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Electronic Inspirations – Technologies of the Cold War Musical Avant-Garde - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Electronic Inspirations: Technologies of the Cold War Musical Avant-Garde

Jennifer Iverson


Cold War electronic music—made with sine tone and white-noise generators, filters, and magnetic tape—was the driving force behind the evolution of both electronic and acoustic music in the second half of the twentieth century. Electronic music blossomed at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR [West German Radio]) in Cologne in the 1950s, when technologies were plentiful and the need for cultural healing was great. Building an electronic studio, West Germany confronted the decimation of the “Zero Hour” and began to rebuild its cultural prowess. The studio’s greatest asset was its laboratory culture, ... More

Keywords: electronic music, Cold War, WDR studio, technology, invisible collaboration, avant-gardism, information theory, experimental phonetics, wartime reclamations

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190868192
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190868192.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jennifer Iverson, author
Assistant Professor of Music, University of Chicago

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