Music

Google Doodle celebrates electronic music composer and German physicist Oskar Sala

Largely recognised for producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium, Google honoured the ‘one-man orchestra’ Oskar Sala on his 112th birth anniversary

Largely recognised for producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium, Google honoured the ‘one-man orchestra’ Oskar Sala on his 112th birth anniversary | Photo Credit: Google Doodle

Google is celebrating the 112th birthday of the innovative electronic music composer and German physicist Oskar Sala on July 18 with a special Google Doodle, which showcases him composing music and developing new instruments.

Largely recognised for producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium, Sala electrified the world of television, radio, and film with musical pieces such as  Rosemary (1959) and  The Birds (1962), Google wrote in a blog post.

Who was Oskar Sala?

Born in 1910 in Germany to parents who had a natural talent in music, Sala in his adolescent years began creating compositions and songs for instruments like the violin and piano.

“When Sala first heard about a device called the trautonium, he became fascinated by the tonal possibilities and the technology the instrument offered. His life mission became mastering the trautonium and developing it further which inspired his studies in physics and composition at school,” Google said in the post.

“This new focus led Sala to develop his own instrument called the mixture-trautonium. With his education as a composer and an electro-engineer, he created electronic music that set his style apart from others. The mixture-trautonium’s architecture is so unique that it was capable of playing several sounds or voices simultaneously.”

Sala’s contribution and milestones

Sala also built the Quartett-Trautonium, Concert Trautonium, and the Volkstrautonium. His efforts in electronic music opened the field of subharmonics. “With his dedication and creative energy, he became a one-man orchestra,” the post adds.

Sala received several awards for his work — he gave many interviews, met numerous artists and was honoured in radio broadcasts and movies. In 1995, he donated his original mixture-trautonium to the German Museum for Contemporary Technology.


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Printable version | Jul 18, 2022 6:09:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/google-doodle-celebrates-electronic-music-composer-and-german-physicist-oskar-sala/article65652948.ece