pretty similar. It's all realated.

As I understand it, the futurists were move about burning down the old culture and creating a brand new culture. I think they actually had big ambitions.

Dadaists were more about breaking any rules possible... they did crazy, irrational stuff on purpose. I can't find any music, but think of being stuck in a room with 10 machines all beating at a different rhythm, different tune, and none of the beats work with the beats of another machine, or running forks against garbage can lids.

Annoying as heck. Sometimes quite interesting.

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612540)

I can't find any music, but think of being stuck in a room with 10 machines all beating at a different rhythm, different tune, and none of the beats work with the beats of another machine, or running forks against garbage can lids.

sounds almost as entertaining as a nau zee aun performance involving bench grinders and sparks flying into the audience

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612598)

Dadaists were more about breaking any rules possible... they did crazy, irrational stuff on purpose. I can't find any music, but think of being stuck in a room with 10 machines all beating at a different rhythm, different tune, and none of the beats work with the beats of another machine, or running forks against garbage can lids.

The musical heirs of this mode of thinking were the Experimentalists, most notably John Cage, who wrote stuff like: 4:33 (four minutes and 33 seconds of the performer not making any noise) I Ching (Completely randomly generated music) Again, not directly Dadaist, but definitely based on those sentiments.

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612272)

I'm not familiar with the Theremin in any way, but the article does mention that it was composed onto a magnetic tape, or something - perhaps they meant "first electronically stored" music ?

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612333)

agh nevermind... it's not like they invented magnetic tape, either - so i still don't know what the story's talking about...

*realizes that this is slashdot and forgets about it*

Exactly my reaction! (2, Informative)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612331)

And do not forget that HP started when Hewlett and Packard built an electronic sound generator for Disney in '39 [wikipedia.org]

Paul B.

Re:Wot? No Theremin? (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612668)

Those are electronic musical instruments. The Barrons created "recordings" of music by manipulating the tape directly, rather than by recording sound. Which can a better claim to "Electronic Music" is debatable, but they are clearly different things, like a scanner and a paint program are different. Of course, these days they are generally used together.

Speaking of painstaking editing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612177)

"the Barrons music"?

How about "the Barrons' music"?

excellent program (1)

de1orean (851146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612197)

louis barron especially never got anything close to the recognition he deserved, as he was quickly outshone by Bob Moog and the like. great piece. the interview with bebe was heartrending.

i was pretty surprised that there was no mention of Lev Termen, though. any discussion of the "birth" of electronic music has to start with the theremin. doesn't it?

underrated.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612534)

Someone who actually knows something and isn't just spouting off. Wow.

50 years later (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612199)

Fifty years later, it seems electronic music has fizzle out a little after being hyped as the next big thing in the 90s. I only hear it during fight scenes in movies now. In fact, one of the last good electronic albums I heard was from Japanese Telecom, a relative unknown.

I guess the repetitive unS unS unS bores me after a while. What are the new movements going on in the electronic music world that the mainstream has yet to become aware of?

Re:50 years later (4, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612237)

listen a little closer. electronic music is a vast, complex maze of styles.

here are some names to check out (many of whom will NEVER hit the big time):
-fabrice lig
-thomas brinkmann
-drexciya
-underground resistance
-larvae
-matthew dear
-ricardo villalobos
-akufen
-needle sharing

Re:50 years later (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612291)

Electronic music didn't die. Not even remotely. Last I checked, most if not all candy pop is based on it. In most genres it merely got integrated as a technique into base forms. It's been that way for a while now, the experimentation in the 80s of combining sequencers with standard instruments was so much a success, most people don't even notice it's happening anymore.

Re:50 years later (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612298)

What are the new movements going on in the electronic music world that the mainstream has yet to become aware of?

It's called "sounding just like acoustic music."

Much of the "acoustic" music you hear isn't, especially if it's "piano" or "organ." The digital electronic revolution is so ubiquitous you don't even recognize it when you hear it anymore, it doesn't always sound "electronic."

It's come a long way, baby.

KFG

Re:50 years later (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612319)

I think that electronic music has had far greater impact on contemporary music than you give it credit. Just look at Radiohead, for a single example. Their music contains much that is traditional, acoustic-based type instruements like a drum kit and guitars and the like. This, however, is combined with a variety of synthesizers, effects units, and other electronic sources of sound, that give Radiohead their signature sound.
The same could be held for a wide variety of bands, whether they be rock, pop, rap, whatever.
Furthermore, look at recording studios. All audio sources become converted into electricity, and have numerous alterations performed on them in the process.
Underground music, for example, the "unS unS unS" you speak of, is where the experimentation goes on. Then those techniques, sounds, patches, whatever, filter through to the mainstream arena.
So please don't say that electronic music is stagnating. I don't believe that any musical genre really stagnates.

Re:50 years later (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612323)

"It seems grunge music has fizzled out after being hyped as the next big thing in the 90's"

Come on. Mega-popular genre music comes and goes all the time. It doesn't mean that the core isn't still out there and still making music, waiting for their next go round in the "big big big" sphere. Other responders have pointed out plenty of electronica that is current, so I'll leave it to them.

Re:50 years later (2, Informative)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612363)

What are the new movements going on in the electronic music world that the mainstream has yet to become aware of?

Forget the "Hi NRG European Techno" and the crud they play in movies. The repetative beats got old real quick.

For electronic music that is different, here are a couple places to check out. These may not be to your taste, but they definately different then your "unS unS unS unS unS unS unS unS WooooooooOOOOOT WoooooooooOOOOOT! 'Smack my Bitch Up!' unS unS unS unS unS unS unS unS":

Warp Records [bleep.com] has released their entire catalog online. I recommend Plaid, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher

Here a couple nice stations playing a range of electronic music:

http://www.live365.com/stations/after_party [live365.com]
http://www.live365.com/stations/mrs_emma_peel [live365.com]
http://somafm.com/listen/ [somafm.com]

Oh, how I miss MusicForHackers!

Re:50 years later (3, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612424)

some other stuff (some of it FOR FREE mind you)
-another mp3 store [beatport.com]
-ANOTHER mp3 store [nufonix.com]
-unfound sound [unfoundsound.com] , netlabel
-thinnerism/autoplate [thinnerism.com] , TWO netlabels
-Archive.org's netlabel page [archive.org] , more techno than you could possibly consume in a lifetime!
-313 [hyperreal.org] discussion list
-who is what and who [discogs.com]

Re:50 years later (1)

pronobozo (794672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612589)

download my tunes
under creative commons license
http://www.pronobozo.com [pronobozo.com]
speaking of birth of music.. I own one of these http://www.vintagesynth.org/misc/aries300_02.jpg
very fun to play with.

There is a load of music over at archive.org too. Check it out.

Re:50 years later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612389)

Kids all seem to love that IDM music. Do a search in google and your find tons of info on it.

There's also a group playing about with Gameboys and the like to make their own music.

Japanese Telecom are great!

Re:50 years later (2, Insightful)

tidepool (137349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612445)

Hahaha. Leave it to slashdot to produce people who think they know EVERYTHING that has to do with anything technologically related. Have you ever stepped out of your house and went out? DJ's, like it or not, are still dropping electronic beats in one of HUNDREDS of unique 'styles'. Many of these DJ's then become producers &/or remixers.

Electronic isn't dead; it never will be. Perhaps you mean that electronic/dance music isn't being pushed into the U.S.public (as much), which would be partially true. But to anyone in 'the scene', this is a godsend.

Oh, to support this, go look on ebay for some technic 1200's -- They are STILL selling like hotcakes and pulling much impressive prices.

And I hate to tell you, but not many people who simply listen to ole' fashion' records are going to be purchasing a MANUAL turntable; No, the people who are purchasing these manual turntables want to have direct manipulation.

Ala hip-hop or electronic. One could argue that both are the same, have you listened to rap/hiphop beats at all these days? Same ole drum machines, plenty of samplers, yadda yadda.

Electronic is alive & kicking, weather the un-informed public is aware or not.

Re:50 years later (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612573)

Same ole drum machines, plenty of samplers, yadda yadda.

lil jon even stole our 303s!

Re:50 years later (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612468)

it's still not really picking up in the states, but it's a big big thing in europe (and other places, japan, etc).

I'd agree that most of it is pretty repetitive, but there's also a lot of melody that goes into it. If it weren't for the lyrics, rap wouldn't be much less repetitive than techno. being a big fan of the latter myself, i understand that's it's not everyone's cup of tea, but the people to whom it is usually don't care about that aspect of it.

Re:50 years later (1)

LS (57954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612582)

Umm, Britney Spears is electronic. She's as popular as ever. Half of the currently popular music contains some electronic instrumentation, sampling, processing, or whatever. Everyone:

ELECTRONIC != TECHNO != RAVE

Only the unwashed think of rave music when they hear electronic music.

There are a number of classical composers who create electronic music. Paul Lanksy comes to mind. Check out his composition Idle Chatter Junior [princeton.edu] The whole electro-acoustic movement is very alive [acousmatic.org] and creating completely new and unique forms of music.

But if you really must limit yourself to the popular dance/techno/rave styles, there is still a lot going on. Here's a very detailed map [ishkur.com] of the history of popular electronic music.

LS

Hmm... (5, Interesting)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612222)

Amazon referrer ID is still in that address - somebody's going to become very rich tonight...

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612456)

So what? Would the lack of a referrer id make it cheaper?

I would prefer that slashcode automatically strip them and insert an FSF referer though . . .

Article text without FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612224)

I think its heaps older than that... (4, Informative)

nmoog (701216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612231)

When people first used electronics to make noises they certainly made some fucked up ones (Electronic Musical Instrument 1870 - 1990 [obsolete.com] )

I bet they'd be pissed to learn that the fruit of their endeavors would be making backing tracks for "pop stars" (though I reckon they'd be stoked about SquarePusher)

the birth of electronic music? not quite (2, Informative)

geighaus (670864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612235)

Leo Theremin is often cited as a godfather of electronic music. He was responsible for creating for one of the earliest electronic instruments back in 1917.

You can read about him here [wikipedia.org]

Theremin? (2, Informative)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612239)

I am not conversant with theremin's musical literature, but any original compositions for this instrument would predate the composers mentioned in the article by several decades.

I just rewatched Forbidden Planet... (2, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612253)

I dunno what that was, but it made Philip Glass' music sound like full blown orchestral scores with complex melodies...

Re:I just rewatched Forbidden Planet... (1)

TVC15 (518429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612359)

>I dunno what that was, but it made Philip Glass' music sound like full blown orchestral scores with complex melodies...

Ummm, Philip Glass music is scored for and typically played by full blown orchestras and contain extremely complex melodies that span very long time intervals.

Rumor has it... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612274)

Louis and Bebe Barron received an early tape recorder as a wedding present

...that they actually received 9 early tape recorders as wedding presents. They managed to sell all but 1 for a handsome profit.

Sequencers, not tape editing... (1)

uqbar (102695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612278)

I'd argue that tape editing is hardly the birth. If you take the later development of sequencers as the real birth credit gets muddy, but perhaps it was Raymond Scott... [raymondscott.com]

Re:Sequencers, not tape editing... (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612528)

Very rarely does anything appear in a culture out of a vacuum. Electronic music is no exception. Something like modern digital sequencers were made because of the needs of bands like Kraftwerk and other pioneers in analog sequencers. Analog sequencers because popular because they were feasible to use.

Anyhow, you can keep tracing back and back till you end up with first guy who decided to lay a beat with morse code cause he bored. The point is, someone at one point made a purely electronic device for the sole purpose of making "music". As experimental as it was at the time, it was still "music". From the comments here on Slashdot, it sounds like it happened closer to 1900 rather than after the war.

Techno? Eff that shite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612285)

Dio 'Holy Diver'!

Rubbish (4, Interesting)

GrabtharsHammer (852908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612305)

This is hardly the first electronic music. That honour goes to some American chaps in the late 1890's, who devised a giant machine that played the Victorian equivalent of lift music. The concept was to pipe this music over wires into restaurants and clubs all over town, to save the venues the cost of maintaining house bands.

They even had a successful rollout, with mellow, unoffensive tinkelings broadcast citywide. However, the exercise was doomed to failure because it was extremely costly to keep running. Ultimately, it shut down.

Electronic Musician ran an article on this a few years back. I'd quote you reference but I am currently around 14 hours flight from my home.

Re:Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612452)

Offtopic? This is possibly the most relevant post in the thread.

Re:Rubbish (1)

landopowered (855472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612599)

This guys is 100% correct.. I can't for the life of me remember what the thing was called though.. but it was a huge machine that they carted around using the railroads.. I had to watch a boring documentary about this device when I was in college.. a far more interesting pioneer of electronic music was pierre schaeffer.. he invented all the techniques that electronic musicians use today.. sampling, loops, reverse, time shifting, etc.. all using records.. called if musique concrete.. recording sounds and making music out of them.. sampling.. he was a genius.. the barrons were cool and all.. http://csunix1.lvc.edu/~snyder/em/schaef.html [lvc.edu]

electro (2, Insightful)

Universal Indicator (626874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612314)

All the best electronic music seems to come from Europe.

Aphex Twin
Kraftwerk
Squarepusher
-Ziq
The REPHLEX label
stuff like that :-)

Re:electro (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612460)

The best electronic music comes from SE Michigan, of course.

Artists
Juan Atkins
Derrick May
Carl Craig
Kevin Saunderson
Underground Resistance
Drexciya
Dopplereffekt
Adult.
Ectom orph
Midwest Product
Tadd Mullinix
Dabrye
SCAN7
Recloose
Innerzone Orchestra

labels
Planet E
Ersatz Audio
Metroplex
Underground Resistance
430 West
Ghostly

Stuff like that. The Europeans are just ripping off black kids (well, these days it's white kids too) from Detroit.

Re:electro (2, Insightful)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612629)

and all these guys ripped off kraftwerk in the beginning...

why do you have carl craig on there twice?

Edgard Varese... (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612325)

...was writing compositions for the tape recorder years before the tape recorder was invented. The great visionaries always anticipate.

The present-day composer refuses to die!

Criterion Should Release Forbidden Planet on DVD (2, Interesting)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612375)

In addition to having a great, spooky score, Forbidden Planet is one of the greatest science fiction films of all time (and far better, to my mind, than The Day The Earth Stood Still and its fascist interstellar-UN robot overlords). Scenes like the attack of the Monster from the ID on the space ship, the interiors of the Krell city, and the climax still hold up today. It's arguably the best science fiction film before 2001, and perhaps the best until Star Wars (Metropolis (or rather, what survives of it), is, IMHO, too heavy-handed in its philosophising.)

Re:Criterion Should Release Forbidden Planet on DV (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612508)

(and far better, to my mind, than The Day The Earth Stood Still and its fascist interstellar-UN robot overlords)

Well I for one welcome our new fascist interstellar-UN robot overlords.

(You know it had to be said.)

Kraftwerk (1)

Djupblue (780563) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612378)

If we are going to discuss electronic music, lets not forget Kraftwerk [wikipedia.org] , Pioneer in the genre.

Re:Kraftwerk (1)

dartmongrel (855947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612448)

ah Kraftwerk!!! Don't forget Pink Floyd, Giorgio moroder, Tangerine Dream... But yes, there's definitely a difference between MUSIC and random noise coming from some feedback generator. Electronic peaked, IMHO, with early 90's 'ARDCORE....JUNGLE...that was the good stuff.

Electronic music = terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612464)

Electronic music is for trendy Europeans. Quit trying to pretend it isn't terrible.

Trance (1)

mackermacker (250587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612472)

If you like electronic music, a good point for downloads is http://www.tracetraffic.com. You need to sign up, open up a certain port for bittorrent, and have a down/up ratio, but I have found it to be well worth it. The best part is the offerings of full length DVD's that are generally hard to rent/find. It's mostly trance, but there is some variety. I don't run the site, and don't who who does. Slightly offtopic so mod me down, whatever.

Re:Trance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612588)

url doesnt work for me.. is the one posted correct?

One of the more original artists (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612481)

Was Delia Derbyshire [delia-derbyshire.org] , who pioneered much of the early work in the 1960s in Britain. Her creations include the realization of Rob Grainer's infamous da-da-da-dum of Doctor Who, and much of the work on synthesizers in Britain can be credited (or blamed) on her.


There are numerous fan pages [dyndns.org] for her, which is truly remarkable for a person who barely got any mention before her death from cancer in her early 60s. Of course, now she's dead and can't enjoy her fame, she's a celebrity. There was even a play [bbc.co.uk] written with her as the focus.


I think it fair to say that electronic music has been born and reborn many times, but has yet to really reach the heights the true visionaries expected of it. Like NASA, electronic music has been mostly promise and far too little creative genius.

Bull. (3, Informative)

alhaz (11039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612485)

Oliver Messiaen recorded 'Oraison" in 1937, 10 years before these guys. It's quite nice, actually.

They were important and all, but they were hardly the first.

Heck, Lev Termin patented the Theremin in 1927, when the Barrons were little kids.

You can find a lot of this stuff on a 3-disc set called "OHM" variously "Early Gurus of Electronic Music" or "History of Electronic Music" but always OHM, afaik.

Here's a shameless plug for EAR-Rational Music, the guys i bought my copy from. google for 'em.

John Cage, another pioneer (2, Informative)

PlanA (690149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612513)

John Cage [rz-berlin.mpg.de] {1912-1995) was another pioneer of electronic music. Interestingly his estate sued [cnn.com] another composer, Mike Batt, claiming that his piece, one minutes silence, infringed on John Cages copyright for 4'33", another totally silent track.

Re:John Cage, another pioneer (2, Funny)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612586)

Wonderful. Now even if I don't download anything the RIAA will sue me for violating Cage's copyright on silence.

Since Prehistoric Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612518)

As Ishkur will tell you [ishkur.com] , electronic music has been around a lot longer than 1947. It'll also tell you that electronic music is more than that "blips and bleeps" that your annoying loser roommate at college played. It's pretty likely that *you* listen to some "techno," and don't even know it!

OHM (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612536)

You can find their music, as well as a host of others, on OHM: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music... I'm sure that this available at your favorite place of purchase. I bought it a year or two ago.
Uneven but pretty interesting.

musique concrete on original instruments (2, Funny)

blackhedd (412389) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612558)

I'm still laughing at the Stereo Review cartoon ca. 1975 with a radio announcer introducing a performance of a Stockhausen piece, performed on the original transistors, resistors and capacitors.

Obsolete 120 years of electronic music (1)

bidermaier (780144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612606)

Probably this is one of the best sites i know about the topic. Definitely the electronic music is not 57 years old

For those dissing NPR over this... (5, Informative)

sixpaw (648825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612621)

...be aware that the linked-to NPR story says nothing about the Barrons being 'the first' or any such nonsense; it only calls them 'pioneers', which seems a fair claim. They do say that Forbidden Planet was the first major motion picture with an all-electronic score, which is a more plausible and defensible claim, but the line about the Barrons being first is strictly the submitter's and not NPR's.

I reccomend the movie "Modulations" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612673)

It does a good job of covering the bases... albeit a little incomplete. Modulations [imdb.com] is a great film!
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