Weidenaar, Reynold


Magic Music from the Telharmonium

London: The Scarecrow Press.

Language(s): English


Historical Electroacoustic Instruments


In this book, the author presents a comprehensive history of the Telharmonium, one of the first electronic musical instruments. The Telharmonium was invented by Thaddeus Cahill who envisaged a machine that could build up complex tones and fashion an infinity of timbres from scratch through the use of electric dynamos, a machine that would be capable of sending music anywhere over a network of telephone lines. The author traces the origins of the device and its inventor, discusses the three versions (one prototype and two commercial versions) that were patented in 1900, 1906 and 1911 respectively, and presents accounts of various Telharmonium concerts up until its demise ca. 1918.

Table of contents:

1. The First Telharmonium and its Origins
2. Holyoke
3. The Technology of the Second Telharmonium
4. Preview Concerts at Telharmonic Hall
5. The First Season at Telharmonic Hall
6. The Second Season at Telharmonic Hall
7. The Central Station on West 56th Street
8. Epilogue
9. Looking Backward at the Telharmonium

All references of the same author:


Weidenaar, Reynold (2002). Composing with the Soundscape of Jones Street