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Experiments, Experiences and Philosophy
History of Sound
In the early 1960s the composers James Tenney and Jean-Claude Risset worked with Max Mathews on the matter of how musical instruments are perceived.
“Max Mathews composed “The Second Law”, a piece, which is entirely made up of noise, free of common understanding of pitch, yet expressing pitch.” (John Chowning)
Harald Bode wrote a paper exploring the concept of self-contained portable modular synthesizers using the newly emerging transistor technology.
In 1961 Josef Tal establishes the Centre for Electronic Music in Israel.
In 1963 Max Mathews completed his sound synthesis software “Music IV” in cooperation with Joan Miller. Mathews considered psychoacoustics as a crucial element of computer music.
Donald Buchla got his inspiration for his first synthesizer from a cooperation with the composers Morton Subotnik and Ramon Sender of the San Francisco Tape Music Center.
The Greek composer Xenakis authored his writing: Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition” (French edition)
Korg releases the Dona-Matic DA-20, an electro-mechanical drum machine, in 1963.
Karlheinz Stockhausen composes “Mikrofonie I” for tam-tam, hand-held microphones, filters and potentiometers in 1964.
The “Synket” was used in the soundtrack of “Planel of the Vampires” (1965)
Donal Buchla released his first Synthesizer in 1966. His approach to synthesis was later called “West coast” in opposite to Moog´s “East coast” synth technology.
In 1967 John Chowning “stumbles” upon FM synthesis – as he himnself used to describe his first findings.
In 1967 The Monkees featured a Moog synthesizer in their album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd. (a no. 1 album).
When Wendy Carlos released the LP “Switched-On Bach” in 1968 this brought the breaktrough of Moog´s instruments.
Soimon and Garfunkel´s “Bookends” brought the breakthrough for Moog instruments.
When in 1969 The Beatles´”Abbey Road” came out using Moog instruments too, the companies position as a market leader was clear.
in 1969 Risset publishes his “An Introductory Catalogue of Computer Synthesized Sounds”
Risset´s catalogue contains the first instance where pitch is used to express timbre in the same functional manner that pitch expresses melody and harmony.