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Google celebrates 112th b’day of Oskar Sala, 20th-century German electronic music pioneer with a special Doodle

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Lucknow: Oskar Sala was a physicist and musician. Celebrating whose 112th birthday, Google put his doodle in many countries on 18 July 2022. Oskar Sala was born on 18 July 1990 in Germany, his mother was a singer and father was also associated with music. Oskar Sala was a 20th-century German physicist, composer and a pioneer of electronic music born in Greiz. German composer mastered and improved upon a precursor to the synthesizer to create the eerie bird sounds for Hitchcock’s The Birds.

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Sala studied piano and organ during his youth, performing classical piano concerts as a teenager. In 1929, he moved to Berlin to study piano and composition with composer and violist Paul Hindemith at the Berlin conservatory. He also followed the experiments of Dr. Friedrich Trautwein, at the school’s laboratory, learning to play with Trautwein’s pioneer electronic instrument, the Trautonium.

Oskar Sala was recognized for producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium.

“When Sala first heard 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.

He then developed his own instrument called the mixture-trautonium and created electronic music that set his style apart from others.

Known as the “one-man orchestra”, Sala also built the Quartett-Trautonium, Concert Trautonium and the Volkstrautonium and opened the field of subharmonics.

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Oskar Sala composed musical pieces for many television, radio, movie productions
Oskar Sala composed musical pieces and sound effects for many television, radio and movie productions, such as Rosemary (1959) and The Birds (1962). The instrument created noises like bird cries, hammering and door and window slams.

In 1995, he donated his original mixture-trautonium to the German Museum for Contemporary Technology.

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