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Two central concepts from the second half of the twentieth century make reference not only to Satie's experiments, but also to Cage and Paik: sound installation and ambient music. The sound installation, developed at the end of the 1960s by Max Neuhaus, Maryanne Amacher and others, pursues amongst other things two of the objectives emphasized by Satie: Firstly, not to simply adapt music conceived for a performance situation to casual forms of reception, rather to fundamentally conceive the tonal design of space as integration into a specific place. Secondly, not to occupy the attention of the listeners, rather to provide the scope for the listeners to determine which kind of attention they choose to lend to the tonal design. In 1975 Brian Eno, a commuter between art and pop music, transferred these avantgarde techniques onto the format and sound aesthetics of the pop record and coined the genre term ‹ambient music.› In the 1990s many other musicians, for example The Orb and Aphex Twin, developed Eno's idea of the electronic ‹ambient› style.
Around 1930, the invention of the electron tube allowed the development of the first promising electronic musical instruments, amongst others Leon Theremin's «etherophone,» Jörg Mager's «spherophone,» Friedrich Trautwein's «trautonium,» and Naurice Martenot's «Ondes Martenot.» They proved that the laws of physical mechanics could be circumvented in an ‹electric music› and that this meant the dawning of a new musical era. Composers hoped for new timbres from the sound synthesis, a substitute for unpredictable human interpreters, as well as the opportunity to overcome the twelve-tone scale, which they perceived as constricting. However, for the most part these instruments had been conceived out of a traditional understanding of music, like the etherophone imitating for example a romantic espressivo style.