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Strict serialism or structured improvisation? The performance practice inherent in the technical realisation of early electronic music in the WDR Studio, Cologne

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2014
EventCentre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice 3 - Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 201420 Jul 2014


ConferenceCentre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice 3
CountryUnited Kingdom


Through full and part re-realisations of Stockhausen’s Studie II, and Gesang der Jünglinge, some affordances of ‘50s electronic instruments are highlighted, and feedback paths shown between practical technique and compositional approach. Relying on a combination of archive research, examining the original realization tapes, interviews, and creative practice I I try to identify and reassess the contributions of the technicians and technologies, and illustrate how specific practical considerations rebalanced Gesang der Jünglinge from serial order towards structured improvisation.

Opportunities and necessities for performance practice to contribute to a realisation are apparent even in what appears to be, in the case of Studie II, a set of dry technical instructions. With the development of more complicated and demanding sound production techniques, performance practice contributed more and more to the sound of electronic music, and as such needs to be considered as an essential rather than an accidental part of the creative process.

    Research areas

  • Stockhausen, performance practice, electronic music


Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice 3


Cambridge, United Kingdom

Event: Conference

ID: 16809005