A Sample of Electronic Music History

From the first electronic tones, through early synth pioneers, to cutting-edge pop music

By Google Arts & Culture

Die Titelseite von Scientific American zum Telharmonium (1900)Original Source: Scientific American, Vol. 96, No. 10, March 9th 1907


In 1895, Thaddeus Cahill, an inventor from Iowa, started work on the world’s first electromechanical musical instrument. Weighing in at 200 tons and measuring 60 feet long, the Telharmonium was a colossal machine for producing and sharing music on the telephone.

Minimoog Model C prototypeElectronic Music Education and Preservation Project


In the 126 years since, electronic music has evolved in similarly bold and ingenious ways, a testament to the magic that occurs when human beings build and interact with machines. 

Awakenings Gashouder (2012)Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

Outside the Club

We listen to it while working out, riding the subway, studying for exams — and hopefully soon again at the clubs and festivals that have made the music what it is today.

Prince - Prince (1979)Bob Moog Foundation / Moogseum

Music, Makers & Machines, the new exhibit from Google Arts & Culture and YouTube, celebrates the history of electronic music: its inventors, artists, culture, and technology

Stepanoff Theremin (1930)Original Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theramin-Alexandra-Stepanoff-1930.jpg

More than 60 international institutions, record labels, festivals and industry experts have come together to capture the crucial role electronic music plays within wider culture.

WDR Studio für Elektronische Musik: 360-Grad-TourWestern Broadcasting Corporation (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Blacktronika Cover Image 2Bob Moog Foundation / Moogseum

Suzanne Ciani (1977)Original Source: Bob L.

Disco Demolition Night Steve Dahl by Paul NatkinGROOVE Magazin Berlin

There are more than 300 online exhibitions, an extensive archive of photos, videos, 360° tours and 3D-scanned objects, including synthesizers and the door of Berlin’s legendary Tresor club.

In the spirit of pioneers like Cahill, you can also compose your own electronic music. Use the augmented reality feature “AR Synth” to mix and match five famous synthesizers in a virtual electronic music studio.

Deadmau5 on stageOriginal Source: Wikipedia

Begin your journey into electronic music's past, present, and future here

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