MCTC Sound Arts
A great amount of experimentation with new sounds took place between about 1900-1930, both in Europe and America.
In contrast to Europe, most of the more experimental composers in America were isolated and unrecognized; many remain obscure, even today.
With most orchestras still interested in tonal music and little national support, these artists worked in smaller forms, and even
created their own instruments.
California/Upstate New York
New Musical Resources
Written in 1919, not officially published until 1930
Rhythmicon (later built by Leon Theremin)
Musical system using the harmonic series for both harmony & rhythm
Use of player piano (later done by Conlon Nancarrow)
(does he kinda look like Beck here?)
The seminal American experimental composer
Strong new music supporter
String Piano = inside-the-piano
Use of American folk music & music of other cultures
Other Paper Roll Instruments (not used by Nancarrow)
~ Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
To stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called 'noise'...what is music but organized noises?
more on Varese in a few weeks...
for percussion orchestra
First Construction in Metal (1939)
Prepared Piano (1938)
Placing object between the strings to dramatically change the tone
Practical solution to wanting percussion music, when only a piano was available
Used to accompany modern dance
Imaginary Landscape No. 1 (1939)
for two variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano, and cymbal
more on Cage in a few weeks...
Other Significant Composers
California/University of Wisconsin/hobo
Keep all this stuff straight!
|Henry Cowell||String piano|
|Conlon Nancarrow||Player piano|
|John Cage||Prepared piano|
|Edgard Varese||Percussion orchestra|
|Charles Ives||Quarter-tone piano|