It may be surprising to begin a survey of electronic music in Germany a good hundred years before West Bam or the Love Parade. Yet the coming to grips with technology and machines is not an invention of the pop era. Since the 1950s there has been a parallel development of electroacoustic art music as a genre in its own right.
Electroacoustic art music has largely gone its own way since the 1950s. Points of contact with pop music have remained the exception. In the institutional seclusion of the major studios, creative energy has not just been focussed on the works themselves, but also on research, experimentation and innovation. Unlike in pop music, which has always reacted rapidly and flexibly to new production techniques, it has usually taken years for technical innovations to become established in art music.