5 Collection Highlights - Electronic Music Pioneers

In a new feature, we highlight 5 connected composers from the collection. First off: pioneers of early Electronic Music. 

There’s a vast range of composers in the British Music Collection, so in this new feature we’ve picked out a few connected individuals for you to discover. Here we’re focusing on some of the earliest electronic composers in the UK. 

1. Daphne Oram

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One of the first British composers to produce electronic sound, Oram was a pioneer of 'musique concrète' in the UK, as well as being a co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Discover her profile and listen to her work here.


2. Tristram Cary 

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Regarded by many as one of the fathers of electronic music, Cary founded the electronic music studio at the Royal College of Music. As well as lecturing in music across the world, Cary also produced a large variety of work for film, television and theatre. 


3. Delia Derbyshire

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Perhaps now the most famous of this list, Derbyshire's work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, particualrly as the primary composer of the Doctor Who theme tune, sees her continued celebration to this day.


4. Basil Kirchin 

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Brian Eno dubbed Kirchin a "founding father of ambient music" - and this can certainly be heard in much of his work. The breadth of Kirchin's compositional skill encompasses far more than this however, and reflects his position as one of the most ambitious and pioneering electronic musicians of the 1960s and 70s. 

Discover his profile and listen to his work here.


5. Janet Beat  

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Janet Beat's work across university music departments in the 1970s and 80s saw her establish some of the earliest music studios decicated to electronically made work. A contemporary of Derbyshire and Oram, Beat's own compositions are only now getting their deserved reputation and popularity. 



There are 1000s more composers to discover in the collection - find out more here! 

If you're a composer yourself, we'd love you to add your own work to the collection. Start building a profile here.