Electronic Music’s History Explored on Music, Makers & Machines Online Exhibition


For a moment let’s forget about Big Tech’s massive role in our daily lives and the increasing scrutiny of these corporate behemoths by antitrust advocates. Why? Well, because Google — whose search function might have led you to this story — has unveiled Music, Makers & Machines, an excellent online exhibition exploring electronic music’s history. (That’s the purpose of this thing, right?)

Produced in collaboration with sister company YouTube and more than 50 partners from 15 countries, the exhibition traces back electronic music’s history to 1895, when Thaddeus Cahill, an inventor from Iowa, built the world’s first electromechanical musical instrument called the Telharmonium. The massive machine weighed 200 tons and was 60 feet long.

All of the musical genre’s key moments are explored throughout 250 online exhibitions, an extensive archive of photos, videos, 360° tours and 3D-scanned objects, including synthesizers and the door of Berlin’s legendary Tresor techno club.

The Moogseum created 13 exhibits, sharing over 275 pieces of material from the Bob Moog Foundation Archives. The Moogseum is also hosting Blacktronika, a special exhibit curated by Philadelphia DJ/producer King Britt.

Moogseum exhibition

As expected, German nightlife bastion Tresor is fawned over. However, there’s a lot of other great content that shouldn’t be ignored, including the history, design, and culture of the nightclub; a look at how sound art and immersive installations combine; and the history of club flyers. There’s also an exhibit exploring the role of LGBTQ ravers in the history of electronic dance music.

Music, Makers & Machines is free and is accessible The Google Arts & Culture app for iOS and Android and at g.co/musicmakersmachines.

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Darren Ressler

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