Music: Switched-On Rock, Wired Classics

Composers and performers turn on to the synthesizer

The athletes in Chariots of Fire jogged along the beach to its inspirited pulse, and Jennifer Beals went head over heels for its driving beat in Flashdance. Rock groups love its modish, high-tech tones, and jazzmen such as Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock have found its versatility irresistible. Laurie Anderson, the avant-garde performance artist, colored her United States, PartsI-IV with its plaintive, other-worldly resonance, and its dark bass notes lurk menacingly in the minimalist scores of Composer Philip Glass.

The most provocative development in music today...

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