Who Made Electronic Music?

Who made electronic music? This is a question that has puzzled music lovers for years. We take a look at the history of electronic music and some of the key figures who have shaped it.


The history of electronic music is a long and complicated one, with multiple different artists and genres emerging over the years. While it is impossible to definitively say who made electronic music, there are some key figures who have been instrumental in its development.

One of the earliest electronic musicians was Italian avant-garde composer Luigi Russolo, who wrote The Art of Noises in 1913. This treatise proposed the use of electronically generated sounds as a new form of music, and Russolo went on to build a number of noise-making machines which he called “intonarumori”. These were used in public performances where they generated a range of strange and disturbing noises, much to the consternation of the audience!

In the 1920s, another Italian composer named Gino Soccio began experimenting with synthesizers and other electronic instruments. He is credited with being one of the first people to create disco music, which would go on to be hugely popular in the 1970s.

The German band Kraftwerk are often seen as pioneers of electronic music, thanks to their unique blend of experimentalism and pop sensibility. Their 1974 album Autobahn was a major success, and it paved the way for future electronic artists to achieve mainstream success.

Other important figures in electronic music history include Japanese composer Isao Tomita, British musician Delia Derbyshire (who created the iconic Doctor Who theme tune), and American producer Brian Eno. In more recent years, electronic music has been increasingly influenced by hip hop and other genres, leading to the rise of artists like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada.

The first electronic music instruments

The first electronic music instruments were developed in the early 20th century. The earliest were used in the First World War to create noise that could be used to mask battlefield sounds. In the 1920s, electronic music was used to create theater and film soundtracks. In the 1930s, electronic music was used in radio broadcasting. In the 1940s, electronic music was used in popular music. In the 1950s, electronic music was used in rock and roll. In the 1960s, electronic music was used in jazz.

The first electronic music composers

The first electronic music composers were experimenting with electrical and mechanical devices to create sounds that had never been heard before. In the early 1900s, Thaddeus Cahill invented the Telharmonium, an electrical instrument that could be used to play music. However, it was not until the 1930s that electronic music really began to take off.

In the 1930s, composers such as Edgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen were using electrical instruments to create new sounds. These composers were looking for ways to break away from traditional tonal music. They believed that electronic music could be used to create atonal or non-traditional music.

In the 1940s, composers such as John Cage and Pierre Boulez began using electronics in their music. They were interested in using electronics to create chance-based or random music. Cage believed that any sound could be used in music, even if it was made by a machine.

In the 1950s, composers such as Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen continued to experiment with atonal and chance-based music. They also began using tape recorders to manipulate sounds. This was the beginning of musique concrète, a type of electronic music where sounds are recorded and then manipulated using tape recorders.

In the 1960s, composers such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich began exploring minimalist ideas in their music. Riley’s “In C” is one of the most important pieces of minimalist music. Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain” is another important piece of minimalist music which uses a looped recording of speech to create a sense of phasing or shifting patterns. other important minimalists include La Monte Young, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk.

In the 1970s, composer Brian Eno popularized the idea of ambient music with his album “Ambient 1: Music for Airports.” Ambient music is designed to be listened to in background settings such as airports, offices, or hospitals. It is usually slow-paced and relaxing. Other important ambient musicians include Harold Budd, Robert Fripp, and Daniel Lanois.

The first electronic music studios

The first electronic music studios were built in the 1930s. There were two main types of studios: those intended for live performance, and those intended for recording. The first electronic music studio intended for live performance was the Ondes Martenot studio, built in France in 1928. The first electronic music studio intended for recording was the Trautonium studio, built in Germany in 1930.

The first electronic music studios were built by individuals, not by companies. The first commercial electronic music studio was the Moog Studio, founded by Robert Moog in 1964.

The first electronic music recordings

The first electronic music recordings were made in the late 19th century, on a device called the phonautograph. The phonautograph was invented by innovators such as Thomas Edison, who used it to record sound waves onto sheets of paper. These recordings were not meant to be played back, but they did pave the way for future generations of electronic music makers.

In the early 20th century, Russian engineer Boris Derbyshev built the first electronic musical instrument, called the Theremin. The Theremin was played by moving one’s hands in the air near two metal rods, which would produce different pitches based on their proximity. The Theremin was used popularly in movies such as 1950’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, and continues to be used by modern artists such as Björk.

The next significant innovation in electronic music came in 1955, with the invention of the Moog synthesizer by Robert Moog. The Moog was one of the first analog synthesizers, meaning that it produced sounds using electrical signals (as opposed to digital synthesizers, which use computer code). The Moog was capable of creating a wide range of sounds, and became popular with a number of influential musicians, including Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder.


In conclusion, electronic music was made possible by a number of different people and factors. It is a genre that has its roots in many different styles of music, and as such, it has been able to evolve and grow in interesting ways. With the help of technology, electronic music has become one of the most popular genres in the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

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