The 1950s would usher in a new era of electronic music. Initiated by the founding of several new electronic music studios, the medium would see a great increase in interest from the academic and art music communities around the globe. These electronic music centers would come to define electronic music as an extension of serialism and the avant-garde trends that dominated art music in the preceding half century. Eventually, in the 1960s, technological innovations made by Robert Moog and others would make the medium much more accessible to the average musician. Many of the composers at these electronic music centers would then reject these innovations, as they didn’t subscribe to the avant-garde ideals of their musical idioms. This led to these new electronic instruments—along those who adopted them—being dubbed “popular” instruments and musicians, and thus rejected from the art music community. Some of these “popular” composers, however, were students and descendants of the composers of the electronic music studios. Their music has been widely regarded as “popular” music and disconnected with the avant-garde music of the previous decades; however, this can’t be further from the truth. These “popular” composers were highly connected to the electronic music of the past, rejecting their notions that the medium was to be strictly avant-garde artform. In their music, one can find a new kind of electronic music on the same artistic level as that of the avant-garde composers. In looking at this history, one can also find a near-perfect representation of the historical change between the periods of Modernism and Post-Modernism.
Lemkin, Brendan, "The End Of Modernism In Music: A New Narrative in the History of Electronic Music, Told Through the Works of Wendy Carlos, Jean Michel-Jarre, and Ryuichi Sakamoto" (2019). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8368.
Contemporary Art | Modern Art and Architecture | Musicology | Music Theory
Electronic music, music, art history, modernism, post-modernism
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2019 Brendan Lemkin