Tape music is a form of music which began soon after tape recording was invented, as people could now create sounds that were for the first time identical with each performance. Users of this new technology began to develop a new musical ethic around the idea of the created artificial sound; as now music no longer had to be related to live performance of instruments, but now, the recording itself is the performance. Musique concrète made extensive use of magnetic tape, so much that the terms "tape music" and "musique concrete" were sometimes used interchangeably, though, strictly speaking, they are not necessarily the same thing.
Before recording technology, "music" referred only to live music. So when the recording media first appeared, the transformation of the music paradigm was profound. The experience of listening to music was seldom repetitive before recording, unlike listening to a tape which is more or less identical at each hearing. In addition, this experience is also shared by everyone who listens to the same recording, making commonality of message and musical experience a unifying social ritual for the first time.
The underlying philosophy of tape music spawned a whole new direction in musicianship, and music styles that would follow. Electronica, new age, rap, and other incarnations are direct descendants of the original tape music philosophy.
An October 28, 1952 concert by tape pioneers Otto Luening and his student Vladimir Ussachevsky was broadcast live from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Offerings included Luening's Fantasy in Space, flute recordings manipulated on magnetic tape, and Ussachevsky's Sonic Contours (1952). The concert led to an appearance on The Today Show with Dave Garroway. In 1958 the pair co-founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.
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