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On the Threshold of Beauty. Origins of Dutch Electronic Music 1925-1965 | Kees Tazelaar | 9789462080652

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On the Threshold of Beauty

Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925-1965

Auteur:Kees Tazelaar

Uitgever:nai010, V2_Institute

ISBN: 978-94-6208-065-2

  • Paperback
  • Engels
  • 316 pagina's
  • 27 nov. 2013

First publication on the emergence of electronic music in the Netherlands. Including a detailed reconstruction of the legendary Poème électronique

On the Threshold of Beauty. Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925-1965 is a lavishly illustrated book by Kees Tazelaar which meticulously reconstructs the birth and evolution of electronic music in the Netherlands from 1925 to 1965. It is the compelling story of the development of electronic music at the Philips research laboratory, the collaboration between Xenakis, Le Corbusier and Varèse on the now legendary Philips Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo, and the first studios for electronic music in the Netherlands with key figures like Dick Raaijmakers and Gottfried Michael Koenig.

On the Threshold of Beauty is an extremely well-documented, lavishly illustrated and highly readable study. Based on new and original research, it serves the needs of both specialists and a broad audience. It describes a period of musical history in which an entirely new world of electronic sounds and compositional attitudes was developed and explored, ranging from avant-garde extremes to the earliest experiments in electronic pop, from the music for the iconic Philips Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo to electronic soundtracks for film.

Listen to many music samples on the special website

First publication on the emergence of electronic music in the Netherlands. Including a detailed reconstruction of the legendary Poème électronique

On the Threshold of Beauty. Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925-1965 is a lavishly illustrated book by Kees Tazelaar which meticulously reconstructs the birth and evolution of electronic music in the Netherlands from 1925 to 1965. It is the compelling story of the development of electronic music at the Philips research laboratory, the collaboration between Xenakis, Le Corbusier and Varèse on the now legendary Philips Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo, and the first studios for electronic music in the Netherlands with key figures like Dick Raaijmakers and Gottfried Michael Koenig.

On the Threshold of Beauty is an extremely well-documented, lavishly illustrated and highly readable study. Based on new and original research, it serves the needs of both specialists and a broad audience. It describes a period of musical history in which an entirely new world of electronic sounds and compositional attitudes was developed and explored, ranging from avant-garde extremes to the earliest experiments in electronic pop, from the music for the iconic Philips Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo to electronic soundtracks for film.


The author brings a composer’s sensibility to an in-depth understanding of the conceptual frameworks of electronic music as it came about in commercial companies’ labs, scientific settings and private studios. He looks at the pioneering work of Henk Badings, Jan Boerman, Ton Bruynèl, Tom Dissevelt, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Ton de Leeuw, Walter Maas, Dick Raaijmakers, Hermann Scherchen, Leopold Stokowski, Edgard Varèse and Roelof Vermeulen. Kees Tazelaar is a composer of electroacoustic music and head of the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Listen to many music samples on the special website

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