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Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend

Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend

Who is Oskar Sala?

Oskar Sala was a German composer and electronic musician who was best known for his contributions to the world of electronic music. Born in 1910, Sala grew up in Germany during a time of great cultural and technological change. As a young man, he became interested in the emerging field of electronic music, and he soon became one of the leading figures in the genre.

Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend

Sala’s work was characterized by his innovative use of electronics and his willingness to experiment with new musical techniques. He was one of the first musicians to use the newly-developed electronic musical instruments, and he quickly became known for his innovative and experimental approach to composition. Sala was particularly interested in the interaction between electronic and acoustic instruments, and he was often credited with pioneering the use of electronic music in orchestral compositions.

One of Sala’s most famous compositions was his work “Trautonium Concerto,” which was written in the 1930s. This work combined elements of classical music with electronic music, and it was widely regarded as a masterpiece of the genre. The piece featured a range of innovative sounds, including unusual electronic timbres and complex rhythms, and it was widely praised for its originality and creativity.

Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend

In addition to his work as a composer, Sala was also a talented performer, and he was widely recognized for his virtuosity on the Trautonium, an early electronic musical instrument that he helped to develop. Sala’s ability to create a wide range of sounds and timbres on this instrument was unmatched, and he was widely regarded as one of the greatest performers of the Trautonium in the world.

Sala’s influence on the world of electronic music cannot be overstated. He was a pioneer of the genre, and his innovative compositions and performances helped to lay the foundation for the modern electronic music scene. His work continues to inspire and influence musicians around the world, and his legacy lives on in the music that he created.

Despite his many achievements, Sala remained humble and dedicated throughout his life. He was passionate about his work, and he was always striving to push the boundaries of what was possible in the world of electronic music. He was a true innovator, and his legacy continues to inspire musicians and composers around the world.

Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend


In 1948, Sala further developed the Trautonium into the Mixtur-Trautonium. Sala’s invention opened the field of subharmonics, the symmetric counterpart to overtones, so that a thoroughly distinct tuning evolved.

Pioneering music therapist Maria Schüppel studied and worked with Sala during the 1950s.

Sala presented his new instrument to the public in 1952 and would soon receive international licenses for its circuits. That same year, Harald Genzmer delivered the score to the first Concert For Mixtur-Trautonium And Grand Orchestra.

In the 1950s Sala also built the Quartett-Trautonium.

Who is Oskar Sala? A German Legend

Work in Movies

In the 1940s and 1950s, he worked on many film scores. In 1958, he established his own studio at Mars film GmbH (4th incarnation) in Berlin. It was there that he produced electronic soundtracks for such films as Veit Harlan’s Different from You and Me (1957), Rolf Thiele’s Rosemary (1959), and Fritz Lang’s Das Indische Grabmal (1959).

He created the non-musical soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. He received many awards for his film scores, but he never won an Oscar. He also did much work on German commercials, most notably one referred to as HB’s little man.

He was an honorary Senator of Berlin.

In conclusion, Oskar Sala was a visionary composer and performer who left an indelible mark on the world of electronic music. His innovative use of electronic instruments and his experimental approach to composition helped to shape the genre and set the stage for the modern electronic music scene. Sala’s legacy continues to inspire musicians and composers around the world, and his work remains as relevant and impactful today as it was when he first composed it.

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