Here are some books of interest.
Both dot.com and
Doepfer (under products / further
reading) have recommended reading lists.
This is a gradually growing list which I will expand as books arrive.
The list has the best first then by order of decreasing utility. I will add
links to the individuals on Wikipedia when the laptop bursts back to internet
|Perhaps the most strongly recommended book on analogue
synthesis I have encountered is Allen Strange's Electronic Music Systems,
Techniques and Controls. This is undeniably a fine and
helpful book but prohibitively expensive second hand. Fortunately,
have made it accessible online for around $15. There are two license options
available: unlimited views and prints on a single computer; limited prints and
views on any computer.
added 19th June 2009
Believe all you are told about how good this book is. It explains
everything I have needed to know, takes me down paths I would never have
noticed and provides examples and exercises that will keep me busy,
entertained and buying yet more 'essential' modules for years.
|added 19th June
The Development and Practice of Electronic Music by Jon H. Appleton
and Ronald C. Perera (eds.) 1975
If this was ever used as a university text (and my copy came from the U of
NY), it must surely have been known as 'Apples & Pears' and I will stick
with this. The book contains six sections, each written by an expert in that
field: origins; the science of sound; the tape studio; the VC synth;
computers in electronic music generation; live electronic music.
Origins, by Otto Luening, the background of US electronic music, is not as
comprehensive as Mackay's, below, but more readable and immediate because it
is more intimate and real: the writer was there when it was all happening
and knew many of the key indiviuals; the section on live electronics takes
over the story where Leuning stops.
The other chapter I have read is, of course, Joel Chadabe on the VC synth.
Gives a good grounding in the subject, leading to some fun exercises. Right
is an example, perhaps the best (I'm inclined to try it with BBC Radio 4
(speech) as the voice and Radio 3 (music, usually classical) rather than the
I'll read the other chapters in due course, but it is well worth the small
||An interesting and inexpensive introduction to electronic music in general is this
volume by Andy Mackay. In looking for an image the cover, I have learned that he
played in Roxy Music. Well worth the few dollars it costs from
|Extremely useful and specific is a series of books of article reprints from
Keyboard Magazine. Having read Synthesiser Basics, I have ordered the companion
volumes, Synthesizer Technique and Synthesizers and Computers. Again, only a few dollars, but the Whole
Synthesizer Catalogue is rather
The Synths and Computers has arrived. While faintly
interesting in an historical way, it is no longer relevant and so I'll pass
it on. Two orders for Synth Technique have been accepted then cancelled. I
suspect that sellers list these books, guessing at a price, then, when an
order arrives, they check prices elsewhere and if theirs is significantly
lower, cancel and say 'oops, that's sold'. So the price I am paying is
slowly creeping up. Third time lucky: if this one goes wrong, I shall start
naming and shaming. Technique has arrived at last: it is more useful
and relevant than Computers, in two main sections, one on sound
creation (worthwhile) and the other on performance (less so). I'll keep this
||Another practical more general work is Pellman's
Introduction to Electroacoustic Music. This contains some basic exercises in the section on analogue synthesis and analyses of seminal
works, notably by Varèse, Stockhausen and Babbitt.