Central and Eastern Europe

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Early electronic music


  • Lev Termen, the patriarch of musical electronics, a talented physicist, created termenvox - unsurpassed till now in the family of performing electronic instruments (owing to its keen sound control options).
  • A.A.Volodin, a scientist in the field of electronic sound synthesis, designed a whole series of new instruments.
  • In the 1930s, professor E.A.Sholpo established a laboratory for sound synthesis where he developed his variophone, a precursor of the synthesizers.
  • In Moscow, Eugene Murzin constructed one of the world's first synthesizers in 1955. He named his invention, ANS synthesizer, in honor of Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, as the ANS worked on the principle of the transformation of light waves into electronic soundings. The compositions created on the ANS in the Moscow Studio of Electronic Music since 1958 played the major role in the development of electronic music in USSR. In the 1960s, the ANS was the only synthesizer in the Union, and became the training ground of a great number of young composers, including one of the most dedicated experimenters in the field of electronic music, Edward Artemyev. Artemyev's compositions are characterized by a constant search for new sounds and by a desire to obtain maximum timbre modification from minimal sound material. In the music for A. Tarkovsky's film Solaris (1972), Artemyev discovered an entire realm of unusual (for that time) sound effects; he founded a new trend in electronic music that musicologists have named 'space music'. (In 1972 the studio acquired the module synthesizer "SYNTHI-100" of English company "Taylor".)
  • Warsaw Autumn Festival initiated by Baird and Serocki presented since 1956 works by Berg, Schönberg, or Bartók; Stockhausen or Schaeffer visited. Polish Radio Experimental studio was founded by Patkowski in 1957.
  • In Czechoslovakia, the first representative Seminar on Electronic Music, organized on the initiative of several Czech and Slovak composers, musicologists and sound technicians, was held at the Research Institute of Radio and Television in Pilsen in 1964. It appeared a miracle to many people interested in this kind of musical creativity. The seminar dealt seriously and manifestly with questions of electronic music, for the first time in Czechoslovak cultural context. The representative survey on electronic music written by Czech musicologist Vladimir Lebl and published in 1966 was the fundamental theoretical work, followed by his translation of the book "La Musique concrete" by Pierre Schaeffer. Several compositions by the classicists of concrete, tape and electronic music appeared in radio broadcasts in 1965 and the first LP with electronic music pieces by both inland and foreign composers was published as soon as in 1966. Followed by foundation of experimental music studios in Bratislava (1965) and Pilsen (1967).
  • During 1950s-70s the number of composers visited New Music courses in Darmstadt (Kotonski, Piňos, Jeney, Sáry), studied and worked with studios WDR Cologne (Kotonski, Eötvös, Dubrovay), GRM Paris (Kotonski, Kabeláč, Piňos, Vidovszky), Munich (Piňos), STEM Utrecht (Kabeláč), or IRCAM Paris (Eötvös).
  • Gorizont became known as some sort of Russian version of Kraftwerk, releasing an LP by the "Soviet State" record label Melodia.


musique concréte (1949, Schaeffer, Paris), elektronische Musik (1950, Eimert and Meyer-Eppler, Cologne), New Music, synthesizer (ANS synthesizer, 1955, Moscow; RCA Music synthesizer, 1955), white noise, vocoder, atonal music, serialism


Polish Radio Experimental Studio Warsaw (1957, Patkowski), Experimental studio of electronic music Moscow (1958, Murzin), Experimentalstudio für künstliche Klang- und Geräuscherzeugung Berlin (1962), Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio (1965, Kolman), Experimental Studio of Czech Radio Pilsen (1967-94), New Music Studio Budapest (1970), Electro-acoustic Music Studio at Academy of Music Krakow (1973, Patkowski), Electronic music studio Sofia (1974), Electroacoustic Music Studio of the Hungarian Radio Budapest (1975, Decsényi), Audiostudio of Czechoslovak Radio Prague (1990-94), Theremin Center Moscow (1992, Smirnov)



Warsaw, mid-1950s-60s
Moscow, mid-1950s-60s
Prague, 1960s

Cybernetics and music, Prague, 1960s

See also


See also Media art