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Joel Chadabe

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Joel Chadabe (December 12, 1938 – May 2, 2021)[1] was an American composer and author. He is internationally recognized[by whom?] as a pioneer in the development of interactive music.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][excessive citations]

Early life[edit]

Chadabe was born in the Bronx on December 12, 1938, to Solon Chadabe, a lawyer, and Sylvia Chadabe (née Cohen), a homemaker. Joel attended grade school at the Bentley School in Manhattan, where he studied piano, and later graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959 with a degree in music, despite his parents' desire for him to become a lawyer. Chadabe then continued his education at Yale University under Elliott Carter, graduating in 1962 with a master's degree in music.[9]


Upon completing his education at Yale, Chadabe and Carter traveled to Rome, where they continued their professional relationship.[9] Chadabe was interested in studying jazz and opera, but ultimately accepted an offer from the State University of New York at Albany to direct its electronic music studio in 1965.[9] He and Robert Moog designed the CEMS (Coordinated Electronic Music System), a Moog modular "super synthesizer" housed at the electronic music studios at Albany which incorporated an early digital sequencer, and he later acquired a Synclavier digital synthesizer for the university.[9]

He was the president of Intelligent Music from 1983 to 1994,[3][10] and founded the Electronic Music Foundation in 1994.[11] Chadabe was the curator at New York sound gallery Engine 27 in 2000–01.[12] He was given a SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.[13]

After retiring from his position at Albany in the late 1990s, Chadabe continued teaching as an adjunct at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Bennington College.[9]

His students include Liz Phillips, Richard Lainhart, and David A. Jaffe.[citation needed]

Chadabe died of periampullary cancer at his home in Albany on May 2, 2021.[9]


  • Chadabe, Joel (1997). Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. ISBN 978-0-13-303231-4.
  • Chadabe, Joel (1975). "The Voltage-controlled Synthesizer", The Development and Practice of Electronic Music (Jon H. Appleton and Ronald Perera, eds.). ISBN 978-0-13-207605-0.
  • Joel Chadabe (2005). "iFiddle Therefore I Am..." ACO. Retrieved October 14, 2006.



  1. ^ Birgé, Jean-Jacques (10 May 2021). "Joel Chadabe, la musique électronique en deuil". Blogs.mediapart.fr. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  2. ^ Chadabe, Joel and Eisenman, David (2007). Musicworks, Issues 97-99, p.43. Music Gallery.
  3. ^ a b Joel Chadabe bio, Chadabe.com.
  4. ^ "Composer Profiles: Joel Chadabe", Kalvos.org.
  5. ^ "Activities as Music", Retiary.org.
  6. ^ "Music Technology: People: Joel Chadabe", NYU Steinhardt.
  7. ^ "Lovely Artist: Biography: Joel Chadabe", Lovely.com.
  8. ^ "Joel Chadabe", CDeMusic.com.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Vadukul, Alex (2021-05-25). "Joel Chadabe, Explorer of Electronic Music's Frontier, Dies at 82". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  10. ^ Zicarrelli 1987 cited in Roads, Curtis (1992). The Music Machine, p.65. ISBN 978-0-262-68078-3.
  11. ^ "EMF History Archived 2008-04-20 at the Wayback Machine", emf.org.
  12. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (19 September 2000). "Chirps, Crackles and Pops at an Exhibition". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  13. ^ "3/1/13 Joel Chadabe | Institute for Advanced Study". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-04-28.

External links[edit]