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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathAudiovisions
Der Mann mit der Kamera (Vertov, Dziga), 1929Central Park in the Dark (Ives, Charles)Telefonkonzerte (unbekannt)
Telharmonium (Cahill, Thaddeus), 1906

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The collage first established itself in fine art around 1920, although the gramophone would have already long since made the acoustic collage possible. Here, too, it was primarily the practical disadvantages of the gramophone that prevented this development. In 1917—thus long before he applied montage, collage, and double exposure techniques in the film «The Man With the Camera»—Dziga Vertov carried out comparable experiments with gramophone recordings; however, because they were difficult to handle and the sound quality was poor, he gave them up to devote himself instead to film. [23]

Surprisingly, the ostensible use of collage techniques in music occurred for the first time independent from technical media. Charles Ives processed impressions from the urban world of noises as early as 1906 in «Central Park in the Dark[24] In this piece for orchestra there manifested a tradition of the simultaneity of musical styles, sound elements, and rhythms, which has continued into contemporary media composition through Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Heiner Goebbels.


Musical Wallpaper: Background Music

It was also in 1906 that Thaddeus Cahill took up the practice of ‹telephone concerts ,› which since the 1880s had been becoming more and more popular in many large cities, when he introduced the world to the «Telharmonium.» His decision was primarily based on economic considerations: no other infrastructure produced as many potential listeners than the telephone, thus creating the means for raising the immense amounts of capital required for this new type of instrument. With this first machine world wide which could synthesize complex sounds and even provide for musically intellectual demands such as playability in pure pitch and a random number of new scales, of necessity the principle of a music materialized that with the aid of media technology could be played into spaces in such a way that it is only taken in as mere background music for other perceptions.

In 1915, Thomas Alva Edison also carried out experiments to allow piping selected pieces of music into factory buildings via a phonograph in order to

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