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How Streetlights Predicted Electronic Music In 1899

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In 1878, the first, very noisy “electric candles” were installed in the streets of London. In1899, an inventor named William Duddell tried to fix the noise problem. He failed, but in this failure lies the birth of electronic music as we know it today—or so suggests Michael Byrne in an article for Motherboard. He cites an APS report claiming Duddell “discovered that varying the voltage powering the lamps allowed him to control the audio frequencies via a resonating circuit. This did not eliminate the humming problem he had set out to solve, but it did give Duddell an idea. By attaching a makeshift keyboard, he was able to produce musical notes.”  Fair to say that without him, none of the things we listen today would have even been remotely possible? Decide for yourself here.

 

 

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