S 2F M - Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Firenze - EN

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S 2F M – Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Firenze

"The S 2F M (Studio di fonologia musicale di Firenze) was established in 1963 on my own initiative and we provided it with a technical equipment that allowed the accomplishment of high technical and artistic level works" (from some works by Pietro Grossi)[1]


S 2F M – Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Firenze

Founding year:



  • 1963/1965 - FIRENZE, via Capodimondo 13, 50100, FI (Place of residence of the Maestro Pietro Grossi)
  • 1965/1992 - Conservatorio di Musica "L. Cherubini", Piazza delle Belle Arti, 2 – 50122, FI

Administration (structure, staff, representatives and collaborators):

Founder and Director: Pietro Grossi



Official Website:


Some of the main objectives are: the creation and diffusion of music produced with new technologies and the development of real-time music produced and performed by computers. The research and design of hardware and software for the music sector.

Sectors of intervention:

Electro music, electroacoustic music, computer music, programming

Activities (research/production/didactic/promotion):

Origin and history:

At the beginning of the 60’s I paid few visits to the RAI’s phonology studio in Milan to see the electroacoustic equipment available at that time for music purposes. The working peculiarities of the different instruments, mostly inedited, were extremely interesting, particularly for the generation of new sound fields, their control, unlimited virtual re-elaboration, the immediate check of the design phonic products, the acquisition of instruments provided with working autonomy. They were the first steps […] of a new path into the world of sounds created by technological evolution […][2]

In 1961, Pietro Grossi realizes in his studio in Milan, and for the first time in Italy, some experiments of programmed music. In this way Grossi opened a path that could be defined “music as research” whose originality lies especially in its purposes: the acquisition of different sound events and the efficiency of the message thanks to the logical instruments used for the analysis of the music that is produced. In 1963, in order to continue its researches, Pietro Grossi established the Studio di Fonologia Musicale di Firenze (Music Phonology Studio of Florence), the S 2F M. Besides, together with young musicians such as Italo Gomez, Jon Phetteplace, Albert Mayr and Riccardo Andreoni, he stared a project of electro music production and diffusion. Since then, annual auditions in Florence - sometimes repeated in other centres – ensured for this city the peculiar record of knowledge on the production of many experimental studios.[3] Since 1965 the S 2F M made its equipment available to the Conservatory of Florence in order to carry out the Corso straordinario di musica elettronica (Special Course of Electro Music) that, thanks to the interest of the director M. Antonio Veretti, was subsequently established in the Conservatory. In 1964 and 1965, following the example of Florence, other two private studios were born: the SMET (studio di musica elettronica di Torino, founded by Enore Zaffiri) in Turin and the NPS (Nuove Proposte Sonore, founded by the musicians Teresa Rampazzi and Serenella Marega, the painter Ennio Chiggio, and the physicist Memo Alfonsi). Both studios have a working orientation similar to the S 2F M.

In May 1967, thanks to the initiative of S 2F M and the collaboration of General Electric Information Systems Italia, the first experiences of computer music took place in Italy. The rehearsals were made in Pregnana Milanese at the centre for study and research of the General Electric. They used the electronic elaborator Ge-115 as sound source and executant. They did not employ any other conversion tool or electronic mean. The sound directly generated by the circuits of the central unit was recorded via cable on magnetic tapes. They have examined, experimented and applied the possibilities of the computer concerning the frequency and time parameters. To make the experiences possible they have prepared 3 software that were used partially or fully according to the nature of the research and the realization. Ferruccio Zulian (G.E.) prepared the software and Pietro Grossi (S 2F M) used them to play works by Bach, Paganini, Webern and to research new sound structures. Engineer Domenico Cesa-Bianchi and Doct. Giovanni Rapelli (G.E.) assisted the initiative and Riccardo Andreoni, Mario Baroni, Albert Mayr, Aurelio Peruzzi (S 2F M) collaborated for the transcoding of the texts.[4]

The research in the field of computer music, and especially the research addressed to the possibility that the computer could play in ‘real time’, were the main activities of the study. For ‘real time’, it is meant the superimposition or alternation of the computation time with the performance time, so that the listener doesn’t perceive the computer’s computation time. The computation of a sample of the signal for the DAC ((Digital (to) Analogue Converter) or of a control instruction for the external synthesizer is realized at an high speed during the time interval between the dispatch of a sample, or instruction, and the following dispatch, so that there are not sound interruptions. The desire of producing and executing ‘real time’ music inspired [Grossi Pietro|Pietro Grossi’s]] idea of an electronic tool for sound synthesis, that was designed and produced during 1973-74-75 and named TAU2. Together with it, they have also created the elaboration software TAUMUS, for the system IBM 370/168 of the CNUCE (see TAU2 and Reparto di informatica musicale CNR di Pisa - Divisione musicologica CNUCE In 1965 the S 2F M moved to the Conservatorio di Firenze, combining its activities, history and identity with the Corso straordinario di musica elettronica. Since both realities used the same spaces and instruments, they were one the continuation of the other. At the beginning of the 80’s, S 2F M ended its work and merged definitively in the Corso straordinario di musica elettronica, which in 1992 became a regular course of the Consevatorio L. Cherubini di Firenze and was taught by Maestro Alfonso Belfiore.

At present, due to the steely law on the obsolescence that rules the production of electronic instruments, the S 2F M is ending its life giving some last contributions to the Corso di Musica Elettronica of the Conservatorio di Firenze [5]

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):

Selection of some projects that have been realized or to which the Studio di Fonologia of Florence took part.

  • 1963 Presentation in Florence of the first work of the Studio.
  • 1964

- Auditions of the first works in Turin, Padua, Ferrara, L’Aquila, Rome.

- Presentation of the Studio and its activities during the Contemporary Music Festival in Venice.

- Participation to the first international Colloquium on electro music in Gand. Pietro Grossi was the Italian representative.

  • 1965

- Conference on the work direction and production of the studio. Auditions in Turin, Bolzano, Rovereto, Padua, Trieste, Florence, Genoa, Terni, Rome, Naples, Palermo.

- 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.
  • In Florence the studio collaborated also with the association “Vita Musicale Con- temporanea” (founded on the initiative of Pietro Grossi).

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.


  • 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.
  • Ricerca 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.
  • P4M3 - Pietro Grossi, 1963, piece for magnetic tape.
  • Progetto 4 - Pietro Grossi, 1964, piece for magnetic tape.
  • Tetrafono – Pietro Grossi, 1965, piece for magnetic tape.
  • Collaboration with Bruno Munari for an exhibition in Milan – 1965.
  • Tre Sketches – electronic re-elaboration of already existing or recorded music d - 1965 -

(In the first one the sound of the breaking of a vase is combined to Schumann music, recorded on the radio and modified with analogue tools; the second one is an aphorism of the famous advertisement slogan “bianco che più bianco non si può”, recorded on the radio and transformed through different speed variations and finally edited on magnetic tape with a series of overlappings; the third one is made of sound material recorded from the “Il Trovatore”, included the applauses)

  • Milano: Ideal Standard: audio-visual events – 1966 - in collaboration MID group, the exhibition was on for a month -
  • computer music demo disc -1979 – realised by the Reparto Musicologia og the CNUCE (an example of the operational possibilities of the system TAU2- TAUMUS). It comprises examples of automatic and semi-automatic composition, arrangement for computer of traditional instruments scores, automatic variation of pieces by classic, modern and contemporary authors, and much more. A. Belfiore, T. Bolognesi, P. Grossi, A. Mayr e T. Rampazzi collaborated to the realization of the disc (all the pieces were performed by the TAU2). It is important to remember that the piece Aegror by Alfonso Belfiore, was awarded the second prize at the International Contest ‘Luigi Russolo’ for electro-acoustic music young composers (Varese, 10-23 September 1979).



  • 1966 Milano: Ideal Standard: audio-visual events in collaboration with MID group, the exhibition was on for a month.
  • 1978 – Two days of “Audizione permanente” (realized through radio connection RAI Pisa-Firenze), with meetings and round tables, in occasion of the 41° Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 1978)

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. Translated by EduEDA’s editorial Staff
  2. Grossi Pietro, Musica senza musicisti (scritti 1966/1986), Camilleri L., Carreras F., Mayr A (a cura di), Toscana nuova, Firenze, 1987. Translated by Edueda’s editorial Staff
  3. Grossi Pietro, Raccolta di articoli, Ligabue Marco (a cura di).
  4. Grossi Pietro, Raccolta di articoli, Ligabue Marco (a cura di). Translated by EduEDA’s editorial staff
  5. Grossi Pietro, Musica senza musicisti (scritti 1966/1986), Camilleri L., Carreras F., Mayr A (a cura di), Toscana nuova, Firenze, 1987

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