Do you think that electronic music is the product of contemporary era being borned in the last 20-30 years? Well, you are wrong. The first who tried to produce electronic music sounds was an American, Thaddeus Cahill. In his home in Massachusetts, he assembled in 1895, rotary generators and telephone handsets to convert electrical signals into sound waves. Thaddeus has called his device, Telarmoniu, perfecting it continuously for over a decade; when introduced the device in a public demonstration in Holyoke, Massachusetts, he was a total failure. Being overwhelmed by difficulties of technical nature and by the inability to be heard at a distance greater than a few meters from transmitters (speakers and amplifiers had not yet been invented), Telarmoniul only managed to growl, to grumble and to squeak weak.
On 11 March 1913, in Italy, futurist Luigi Russolo published his manifesto “The Art of Noises“. In 1914, he held the first “art-of-noises” concert in Milan on April 21. This used his Intonarumori, described by Russolo as “acoustical noise-instruments, whose sounds (howls, roars, shuffles, gurgles, etc.) were hand-activated and projected by horns and megaphones.” In June, similar concerts were held in Paris.
Although Cahill ‘s instrument was a disappointment, his ideas related to the generation of electronic music were correct , but had emerged two decades too early. In the ’50s, electronic technology reached a level of polish that allowed some vsionaries like Cahill to convert their ideas into a new musical style. The first and most successful modern instrument, was electronic music synthesizer produced by RCA and designed by Harry Olson and Herbert Belar, scientific researchers of the Princeton company’s laboratories in New Jersey, which was unveiled in 1955. It could convert any electrical signal – in sawtooth, ortogonal or sinusoidal – in musical tones .