"DISCOVERING ELECTRONIC MUSIC" EARLY SYNTHESIZERS, COMPUTERS, DIGITIZERS, SAMPLERS 11524
Discovering Electronic Music is a short 1983 educational film that gives a look at the early use of electronics in music production. The film opens with a shot of a computer and a keyboard. Recording reels run. A monitor shows sound waves of electronic jazz music. A composer talks to the camera about writing electronic jazz music (01:55). Another man talks about why he turned to electronic music for composing (02:38). Viewers see pages that show the new notation of music, substituting sheets of graphs for traditional sheet music (03:42). A monitor shows music being created for a motion picture. A man plays a double bass (04:34). A woman plays a flute (05:14), and a microphone picks up the flute sounds and transmits it to an oscillator. Viewers see an electronic sound synthesizer (06:10), one that features a number of built-in oscillators. A monitor shows a sine wave, then a triangular wave, followed by a pulse wave, and, finally, a sawtooth wave. A man demonstrates a fingerboard on the synthesizer. Another man mixes a variety of waves to achieve specific electronic sounds (07:50). He switches various inputs into the synthesizer then attaches an ending to the sound he has created (09:45). A commercial jetliner taxis on a runway (10:08). In a sound studio, a man manipulates the sound of the jet on a synthesizer, filtering and enveloping the sound. A woman plays the koto, a traditional Japanese instrument (12:40). A man imitates the instrument using his synthesizer. A massive floppy disc is inserted into a computer to record electronic music. A composer cycles through instrument sounds on a digital synthesizer. Another composer plays a synthesizer and changes the sounds of different instruments as other musicians play a bass, a trumpet, and a saxophone in the room (14:45). The film shows a computer that operates a sound synthesizer (16:40). A composer uses programming language to tell the computer to play a specific melody and play it backwards (17:00). Viewers watch as he manipulates a melody by Bach. A composer uses a light pen on a computer to add pitches to his music (19:05). Using the sounds, he plays a jazz flute sound on the keyboard to accompany his electronic melody.
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music), and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.
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