Dance / Electronic Music Timeline
Dance/electronic music can trace its roots to four important genres:
- Experimental rock
- Experimental classical
And three important centers:
- Central Europe (Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany)
- North America (Detroit, Chicago, New York)
Remember: Music is not always about being real, live, or rock. Cavemen made music using sticks and stones (which would be "avant-garde music" nowadays).
Edited By: Jeff B.
First Published: 2005-11-22
Most music can be classified as dance, be it slow dance or fast dance. However, dance is more appropriated to being fast (slow dance is called slow dance usually).
Music manipulated by electronic machines/instruments (such as The Moog, Roland TR-808, etc.). There are two variants:
All music manipulated by electronic instruments/machines, dating back to the BC era
Dance music manipulated by electronic instruments pioneered by the fathers Kraftwerk and everything thereafter; post-Disco era, the electronic/computer age where there was a boom of synthesizers, drum machines, sequencers, etc., used to produce pop dance music.
There are exceptions however. Hip Hop/rap, despite it relying heavily on synthesizers, is not really seen as dance music and therefore electronic music. A major fact is Hip Hop's use of slowed down, heavily syncopated beats (more in the traditional funk vein); remember, most classify dance music with fast rhythms (although early hip hop was strictly dance through disco rap and electro-funk). Nevertheless, there are several out there that consider hip hop dance/electronic music despite its heavily syncopated and slowed down beats.
This term, invented by the American media, is subject to hot debate. It's basically another word for electronic music or worse, the Â³everything technoÂ² syndrome. Purists regard electronic music as the real and official term to describe this music although some dance/electronic music advocates use electronica in its place such as Allmusic.com, the number one Internet music authority.
There are two forms of instruments, traditional (clarinets, cellos, violins, flutes, drums, saxophones, trumpets, etc.) and electronic (synthesizers, drum machines, sequencers, etc.)
TWO PHASES OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC:
Avant-Garde/Experimental (pre 1970s)
Dance/Electronic (1970s-present) (this is where house, techno, etc. fall in, post-disco synthesized dance genres); also called electronic dance
Avant-garde music in the 20th century refers to electronic composition.
MAIN DANCE/ELECTRONIC GENRES:
*all in order as to what was conceived first)
*Breakbeat (this is where hip hop as a whole falls in when discussing dance/electronic music)
*Video game music (some video game music is danceable)
EDM (Electronic Body Music)
Freestyle (Latin Hip Hop; Latin freestyle)
Drum N Bass/Jungle
*IDM (Intelligent Dance Music)
- Machines that manipulate music have always been around since the B.C. era, but none have matched up to great success and use.
- Elisha Grey (the inventor of the telephone along with Alexander Graham Bell) creates the first electronic instrument, the Electroharmonic Piano (also known as the Musical Telegraph or Harmonic Telegraph).
- Ragtime music, the precursor to jazz, is the first real American dance genre (e.g. Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag"). It peaks from the 1890s-1910s.
- Thaddeus Cahill invents the telharmonium, another breakthrough electronic instrument (some regard it as the first).
1900s THE BIRTH OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC AGE (pre-1970)
Experimental classical music is the first music
genre to use electronic manipulation
- Arnold Shoenberg begins to create atonal music.
- Italian futurist leader painter composer Luigi Russolo foretells in his works The Art of Noises and Musica Futurista how electronic music will come to dominate the music world.
- Erik Satie creates Musique Ameublement, "furniture music", a precedent in minimal and ambient music.
- Russian composer Lev Sergeivitch Termin (Leon Theremin) invents the Thereminovox (more commonly known as the Theremin), the first commercially available electronic instrument.
- The Hammond organ is created by Laurens Hammond, an electro-acoustic instrument. The organ becomes available to the general public.
- Jazz, "America's classical music", hits mainstream America and soon births a number of classic dances; Swing also forms out of jazz.
- Edgar(d) Varese completes his piece "Ecuatorial".
- John Milton Cage composes "Imaginary Landscape No. I", the first composition to treat "found sounds" as music material.
- John Cage performs "March (Imaginary Landscape No. II)" and "Imaginary Landscape No. III".
- Post World War II sees music in a progressive state due to improving technology and economic/social upturn. The seeds of rock are sown by primarily blues, jazz, folk, etc., African American artists.
- Avant garde music flourishes, experimental electronic music composed mostly by classical composers. Artists such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Erik Satie, Arnold Shoenberg, Phillip Glass, John Cage, Isao Tomita, Oskar Sala, Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Wendy (Walter) Carlos, Terry Riley, Iannis Xenakis, Elliot Carter, Steve Reich, and Moondog become some of electronic music's most important artists, influencing a number of artists. Rock artists become the first to be impacted such as:
- Artists and albums/songs containing electronic material:
*note: not electronic albums but with definitive electronic influences
Miles Davis (Bitches Brew)
Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon)
Sly & The Family Stone (There's a Riot Going On)
Stevie Wonder (Music of My Mind)
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Invention (Uncle Meat)
The Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows" (big fans of Karlheinz Stockhausen)
The Beatles "Strawberry Fields Forever"
The Beatles "Revolution No. 9"
The Beatles "A Day in the Life"
The Beatles (Revolver)
The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
The Beatles (White Album)
The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations"
The Grateful Dead (Anthem of the Sun)
King Crimson (In the Court of the Crimson King)
Herbie Hancock (Head Hunters)
Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love" *middle part of song uses the Theremin
Led Zeppelin "Kashmir"
Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
The Silver Apples
- Artists such as The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Mahogany Rush, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Queen, to name a few, used tape manipulation/Echoplex/electronic sounds in some/few of their works taken from Musique Concrete.
- Important avant-garde music subgenres:
- Ambient father Brian Eno said it best about avant-garde music: "I'm an anti-musician. I don't think the craft of music is relevant to the art of music."
- Pierre Schaeffer, influenced greatly by the Italian Futurists and John Cage, inaugurates Musique Concrete (a part of avant-garde electronic music) at Paris' Radio-Diffusion-Televison Francaise (RTF); the first school for electronic music is born. In October, he broadcasts his works in "A Concert of Noises".
- Overall, Musique Concrete is the pool where the first true modern electronic music composition is born.
- Some Musique Concrete artists:
Tod Dockstader (considered the foremost Musique Concrete musician)
- Schaffer and Jacques Poullin work on experiments in sound.
- Pierre Schaeffer composes"Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul (Symphony for a Man Alone)" which becomes the first major work of Musique Concrete and thus births sampling.
- Rock is born; Soul, rhythm & blues, doo wop music flourishes/emerges.
- On October 18, the Cologne Radio System broadcasts "The World of Electronic Music".
- Karlheinz Stockhausen begins to compose Elektronische Musik.
- Harry Olsen and Herbert Belar invent the synthesizer--called the Olson-Belar Sound Synthesizer--under American government pressure.
- Louis and Bebe Barron become the first to produce an entirely electronic film score and soundtrack with Forbidden Planet.
- Motown (born 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr.) offers some of the finest dance music around. James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone pioneer funk music. Reggae also forms out of rock. Soul/rock records such as "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & The Vandellas, "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Mashed Potato Theme" by Dee Dee Sharpe, "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen, "Land of a 1,000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett, and "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown become dance classics in the annals of dance music history.
- Rock's growth ushers in the psychedelic era and soon splinters into two main variants by the 1970s: synthesized rock and traditional rock, the period of progressive rock.
- Robert Moog and Herbert Deutsch invent the Moog synthesizer.
- The BBC Radiophonic Workshop releases the "Theme from Dr. Who" which becomes a classic and the biggest theme in electronic music history.
- The Moog is commercialized.
- The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" becomes the first electronic pop hit to feature electronic sounds, using the influential Theremin instrument.
THE BIRTH OF ELECTRONIC DANCE (POST 1970)
- King Tubby of Jamaica births the dub which will later birth the remix. The Jamaicans also invent toasting, the MC, and the DJ (turntable) which becomes important hip hop elements.
- Kraut rock emerges from Germany, characterized by rock bands playing on synthesizers.
- Wendy (Walter) Carlos releases the album Switched on Bach which becomes the first album to popularize music on synthesizers. It also becomes the best-selling classical album of all time and becomes the first classical album to go platinum. The album quickly shoots into the Billboard Top 10 of Billboard's Pop Top 200 Albums list and stays there for more than a year, earning three Grammy nominations (Best Classical Album, Best Classical Performance, Best Classical Engineered Recording).
- Funk music reaches its prime and rock music continues to peak. Four distinct synthesized rock become very important:
Space Age Pop:
- Begun in the late 50s with the Soviet launching of Sputnik-I into space and the dawn of Hi-Fi and stereo recordings; space age pop music is used extensively in many movies, TV shows, radios, and commercials with its galactic and special sound effects. Artists include Hugo Montenegro, Lex Baxter, Guy Warren, Marty Manning, and Bob Thompson.
Space Age Rock:
- Born in the 60s and early 70s, influenced by psychedelia and kraut rock as well space age pop, full of spacial and futuristic noises. Many artists such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles flirted with space rock.
- Artists and songs:
The Byrds ("8 Miles High")
The Tornados ("Telstar")
Pink Floyd ("Interstellar Overdrive")
Elton John ("Rocket Man")
Deep Purple ("Space Truckin'")
The Carpenters ("Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft")
Creedence Clearwater Revival ("It Came Out of the Sky")
Peter Schilling-("Major Tom-Coming Home")
David Bowie ("Space Oddity", "Ziggy Stardust")
- Kraut rock is the most important subgenre of synthesized rock influencing dance/electronic music. Artists include Can, Kraftwerk (early), Neu!, La Dusseldorf, Faust, Popul Vuh, Conrad Schnitzler, Y Amon Duul, Ash Ra Temple, and Tangerine Dream.
- Birthed in 1971 by Tangerine Dream, an offshoot of kraut rock. It uses more electronics than kraut rock does. Artists include Manuel Gottsching, The Cosmic Jokers, Klaus Schulze, and Rolf-Urich Kaiser.
- The Hip Hop culture is born in New York City with influences from Jamaica and African American life, culture and music. Important pioneers include Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kool DJ Herc (The Holy Trinity of Hip Hop) with influences from Yellowman and the original rappers The Last Poets and Gil-Scott Heron.
- Kraftwerk debut under the name Organisation and release Tone Float; they become the first fully electronic band/artists.
- The minimoog becomes the first commercial portable synthesizer.
- James Brown releases "Funky Drummer" which becomes the most sampled record of all time.
- Overall, early synth music becomes big through artists such as Kraftwerk and Hot Butter which begins to impact movies, TV, and children's read-along audio cassette tapes.
- Wendy Carlos releases Sonic Seasonings which becomes her second most influential album on electronic music, especially ambient music.
- Hot Butter's hit "Popcorn" becomes the first electronic pop hit.
- Pink Floyd release the influential' The Dark Side of the Moon'.
- Disco music, the poppier side of funk music, is born with its signature 4/4 dance sound. It popularizes the club scene and also invents the 12" and extended play (now known as club play).
- King Crimson's Robert Fripp and Brian Eno release No Possyfooting, a precedent to ambient music.
- Mike Oldfield releases the minimal classic "Tubular Bells" used in The Exorcist film.
- Rick Wakeman releases The 6 Wives of Henry VIII and becomes the first electronic solo artist in history to be a pop superstar.
- Hip Hop DJ Kool "DJ" Herc connects two turntables with identical records, spins one record while delaying the other, and thus creates a break in the music; breakbeat is born.
- Kraftwerk's seminal hit "Autobahn" becomes the song that will give dance/electronic music its basic pop foundation.
- Electronic music legend Isao Tomita's debut album "Snowflakes are Dancing" reaches the top 50 of the pop charts and receives 4 Grammy nominations. Tomita is called the Wendy Carlos of Japan, famous for synthesizing classical works.
- Industrial music, an experimental genre, is born around the same time as its cousin punk rock. However, it is too experimental to be fully realized as the first complete dance/electronic genre. Throbbing Gristle, Monte Cazazza, William S. Burroughs, Suicide, NON, Cabaret Voltaire, DAF, Clock DVA, and Portion Control stand as some of the most important Industrial artists.
- Industrial music will give rise to subgenres in the later years such as EBM, Industrial Gothic (e.g. Bauhaus), Aggro-Industrial (e.g. KMFDM), Electro Industrial (e.g. SPK), and Industrial rock (e.g. Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie).
- Jean-Michel Jarre releases Oxygene which storms the charts, becoming one of the most successful albums in the history of electronic music (although many say he was making such music earlier on; this album in particular contains liner notes of what ambient music is).
- New Age music is born although several precedents have led to its full development.
- Giorgio Moroder produces Donna Summer's seminal electronic disco anthem "I Feel Love" which influences dance/electronic music forever.
- Brian Eno births ambient music with the album Ambient 1: Music for Airports.
- Around the post-punk phase, artists such as Gary Numan, Blondie, David Bowie, and The Human League kick start New Wave (New Wave's subgenres include the two big variants: synthpop and New Romantic).
- Italo Disco becomes the first complete dance/electronic music genre, an offshoot of Moroder's electronic disco, thanks to La Bionda's "One for You, One for Me". Other artists include Azoto, Fun Fun, Den Harrow, and Baltimora.
- The first available digital sampler is released, the Fairlight MI (Computer Musical Instrument).
- Electronic music legend Jean-Michele Jarre holds the biggest concert ever (which will soon be broken by him again in three instances-1987, 1990, and his biggest yet in 1997 with 3.5 million in attendance). Because of his impact on music, an asteroid is later named after him- 9422 Jarre.
- Rap is born on record with acts such as the funk band The Fatback Band ("King Tim III", the first rap record) and rappers The Sugar Hill Gang ("Rapper's Delight").
- Hi-NRG is born and becomes the second complete dance/electronic music genre, evolving from Italo disco and defined by Evelyn Thomas' "High Energy". Other artists include Sylvester (later), Patrick Cowley, Hazell Dean, Miquel Brown, Sinitta, Dead or Alive, Bronski Beat, and Bad Boys Blue.
- The 80s becomes the most danceable, diverse, and crossover decade of the 20th century. Dance/electronic music will flourish as new genres are created, influencing pop music as a whole.
- The 80s is also known as the Computer/Electronic age. For the first time, video games, computers, and electronic equipment became affordable, efficient, and put to great use.
- Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Tangerine Dream continue to influence all of dance/electronic music.
- After the arcade craze of the 70s, the early 80s sees the first video game music; a new electronic music genre is born.
- Rap explodes and rivals rock in its extremity both musically and culturally.
- Sampling and the breakbeat become important features for both hip hop and dance/electronic music (in dance/electronic music, the breakbeat dispels the myth that all dance is 4/4).
- The Technics 1200 turntables (a.k.a the wheels of steel) is released from Japan which becomes the standard turntable and a breakthrough in DJ device history.
- The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Machine is released, a programmable drum machine using analogs (this becomes the backbone of electro and techno music).
- The emulator becomes the first affordable digital sampler.
- Pioneers D-Train and Freeez birth electronic soul, shortened to electro, the first slowed down dance/electronic music form. Artists such as The System, Yaz, Evelyn "Champagne" King, The NYC Peech Boys, and Kashif define the sound as well.
- EEBM (Electronic Body Music), a synthesis between synthpop and Industrial music, is invented by Belgian act Front 242, the first complete dark dance/electronic music genre. Artists such as The Neon Judgement, Die Krupps, Nizter Ebb, Front Line Assembly, Ministry, Severed Heads, DAF, Assemblage 23, VNV Nation, and Skinny Puppy also define the sound.
- Electro-funk is born through Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force's seminal hip hop anthem "Planet Rock". Electro-funk steers hip hop away from the traditional disco and funk sounds and delves more into syncopation. This becomes the most sampled hip hop record of all time (James Brown's "Funky Drummer" is the most sampled record in Hip Hop). Artists such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Newcleus, Cybotron, Egyptian Lover, Mantronix, Man Parrish, Hashim, and The Jonzun Crew define the sound.
- The record births three important dance/electronic subgenres freestyle music, Miami Bass, and early techno.
- MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) enables keyboards and other devices to be controlled from one central keyboard and for music to be recorded onto a sequencer.
- The TB-303 Bassline (transistor bass) is released (the backbone for acid house and trance).
- New Order releases "Blue Monday", one of the biggest selling dance/electronic 12" of all time, an electro-pop-disco-Industrial record that becomes the missing link between house and experimental music.
- Electro group Cybotron births early techno music with "Clear". Other early techno acts include Model 500 and Channel One. Later, artists such as Rhythm is Rhythm, Eddie "Flashin'" Fowlkes, Inner City, Jeff Mills, Frankie Bones, Plastikman, Underground Resistance, Moby, The Chemical Brothers, Joey Beltram, Ken Ishii, Underworld, The Orb, Adam Beyer, and Aphex Twin also define the sound.
- Freestyle music is born with Shannon's "Let the Music Play" (although some say it was born with Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock"). Shannon's electro record has Latin percussion and a heavy syncopated drumbeat that distinguishes her from the other electro-funk artists. Artists such as Nu Shooz, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, Nayobe, T.K.A., Alisha, Debbie Deb, Collage, Expose, George Lamond, and Stevie B. define the sound.
- Italo Disco peaks
- New Wave/synthpop peaks
- Acts such as Prince and his proteges (Sheila E., The Time, Vanity 6, etc.) keep funk music alive and strong.
- The last year of disco before it manifests into 'house' music.
- House music is born, updated disco with machines. Artists such as Jesse Saunders, Jomanda, Mr. Fingers, Ralphi Rosario, Ten City, Farley "Jackmaster" Keith, Masters @ Work, Steve "Silk" Hurley, C&C Music Factory, Frankie Knuckles, Cajmere, and Leftfield define the sound.
- The Roland TR-909 Drum Machine, both an analog-digital rhythm machine, is released (the backbone of house and techno).
- Miami Bass is born, the third hip hop dance component after electro-funk and freestyle. MC A.D.E., Amos Larkin, and The 2 Live Crew are its pioneers. Other representative artists include Sir Mix-A-Lot, 69 Boyz, Maggotron, J.J. Fad, Tag Team, L'Trimm, DJ Magic Mike, Afro-Rican, MC Shy-D, and Dynamix II.
- Electro-funk and Hi-NRG peak.
- New Age music begins to peak in its first phase.
- Detroit house (a.k.a. Detroit techno) is born with pioneers such as Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, and Derrick "The Innovator" Mays.
- World music ("ethnic", Eastern music) becomes marketable with the pioneering efforts of Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. Artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Savuka & Johnny Clegg meet with mainstream success.
- Phuture's seminal house track "Acid Trax" creates acid music which influences techno, trance, and other dance/electronic music.
- The rave scene grows in connection to club designer drugs such as ecstasy and acid music.
- Belgian new beat emerges with artists such as Jade 4 U, Public Relations, Lords of Acid, The Confettis, Lisa M., and A Taste of Sugar.
- EBM, Freestyle, and Miami Bass peak.
- The Golden Age of Hip Hop (roughly 1986-1993) ensues with acts such as Eric B. & Rakim, Run DMC, Queen Latifah, De La Soul, L.L. Cool J, and Roxanne Shante.
- Techno and house music peak.
- Dance/electronic music's "Summer of Love"; dance/electronic music begins to move to Europe.
- Ibiza, a Balearic island off the coast of Spain, begins to be the dance/electronic club capital of the world, bought strictly for tourism and clubbing.
- Acid jazz emerges from the Acid Jazz label in Britain as a slowed component of dance/electronic music. Artists such as US3, Digable Planets, Incognito, The Brand New Heavies, Galliano, The James Taylor Quartet, and Jamiroquai define this sound.
Late 80s-early 90s
- Although started in 1989 by the Wild Bunch collective, trip hop music begins to meet mainstream success with acts such as Portishead and Massive Attack in the early 90s. This becomes the last biggest downtempo genre in dance/electronic music. Representative artists include Des'ree, The Sugarcubes, Air, and Morcheeba.
- Downtempo subgenres:
- New Age peaks during its second phase. Artists such as Enya ("Orinoco Flow-Sail Away", "Only Time") and Enigma ("Sadeness Part I", "Return to Innocence") meet mainstream success.
- Ambient techno and ambient house acts such as Orbital ("Chime"), Future Sound of London ("Papua New Guinea"), The Orb ("Little Fluffy Clouds"), and 808 State ("Pacific State") also chart in the Top 40 and bring club music to cafes. Ambient techno artists such as Aphex Twin ("Xtal") and The KLF ("Madrugada Eterna") will influence dance/electronic music in the 90s.
- Eurodance rises through acts such as Culture Beat, Cappella, B.G. the Prince of Rap, MC Sar & The Real McCoy, Captain Hollywood, and Ice MC.
- Rave music peaks as dance/electronic music meets mainstream success. Artists such as SNAP!, MC Sar & The Real McCoy, C&C Music Factory, 2 Unlimited, and Moby become world renowned artists. Even pop acts such as Aretha Franklin ("A Deeper Love"), Madonna ("Ray of Light"), Whitney Houston ("I'm Every Woman"), Mariah Carey ("Emotions"), Michael Jackson ("Black or White"), Cher ("Believe"), MC Hammer ("U Can't Touch This"), and Will Smith ("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It") have massive dance hits.
- The whole of Europe is immersed in dance/electronic music and begins to revolutionize the sound with new subgenres such as Eurodance, a mixture of Hi-NRG and house (often the cheesy dance music), trip hop, acid jazz, and jungle/D&B.
- The media ignorantly begins to coin this mainstream dance/electronic music as "techno". In truth, techno is a subgenre within dance/electronic music and far from what the media interprets (see 1983).
- Age of Love's "Age of Love" births trance music. Trance music soon becomes one of the biggest dance/electronic subgenres ever, ranking with house and techno music. Artists such as Energy 52, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, B.T., DJ Tiesto, Art of Trance, Hallucinogen, Gouryella, Ferry Corsten, and Union Jack define the sound as well.
- Hardcore music emerges (and peaks), becoming the fastest music in the world. Artists such as Mescalinum United, Atari Teenage Riot, Marshall Masters, Manix, and Rotterdam Termination Source define the sound.
- Jungle music (and later Drum N Bass) arises with acts such as 4 Hero, DJ SS, Goldie, Roni Size, Grooverider, Omni Trio, Adam F., Dillinja, LTJ Bukem, and AK1200.
- The Entertainment Act controls raves and club music.
- IDM (Intelligent Dance music) emerges, combining elements of "high-brow" music with various dance/electronic subgenres. The music is an antithesis to the annoying and cheesy dance that has been embraced by the mainstream. 2 Lone Swordsmen, Squarepusher, Amon Tobin, Bochum Welt, Autechre, Uziq, Spring Heel Jack, and Aphex Twin constantly push music into the way of avant-gardism.
- The Criminal Justice Act of the U.K. prohibits raves and forces them back into the clubs.
- Drum N Bass evolves out of jungle; thus, the term is now jungle/D&B.
- Jungle/Drum N Bass music peaks.
- On April 10, the U.S. senate and house pass the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (formerly the R.A.V.E. act of 2002), stating that the club property owner can be jailed for up to 20 years if their customers commit any drug offence. The whole club industry is affected.
Notable avant-garde works:
*exact or roughly the years; some indicate a span of two years.
John Cage- Music of Changes (1951)
Elliot Cook Carter- Quartet I (1951)
John Cage- Imaginary Landscape No. 5 (1952) *becomes 1st piece of music using magnetic tape.
Karlheinz Stockhausen- Studie I/Studie II (1953)
Edgar(d) Varese- Deserts (1954)
Karlheinz Stockhausen- Gesang Der Junglinge (1955)
Bruno Maderna- Musica Su Due Dimensioni (1957) *1st electro-acoustic composition.
Edgar(d) Varese- Poeme Electronique (1958) *performed at the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium; one of the 1st large-scale multimedia performances.
Karlheinz Stockhausen- Kontakte (1959)
Otto Luening & Vladiner Ussachevsky- Rhapsodie Variations (for Louisville Symphony) *1st to combine orchestra and tape.
Elliot Cook Carter- Quartet II (1959)
John Cage- Cartridge Music (1960)
La Monte Young- The Tortoise and His Dreams and Journeys (1964)
La Monte Young- A Well Turned Piano (1964)
Terry Riley- In C (1964) *brought minimalism to the forefront
Steve Reich- It's Gonna Rain (1965)
Tod Dockstader- Apocalypse (1966)
Tod Dockstader- Quartermass (1966)
Karlheinz Stockhausen- Hymnen (1967)
Wendy (Walter) Carlos- Switched on Bach (1967)
Morton Subotnick- Silver Apples of the Moon Part I (1967)
Morton Subotnick- The Wild Bull (1967)
Morton Subotnick- Touch (1968)
Terry Riley- Rainbow of a Curved Air (1969)
Steve Reich- Drumming (1971)
Phillip Glass- Music in 12 Parts (1974)
Steve Reich- Music for 18 Musicians (1974-1976)
Phillip Glass- Einstein on the Beach (1976)
Steve Reich- Desert Music (1984)
John Coolidge Adams- Nixon in China (1987) *won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 1989.