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Emulating Digital Sound with Acoustic Instruments

By Rhizome

cbaba - Pleasant Voice of (wo)Man and Machine 29:43

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[....] "The earliest purely electronic instrument was the Teleharmonium or Telharmonium, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. Simple inconvenience hindered the adoption of the Teleharmonium: the instrument weighed seven tons and was the size of a boxcar. The first practical electronic instrument is often viewed to be the Theremin, invented by Professor Leon Theremin circa 1919 - 1920." [wikipedia] The theremin was commisioned by Stalin and popularized by a young savant violinist who'd lost the use of her fingers. Prior to this, music was composed with for and performed with non electronic instruments, such as the violin.

Composers wrote music for kings and nobility, the patrons thrilled as the sounds of powerful harmonic vibration. Electronic strings are sometimes able to compete with the complexity of real strings, but their value is only augmented by their reference to real strings, not provided wholly. The synthetic sounds of today may refer memetically to their physical models, however we've come full circle to a condition of real instruments often being used to emulate electronic sounds. Ever seen anyone play drum and bass on buckets? The symbiotic growth of language and music also reflects this phase shifting-- Vocoded voices are teaching people how to pronounce and inflect their words, perfect electronic rhythm is seeping into our natural progressions and syllable cadence. We will explore phase shifts and glitches further at a later date. On an almost related note, say outloud: "Yeah-Yeah" and fully annunciate it. You have just discovered the best way to imitate Little John. Yeah-Yeah is a silly little meme.

This mix contains many voices, some synthetic, some derived from samples, as well as many other techniques of vocalizing sounds. All sound is vibration, fractal in it's frequency content. [Much more....]

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