History of Modular Electronic Music System
In the past decade electronic music has developed into a form that assumes all the roles of music in our culture, from concert pieces to film music and rock-and-roll. Studios specializing in electronically generated music have been built in Europe and America, and have exerted considerable impact on the music field. Electronic music is now a part of the curriculum of many college and university music departments and is now used extensively for special effects in advertising commercials.
The offspring of a technology which is itself but half a century old, electronic music is in its infancy. Instruments specifically designed for its production have been crude and generally unavailable. Therefore, the basic objectives for development of the Modular Electronic Music System were:
The achievement of direct, immediate control of musical parameters. Instruments should be played in real time, eliminating such note-forming routines as: set frequency – start recorder – stop recorder – measure – cut – splice – repeat, etc.
Compatibility of all equipment, Rules for interconnecting equipment to be straight-forward and consistent. Interfacing with external equipment (recorders, tuners, microphones, etc.) should be readily accomplished.
Fully transistorized circuitry, employing conservative design and high quality components. Reliable operation with minimal maintenance must be realized.
A special requirement for the system was that the equipment be lightweight and portable, thus making feasible its use in the composer’s home, the concert hall, and on tour.
Without compromising other design objectives, cost should be low. Power supplies and cabinetry should be common to several unity, and modular construction should be employed to permit economical system expansion.
The Modular Electronic Music System meets the above criteria and has been installed in numerous colleges, composers’ homes and studios throughout the country. Results have exceeded all expectations. The time required to put a composition on tape has been reduced substantially. The range of sounds and formats far exceeds that previously available.