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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

CHAPTER 4 The Third Revolution

Music and Electronic Media; Varèse's Career

Chapter:
CHAPTER 4 The Third Revolution
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Richard Taruskin

I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard.1

John Cage, “The Future of Music: Credo” (1940)

When the young John Cage made that boldly capitalized prediction, it seemed like one more fantasy among the many he enunciated in that brash utopian Credo, already sampled in chapter 2. And yet, unbeknownst to him or to his audience, the practical means for implementing it were already at hand. Five years earlier, at a 1935 radio exhibition in Berlin, the German firm AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft or “General Electric Company”) demonstrated a new invention called the Magnetophone, a device for converting sound signals into magnetic impulses that could be stored indefinitely on a paper tape coated with a metallic oxide, and then reconverted (or “played back”) into sound. Actually, the concept of magnetic sound recording had been described theoretically half a century before that. An ancestor of the magnetophone called the Telegraphone, a Danish invention that recorded sound magnetically on a thin metal wire, was exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition of 1900, and received a prize. (Wire recorders were not definitively supplanted by tape recorders until the middle of the new century.)

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 4 The Third Revolution." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 31 Jul. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 4 The Third Revolution. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 31 Jul. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 4 The Third Revolution." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 31 Jul. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-chapter-004.xml
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