top of page

A Brief History of Electronic Music

When you look at the history of electronic music it's quite unclear about when exactly it did emerge but it seems the first experiments with electronic sound generators took place as early as the mid-late 19th century.

Electronic music is produced using a variety of sounds picked up from microphones, electronic oscillators, computer installations and microprocessors and it was around the 1980's when synthesisers and drum machines became an integral part to the way culture music was produced.

In 1928 the theremin became patented after its inventor Leon Theremin introduced the device (originally called the etherophone) which is controlled without physical contact as the antennas of the device pick up frequencies from near contact. If you want to understand the science behind it check out this short but descriptive video:

In essence the concept of the theremin is "Invisible electrical oscillations created between two antennas can be played with a hand as it bends the pitch."

Not long after the theremin the French inventor Friedrich Trautwein created the trautonium (in Berlin - home of techno!)... and this was essentially the first synthesiser, except played with a wire instead of keys.

The Hammond organ followed as an instrument which developed an alternative sound to a church organ and was widely used within jazz, blues and funk music throughout the mid 30's onwards. Following that electroacoustic music was being explored in the US.

In Europe and specifically Germany the game between hammond organs and ring modulators had begun and during the 70's it's said to have been suggested that Kraftwerk developed a specific sound that paved the way for electronic music.

"It has been argued in the press that Kraftwerk is the most important music group since the Beatles. Less debatable is the fact that what the Beatles are to rock music, Kraftwerk is to electronic dance music," according to The New York Times. It expanded by saying "The band laid down a blueprint for the music's future, developing an automated, impersonal sound that although it seems ultra-intellectual and European, slipped across barriers of race, class and nationality like mercury."... Quite powerful when you think about it.

Their sound resonated across the likes of icons like David Bowie, New Order, Joy Division and many more and in France naming Jean Michel Jarre, Laurent Garnier and Daft Punk to name a few.

In the US areas famous for House music included Chicago and Detroit where parties were popping up frequently and as we previously mentioned Berlin became the capital for Techno.

Recent exhibitions exploring musical graduation throughout the ages include 'Electro. From Kraftwerk to Techno' held in Düsseldorf Kunstpalast. This particular exhibition was conceived by Musée de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris, produced and adapted it in collaboration with Kunstpalast. The Düsseldorf show was conceived in close cooperation with Ralf Hütter - one half of Kraftwerk. It took place between December 2021 and has just, this month, finished its residency.

Another significant feature is the Museum of Modern Electronic Music in Frankfurt, Germany, opened this year by the infamous Sven Vath and visual artist Tobias Rehberger. Just a glimpse at the website takes you on a journey through music. No doubt a visit in person will take you into the realms of a newfound sonic reflection.

The following is the promotional video for this museum and more details for the exhibition can be found here.

Have great weekend...

... and don't forget this weekend is the last weekend of the month, where Sunday Sessions takes place live between 11.00-13.00. This weekend we introduce to you Good Health. Good Wealth:

Set a reminder on your phone now!

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page
data-autoplay="false" data-playbutton="true" data-volumeslider="true" data-elapsedtime="true" data-nowplaying="true" data-showplayer="true" data-volume="50" data-showartwork="false">