First Electronic Music Seminar, Pilsen

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Held 3-7 May 1964 by the Cybernetic Commission at the studios of the Radio Broadcast Station in Plzeň. Its exclusive focus on electroacoustic music made this the first official seminar of its kind in Czechoslovakia. Fifty-seven people participated, ranging from composers to sound engineers to musicologists.

Vladimír Lébl inaugurated the seminar with a statement defining its vision, which was to focus on "the elementary methods of electronic music." Lébl continued: "Intentionally, we want to avoid the problems of aesthetics. We do not want the seminar to be a speed-course on practical applications, nor an academic discussion, but [we do want it to be] about the unification of elementary technical and problematic issues, and ... it [should] focus on questions of methodology". The seminar was organized according to presentations on specialized subjects. Attendees gave the following lectures (in the order in which they are listed): "Elementary Questions of Acoustics," by Antonín Špelda; "The Function and Description of Instruments in the Audio Laboratory," by engineer Milan Meninger; "The Composer in the Audio Laboratory," by Miloslav Kabeláč, Eduard Herzog and Bohumil Čipera; "Graphical and Symbolic Methods of Musical Notation of Electronic Music, Musique Concrete, and Music for Tape," by Vladimir Lébl; "Music and Cybernetics," by Antonín Svoboda and Antonín Sychra; and "Problems of Spatial Reproduction," by Ladislav Janík. In addition, Kabeláč made several presentations on compositional techniques throughout the seminar, and Slovakian composers Ilja Zeljenka and Jozef Malovec (of the Radio Broadcast Station in Bratislava) and engineer Ivan Stadtrucker (of the Bratislava Television Studios) spoke about the progress undertaken at their respective studios in a presentation titled "Slovakian Dusk." The seminar included discussions about and performances of some electroacoustic compositions from various com- posers in the field throughout the world. Participants were able to experiment and compose short etudes with a wide range of new instruments. The conclusion reached at the seminar was that an experimental studio should be established in one of the studios at the Radio Broadcast Station in Plzeň as soon as possible, preferably later that year. It was to be equipped with instruments provided by VURT. Due to financial and administrative problems, electroacoustic composition at the Experimental Studio did not begin until January 1967. [1]

  • "I. seminář elektronické hudby v ČSSR", in: Rozhlasová a televizní technika. 5. zv., č. 4. Praha, december 1964. [2] [3] [4]
  • Libor Zajíček, "The History of Electroacoustic Music in the Czech and Slovak Republics", Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 5, (1995), pp. 39-48 [5]

See also: Czech_Republic#Electroacoustic_and_experimental_music.2C_sound_art