Politics and Aesthetics in Electronic Music

A Study of EMS–Elektronmusikstudion Stockholm, 1964–1979

Cover of the publication »Politics and Aesthetics in Electronic Music«

Type of publication
Monograph, Audio CD
Author / Editor
Sanne Krogh Groth
Publishing house, place
Kehrer, Heidelberg, Berlin

This book explores the history of the Swedish electronic music studio EMS. EMS was established in 1964 with the intent to create an international center for research in sound and sound perception, and to build one of the world’s most advanced hybrid studios. The principal creators of the studio were rooted in Swedish modernism, and had the EMS-project shaped in accordance to the social democratic cultural policy of the time. This enabled the project to achieve continuous financial support e.g. to purchase a computer in 1969.
The construction of the large studio was a complicated and prolonged process. Whilst the building was underway, many composers worked in EMS’s principle provisional studio, where they among other pieces created the so-called text sound compositions. Over time this studio was worn, and the composers asked for new analogue equipment. The board of directors opposed the composers’ wishes because they preferred to continue the original stake at digitally controlled analogue apparatus and the planned research project. On these grounds many disagreements and conflicts occurred.

272 p. : numerous ill. + 1 CD
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe ; Statens musikverk, Stockholm

About the editors