Percy Grainger: pioneer of electronic music

Hugill, A (2015) 'Percy Grainger: pioneer of electronic music.' In: Robinson, S and Dreyfus, K, eds. Grainger the modernist. Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 231-254. ISBN 9781472420220

Official URL:


Hugill explains the scope of Grainger’s quest to realize a music free from limitations such as the tempered scale and, at the same time, from the necessity of the performer as interpreter. He depicts Grainger as an artisan, determined to build the necessary machinery by hand, and as an unrepentant melodist, albeit one who prescribed a music of continuously gliding tones. As modest as many of Grainger’s inventions were – and they varied in complexity from a set of swanee whistles to a collection of sine wave oscillators – Hugill finds that he anticipated such modern devices as multitrack recording, sequencing and timbral synthesis. Although Grainger had little contact with likeminded composers such as Varèse and seemed to prefer to work in isolation, a clear line can be drawn from his experiments through the work of Xenakis to the hacker working at a domestic computer today.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
UoA: Music & Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 17:37
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:39
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)