Jump to content

Electronic Music Pioneers

   (0 reviews)

Author Ben Kettlewell presents an exhaustive text on the illustrious history of electronic music, from its beginnings with Leon Theremin to interviews with Dr. Robert Moog and artist Klaus Shulze. From software synths to Kraftwerk, even gangster rap, the electronic music explosion has made an impact on almost every aspect of the music industry. This exciting new book tells the stories of the people and inventions that revolutionized the musical sound palette. "Electronic Music Pioneers" is an expansive title filled with research and useful knowledge about the history and methods of electronic music with an extensive timeline of this music technology.

In the twentieth century, new advancements in technology allowed a much more diverse musical palette for the musician or composer to choose from. The combination of traditional instruments and new breed of musical instruments have opened up exciting new possibilities for interaction between musical cultures.

As a result of these new forms of exploration, by the mid-1970s, music created with synthesizers and other electronic instruments quickly became the most influential development in the modern musical panorama.

Electronic Music Pioneers features interviews with artists and inventors. Together they give the reader a clear picture of the development and incorporation of these instruments in every form of music. It would take many volumes to cover every instrument, every genre, every musician involved in the many facets of electronic music. As in the analogy of many layers of an onion, every time we think we're really getting a grasp on the history and evolution of music technology, we discover another "layer of reality," and realize we're just scratching the surface.


"...a rollercoaster through the history of electronic and computer music...a wild and informative ride."
Dr. Joe Paradiso
Principal Research Scientist,
Technology Director, MIT Media Lab

The sleek digital synthesizer of today is so easy to play and so ubiquitous in the world of popular music that its presence is often taken for granted. In this well-researched, entertaining, and immensely readable book, Kettlewell chronicles the synthesizer's early, years, from the turn of the 20th century - through the mid-1990s. The author gives preeminent pioneer Robert Moog due prominence, but also charts the achievements of other luminaries from this era, such as rival inventors Donald Buchla, Tom Oberheim, Serge Teraphin and Alan Perlman, composers Wendy Carlos and Pauline Oliveras, and rock stars Keith Emerson and Jan Hammer. American readers will be interested to learn details of a lesser-known British entry in the analog synthesizer field-the VCS3-which became the preferred tool of many rock stars of the 1970s. The author is especially effective in exploring the cultural, sociological, and economic sides to the synthesizer revolution. Throughout, his prose is engagingly anecdotal and accessible, and readers are never asked to wade through dense, technological jargon. Yet there are enough details to enlighten those trying to understand this multidisciplinary field of music, acoustics, physics, and electronics. Highly recommended.

Review by Edward Peale


Publishing Details
Written by: Ben Kettlewell
About the author:
Ben has been involved in public radio and Community Theater since 1980. From 1982 until 1991, he hosted a weekly series on NPR affiliate WOMR-FM, called Imaginary Voyage, one of the first electronic music radio series aired in the United States. In 1986, he was awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities to produce a radio series for National Public Radio. This series focused on the evolution of electronic music, featuring interviews with leading figures in electronic music. It was broadcast on public radio in 39 cities in the United States and Canada.

He has written and performed commissioned scores for several film and theater productions. His recordings have been released on Electronic Dreams in the UK, and in the U.S. on Generations Unlimited, CMC Distribution, Poison Plant Records, and Tarheel Productions. He is featured on several compilation albums of electronic music. In addition to these recordings, Ben has produced soundtracks for numerous Cablevision productions and multimedia projects.
He has been a music journalist for over twenty years, contributing to such publications as Airwaves, Electronic Musician, Music of the Spheres, Heartsong Review, Sound on Sound, Dulcimer Times, Dreams Word Magazine, and “i/e” Magazine. His features have included interviews with Tod Machover, Robert Moog, Steve Roach, Bernd Kistenmacher, Klaus Schulze and many others.
Year Published: 2002
Date Published: No value
Format: Digital
Dimensions: 10" x 14"
Pages: 288
Language(s): English
Editions: 1
Publisher: Pro Music Press

  Report Book

User Feedback

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.


  • Create New...