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Part 2: Instruments for Electronic Music Studios

General Conclusions

Today many of the techniques used by these electronic music instruments have become commonplace. Equipment is very compact and affordable, and is used by musicians across a broad range of styles. Many composers today have private studios that offer greater resources than were available in earlier electronic music studios. The historical distinction between instruments for performance or studio use is now less important. Real time performance, and interactivity of many varieties, is now relatively common. Large electronic music studios continue to stimulate a great deal of innovative activity in music composition and production, in teaching, and in research, making important contributions that have expanded our understanding of sound and music. We hear the results of this daily in the creative uses of sound on radio, television, theatre, film and in concert, as sounds are sampled, altered electronically and heard in new contexts and relationships. As our concepts of music expand to include sounds from many different sources, we are becoming increasingly aware of our day-to-day sonic environment, of the "soundscape." Electronic instruments and related technologies have enabled the role of sound to extend into interdisciplinary practices involving many forms of creative activity.

This detail shows six tapes being played simultaneously by the Multi-Track. (National Library)

About the Author:The author of this Collection Profile, Gayle Young, is Editor of Musicworks Magazine and author of The Sackbut Blues: Hugh Le Caine, Pioneer in Electronic Music (Ottawa: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 1989).