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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

GENERATING SYNTHETIC SOUNDS

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

fig. 4-1 Luigi Russolo, Il risveglio di una città (“The awakening of a city,” 1914), a composition for an ensemble of futurist intonarumori (noise intoners). Reading down the left margin of the score as usual, they are ululatori (hooters), rombatori (rumblers), crepitatori (cracklers), stropicciatori (scrapers), scoppiatori (exploders), ronzatori (buzzers), gorgogliatori (gurglers), and sibilatori (hissers).

Another approach was taken by electrical engineers in several countries, who designed new musical instruments that produced sounds that flaunted the electronic origins that made them sounds specific to the twentieth century. Perhaps the earliest, very likely the simplest, and surely the most famous, was invented in 1920 by a Russian physicist named Lev Sergeyevich Termen (1896–1993, also renowned as a television pioneer), who thought he was building a burglar alarm. His device featured a pair of antennas that set up an electromagnetic field, into which the intrusion of any electrical conductor (say a human body) would touch off a signal from a radio oscillator.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 4 The Third Revolution." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-004004.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 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-004004.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 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-004004.xml
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