Luigi Russolo, Intonarumori 1913

In 1913 the Futurist painter and musician Luigi Russolo invented the Intonarumori - pure acoustic noise instruments, by wich he tried to produce those noises which could correspond to his enthusiasm about the industrial sound world. In his text The Art of Noises he explained his theory on Futurist Music.


The Intonarumori consisted of solid boxes of varying sizes each fitted with a stretched diaphragm and a huge metal speaker. Russolo experimented with different tensions and chemical baths of these diaphragms to get a variety of timbres and pitches.

The Intonarumori played an important role in the development to incorporate noise and environmental sound into modern music. Russolo's invention prepared the way for many composers including Edgard Varèse, Pierre Schaeffer and John Cage.

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© Rolf Langebartels, Berlin 2014