Corso straordinario di musica elettronica - EN - ASC

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Corso straordinario di musica elettronica del Conservatorio di Firenze

"The updating and integration process of the didactic field, which became necessary due to the expansion of music activity to the electronic sector, officially started in 1965. In that year, thanks to the collaboration of the S 2F M (Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Firenze) the extraordinary course of electro music was established in the Conservatorio di Musica ‘Luigi Cherubini’ of Florence. The course, that had no precedents and is still one of the few in the world, started a didactic activity that was extremely necessary, as it is testified by the interest of the new generations. The course, held by myself, organizes at the end of every year audition with works realized during the academic year, plans auditions of the works produced by the different experimental studios and divulgates historic-aesthetic information on the different studies for educational purposes." (Quotation from some works by Pietro Grossi) [1]


Corso straordinario di musica elettronica

Founding Year:



Conservatorio di Musica "L. Cherubini"- sede centrale, Piazza delle Belle Arti, 2 - 50122 FI

Administration (structure, staff, representatives and collaborators):

Professor: Pietro Grossi

Assistants: Albert Mayr, Riccardo Andreoni


Conservatorio di Musica "L. Cherubini"- sede centrale, Piazza delle Belle Arti, 2 - 50122 FI




The main purpose of the course is the research and experimentation in the recording and manipulation of sound events on magnetic tape. In addition to that, the course experiments also the execution and creation of music pieces with the computer. [...] The operational principles that sustain this work planning are aimed at the acquisition of sound phenomena different among them and, therefore, with an original message: a work to know, learn and enrich the informative power of the sound world[...][2]

Sectors of Intervention:

Activities (research/production/training/promotion):

The main activities of the course were the training of the students, the creation of electro music pieces and the production of events for the divulgation of electro music.

Origin and History:

The Corso Straordinario di Musica Elettronica was established in the Conservatorio L.Cherubini in Firenze in 1965, thanks to the request of the Maestro and musician Pietro Grossi. The Maestro made the technical equipment of the Studio di Fonologia of Florence (S 2F M) available to the course and, thanks to the interest of the director Maestro Antonio Verretti, it was possible to activate the teaching. It was the first course of electro music in an Italian Conservatory. Its originality wasn’t due only to its uniqueness, but also to the fact that the enrollment was open to students from any faculty without music knowledge requirements. The course used to have circa twenty students per year and, besides the training, it also organized instructive events and auditions for the works of the students. Thanks to the great contribution of Maestro Pietro Grossi electro music could have access not only to research centers, such as the CNUCE - CNR in Pisa (where was opened a reparto di informatica musicale), but also to the Conservatorio di Firenze that will become an example for all the other Italian conservatories. In the consecutive years Maestro Pietro Grossi contributed also to the start up of the Corso Straordinario di Informatica Musicale, within the Conservatorio di Firenze.

Technical Equipment (systems/software/tools…):

Partial list of the most important historic equipment:

  • Generators of different waveforms
  • Ring modulators
  • Mixer
  • Oscilloscope
  • Synthesizer SYNTHI EMS
  • TAU 2


  • Four tracks tape recorder TEAC A – 3340S
  • 3 tape recorders REVOX B77
  • Tape recorder STUDER 812

Projects (realized/on going /to be realized):

Those are some of the projects in which the experimental course of electro music was involved:

  • 1965 - Conference on the work direction and production of the studio. Auditions in Turin, Bolzano, Rovereto, Padua, Trieste, Florence, Genoa, Terni, Rome, Naples, Palermo.
  • 1965 - Broadcast of the studio’s works from the radio stations of Hilversum, Lugano, Stoccholm, Sydney and in of some cities in the U.S.A.
  • 1966 – Milano, Ideal Standard: realization of the audio-visual events in collaboration with the MID group.
  • 1967 – Pregnana Milanese, in collaboration with General Electric Information System Italia, at the research centre of General Electric, the electronic computer GE-115 was used as sound source and executant.

Examples on the use of the audio terminal TAU2 and the software TAUMUS, during concerts, radio and television broadcastings, by Pietro Grossi:

  • 1977 – Rome, demonstration at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia.
  • 1977 e 1979 – Como, participation to the event Autunno Musicale di Como.
  • 1978 – Milano, participation to the music informatics seminar at the Conservatorio G. Verdi.
  • 1978 – Organization, through RAI radio link Pisa-Florence, of two days of constant audition, with talks and round table, in occasion of the 41th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
  • 1979 – Linz, participation at the Ars Electronica International Festival, Austria.
  • 1979 - Performance (computer arrangement) of The Art of Escape by J.S. Bach in occasion of the Estate Fiesolana, in Pisa and Rome.


Selection of some music pieces produced during the first years of the course (1965-1968):

  • Ricerca 3 T B M N
  • Ricerca D N S T : Densità. 11 intervals with the addition of 1, 3, 7, 15 intermediate frequencies. The intermediate frequencies constitute arithmetic progressions.
  • Ricercca P L S: Impulsi. Sequences of sound events timed by a generator of impulses with different durations.
  • Ricerca H Z: it uses 10 geometric series and combinations of 8 fz for each series following binomial coefficients.
Foto corso straordinario musica el.jpg



Multimedia Files:




Augmented Reality:






  • Davis H., International Electronic Music Catalog . Paris-New York, GRM-ORTF/IEMC, 1967
  • Grossi P., Musica senza musicisti , a cura di L. Camilleri, F. Carreras e A. Mayr, Pisa, CNUCE/C.N.R., 1987
  • Grossi P., Computer Music, Ed. FONOS, TNC 30001/1-2, 1972
  • Computer Music, CNUCE/C.N.R., CM 00001/2, 1973, Computer Music, CNUCE-IEI/C.N.R., s.n.,1978
  • Il complesso di Elettra – Mappa ragionata dei centri di ricerca e produzione musicale in Italia, Roma, 1995
  • AA.VV., Atti del Convegno Internazionale Centri Sperimentali di Musica elettronica, XXXI Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Firenze, 1968
  • AA.VV., Firenze nel dopoguerra: aspetti della vita musicale dagli anni '50 a oggi (a cura di L. Pinzauti, S. Sablich, P. Santi e D. Spini), Milano, Opus libri, 1983
  • AA.VV., S 2F M - Musica Programmata (a cura di D. Lombardi), in La Musica -trimestrale di musica contemporanea 11 (libro e disco), 1986
  • Giomi F., "The Italian Artist Pietro Grossi. From Early Electronic Music to Computer Art", Leonardo 28 (1), 1995
  • Grossi Pietro, Sulla Computer Music, «I Futuribili», 1969, n. 8.
  • Grossi Pietro, Musica in tempo reale, «I Futuribili», 1971, n. 34.
  • Baruzzi G., Grossi P., Milani M., Compendio dell’attività svolta nel periodo 1969-1975, in «Studi Musicali», CNUCE of CNR, Pisa, Pubb. n. 98 (November 1915).
  • Bertini G., Bolognesi T., Grossi P., TAU2-TAUMUS: il sistema di computer music in tempo reale realizzato a Pisa, Descrizione ed esperienze, in «Automazione e strumentazione», n. 2. 1980
  • Bertini G., Chimenti M., Denoth P., TAU2: Terminal for Computer Music Experiments, Intern. Symp. on Technology for Discrimination of Information, S. Marino, Italy ’76 (IEEE, N.Y. 1916)
  • Bertini G., Grossi P., Utilizzazione del sistema di Computer Music in tempo reale TAU2-TAUMUS per attività didattica e dimostrativa, IEI Internal Notes of CNR, B-82-10, 1982



  1. Grossi Pietro, Musica senza musicisti (scritti 1966/1986), Camilleri L., Carreras F., Mayr A (a cura di), Toscana nuova, Firenze, 1987
  2. Grossi Pietro, Musica senza musicisti(scritti 1966/1986, Camilleri L., Carreras L., Mayr A. (a cura di), Toscana Nuova, Firenze , 1987

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