“The compositions on Side I of this record represent attempts at new means of musical expression. Some utilize conventional musical instruments and sounds in startlingly new ways, giving an impression of an actual ‘new’ sound being created; some use instruments new to music (electrical, mechanical and natural) adding to the composers’ palette of timbres and tonalities. . . . SIDE II of this record is meant as a tool for those using new sounds and techniques in composing. There are basic sounds (some of which are hard to come by) and basic sound patterns, together with examples of how these sounds and patterns may be utilized.” –original liner notes by Eugene Bruck
Sounds of New Music is a legendary collection of 18 compositions from the 1920s to the mid-1950s; composers include Edgard Varèse, Henry Cowell, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Otto Luening, Julius Meytuss, Alexander Mossolov, Halim El-Dabh, and John Cage, whose “Dance” is performed on a transformed Steinway piano that gives the music an almost primitive quality. Side B (The Experiments) includes works by Ussachevsky, Henry Jacobs, and Roger Marin & Frederic Ramsey, Jr. Originally released by Folkways Records in 1957.