Electronic Chamber Music in a New Form: Stockhausen's Kontakte

Coming out of the German elektronische Musik movement of the 1950s, Stockhausen’s Kontakte brought chamber music to a new platform by creating a musical dialogue between electronic and instrumental sounds. Stockhausen’s innovation paved the way for the continued exploration of electronic music.

In Conversation with David Adamcyk

Electronic artist David Adamcyk explains how to read the score of Stockhausen's Kontakte and discusses why this work is so important to electonic and chamber music.

Stockhausen works on Kontakte.

Archive of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kürten, Germany (www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

Stockhausen’s Fanclub

The impact of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s work on all forms of electronic music from the second half of the 20th century to today cannot be understated. He not only pushed the boundaries of numerous modernist composition techniques from serialism to musique concrète, but he also inspired a number of musicians in the popular vein to dabble in producing modernist art music. This playlist captures a number of early such attempts from the late 1950s and 1960s. It includes the dense yet funky creations of Dutch electroacoustic composer Tom Dissevelt, works written by Attilio Minio to accompany a futuristic exhibition at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, and perhaps the most widely distributed piece of truly avant-garde music in history, an experimental collaboration between the Beatles and Yoko Ono by the name of “Revolution 9.”

The pianist's set up for Stockhausen's Kontakte