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The electronic instruments


Tape recording

In 1935, another significant development was made in Germany. Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft (AEG) demonstrated the first commercially produced magnetic tape recorder, called the Magnetophon. Audio tape, which had the advantage of being fairly light as well as having good audio fidelity, ultimately replaced the bulkier wire recorders. The term "electronic music" (which first came into use during the 1930s) came to include the tape recorder as an essential element: "electronically produced sounds recorded on tape and arranged by the composer to form a musical composition" It was also indispensable to Musique concrète. Tape also gave rise to the first, analogue, sample-playback keyboards, the Chamberlin and its more famous successor the Mellotron, an electro-mechanical, polyphonic keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s.

Sound sequencer

During the 1940s–1960s, Raymond Scott, an American composer of electronic music, invented various kind of music sequencers for his electric compositions. Step sequencers played rigid patterns of notes using a grid of (usually) 16 buttons, or steps, each step being 1/16 of a measure. These patterns of notes were then chained together to form longer compositions. Software sequencers were continuously utilized since the 1950s in the context of computer music, including computer-played music (software sequencer), computer-composed music (music synthesis), and computer sound generation (sound synthesis).