Are Electro-Acoustics and the Vernacular the Largets Developments in 20th Century Music?

2634 Words11 Pages
EAMMON MSETFI Contextual studies (MU314) Convenor: Tim Howle Essay 1 Denis Smalley has suggested that the two most important musical developments in the 20th Century are the domains of the 'electro-acoustic' and the 'vernacular'. To what extent is his assumption correct? This piece will demonstrate an understanding of the developments in 20th century music, with a detailed view on the path and expansion of electro-acoustic technology and of the vernacular. This will also be highlighting the theoretical ideas that made these large developments possible and the technological innovations that created the foundations for both these areas. Total serialism After composers, Wagner and Brahms, who stretched the boundaries of…show more content…
Reproduction technologies had an impact on the evolution of electro-acoustic equipment. Schaeffer’s piece Etude aux Chemins (1948) was one of the first electronic compositions of the 20th century, which became very influential to modern day sampling. Corporations responsible for the creation of musical instruments in early 20th century had “no vocation for economic suicide” (p.7 Simon Emmerson, 1986), this led to them only adjusting existing instruments, therefore it was not viable for the creation of new inventions; it was not in their best interests. “Our civilization sees itself too smugly in the mirror of history; it is no longer creating the needs which would make renewal an economic necessity” (P.7 Simon Emmerson, 1986). th The first half of the 20 century saw considerable progression within the domains of sound reproduction tools and the sizeable escalation of the recording industries; this developed electronic technology and in turn, developed new styles of vernacular music. This technological innovation laid the foundations for new vernacular music such genres as rock, hip-hop, etc. Due to this development, where the existence relied on electronics to produce the sound, musicians started to embrace technology. This combination of science and music started to form a complex connection. Prior to first commercially available synthesizer, created by Robert moog, much electronic works were very much based in academia and research facilities (due to sheer size and

More about Are Electro-Acoustics and the Vernacular the Largets Developments in 20th Century Music?

Get Access