THE CONCORDIA COLLECTION WITHIN ELECTROACOUSTIC HISTORY

THE CONCORDIA COLLECTION WITHIN ELECTROACOUSTIC
HISTORY
Introduction INTRODUCTION   PEDAGOGICAL OBJECTIVES PEDAGOGICAL OBJECTIVES Introduction BACK


1948-1960
THE FIRST MUSIQUES CONCRÈTES AND ELECTRONIC WORKS



It is in this period that the first “classics” of the genre are composed. Most of them are for tape alone, reflecting the available technology, but this would quickly change.

Throughout the 1950s, following the birth — or discovery, as Pierre Schaeffer would always refer to it — of musique concrète and the official founding in 1952 of electronic music in Germany, studios are opened up around the world. An important number of composers (of instrumental music) would try their hands in the electronic music or musique concrète studios, with varying success.

In Canada the first electronic music studio at the University of Toronto is opened in 1958–59. Soon after, several other studios were opened across Canada: McGill University, Montréal (1964); University of British Columbia (Vancouver, 1965); the first francophone studio at Université Laval (Québec City, 1969), and closing off the decade, Concordia University (Montréal, 1970).

In contrast to Europe, where studios were usually associated with radio stations, Canadian electroacoustics evolved in the universities (McGill, Concordia, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, etc.) right through to the 1980s. In Canada, there has never been an electroacoustic or electronic music studio associated directly with a radio station. There is, however, a rumour that such a studio did at one time exist at Radio-Canada, the French section of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre (CBC) Head Office in Montréal, thanks to the efforts of Pierre Mercure. Regardless of the veracity of this rumour, there was in fact one person who used the CBC Toronto studios to their full advantage, even though they were never intended to be used for electroacoustics. From 1967–1979, pianist Glenn Gould, through his radio documentaries, proposed particular forms and a mode of listening and perception, as Pierre Schaeffer had done through musique concrète. Unfortunately, despite a few noteworthy exceptions, the example he set would have few followers.


1942
France
Opening of the “Studio d’essai” at the Radiodiffusion Française (RDF, later renamed ORTF).
  
1949
Germany
Herbert Eimert’s first experiments in electronic music at the NWDR (later the WDR, Westdeutscher Rundfunk) in Cologne. This would lead to the birth of Elektronische Musik. 
  
1949-1950
France
Symphonie pour un homme seul, composed by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, is the first “official” musique concrète work.
  
1950
USA
Birth of the computer. Initially conceived as gigantic calculators, telephone companies would make use of them in parallel to attempt to synthesize speech, intended to be used for answering machines. Indirectly, this led to the first computer-generated sounds.

Invention of the Vocoder (known today as the Harmonizer).


France
Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry found the Groupe de musique concrète.
  
1951
USA
The 33-1/3 rpm disc arrives on the market.


France
First diffusion of works on a “loudspeaker orchestra”: Pierre Henry’s Orphée 51 and Symphonie pour un homme seul, by Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer.
  
1951-52
USA
First electronic music experiments in the Experimental Music Studios at Columbia University in New York by two American “tape music” pioneers, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening, who founded the Computer Music Center. 
1952
USA
First outdoor diffusion of musique concrète (Henry / Schaeffer).


Germany
Birth of electronic music in Cologne.
  
1953
Italy
Opening of the Studio di Fonologia (RAI).
  
1954
France
The première of Varèse’s Déserts is broadcast on the radio in stereo.
  
1955
USA
The RCA synthesizer, with equal-tempered sounds, at Columbia-Princeton. 


Japan
Appearance of the pocket transistor radio.
  
1955-60
Japan
Founding of the studio at the national Nippon Hoso Kyoku (NHK) Radio (1955).


Poland
Founding of the Polish Radio studio (1958).


Germany
Founding of the Siemens-Studio für elektronische Musik (1960).


Soviet Union
Founding of the Experimental Music Studio at Radio Moscow.
  
1958
France
Official founding of the GRM (Groupe de recherches musicales), with associates Pierre Schaeffer, Luc Ferrari and François-Bernard Mâche.


USA
Founding of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. This studio would become an important centre for electroacoustic and electronic music in the USA. A few years later, such important composers as Milton Babbitt and lhan Mimarolu would work there.
  
1942   1949 1949-2 1950 1951 1951-2 1952 1953 1954 1955 1955-2         1958
 
1942   1949 1949+ 1950 1951 1951+ 1952 1953 1954 1955 1955+         1958


Produced with the financial participation of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Patrimoine canadien      Gouvernement du Canada

Concordia


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Projet d’archivage Concordia (PAC) Communauté électroacoustique canadienne / Canadian Electroacoustic Community