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Google Doodle celebrates the 112th birthday of Oskar Sala

Google is celebrating the 112th birthday of the innovative electronic music composer and German physicist Oskar Sala on July 18 with a special Doodle.

According to Google, Sala electrified the world of television, radio, and film by producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium.

Sala was born in Greiz, Germany, in 1910 and was immersed in music since birth. His mother was a singer and his father was an ophthalmologist with musical talent. At 14, Sala began creating compositions and songs for instruments like the violin and piano.

“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 in the post.

This new focus led Sala to develop his own instrument called the mixture-trautonium. With his education as a composer and an electro-engineer, he created electronic music that set his style apart from others. The mixture-trautonium’s architecture is so unique that it was capable of playing several sounds or voices simultaneously.

From behind the door of a recording studio, 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.

Sala received several awards for his work – he gave many interviews, met numerous artists, and was honored in radio broadcasts and movies. In 1995, he donated his original mixture-trautonium to the German Museum for Contemporary Technology.

Sala also built the Quartett-Trautonium, Concert Trautonium and the Volkstrautonium. His efforts in electronic music opened the field of subharmonics. With his dedication and creative energy, he became a one-man orchestra.

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