Harmonic Tone Generator Lecture at Noon Today at the Sousa Archives

School of Music Director Duane Branigan, College of Engineering Dean William Everitt, Unidentified individual, Lejaren Hiller, Jr., and James Beauchamp accepts sponsorship check from Magnavox Executive, 1963. (left to right)

The Harmonic Tone Generator and Early Sound Synthesis at the University of Illinois
Guest lecture and performance featuring James Beauchamp and Mark Smart
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Admission: Free

In 1958, Lejaren Hiller Jr. founded the Experimental Music Studio (EMS) at the University of Illinois with the intention of creating and developing electronic and computer music. Due to the EMS’ interdisciplinary nature, the studio attracted the attention of James Beauchamp in 1961, one of the most important contributors to the development of electronic music at the University of Illinois. After receiving a Master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1961 and working for a year in Los Angles at a space technology company, Beauchamp came to the University of Illinois in 1962 as a PhD student in electrical engineering, assuming a fellowship under a 3-year grant from the Magnavox Corporation for his early work in the EMS. In 1964, under the direction of Hiller, Beauchamp completed the Harmonic Tone Generator (HTG), one of the first voltage-controlled electronic music synthesizers developed in America. Join James Beauchamp and Mark Smart in a special presentation on the development of the HTG,  its use in Kenneth Gaburo’s Lemon Drops and Salvatore Martirano’s Underworld, and the recreation of the HTG this summer.  For further information contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at 217-333-4577 or email sousa@illinois.edu.

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