George Antheil

George Antheil (July 8, 1900 – February 12, 1959) was an American avant-garde composer, pianist, author and inventor whose modernist musical compositions explored the modern sounds – musical, industrial, mechanical – of the early 20th century. Spending much of the 1920s in Europe, Antheil returned to the US in the 1930s, and thereafter spent much of his time composing music for film scores and eventually, television. His compositions for the concert hall, ballet, and films became more tonal. A man of diverse interests and talents, Antheil was constantly reinventing himself. He wrote magazine articles, (one accurately predicted the development and outcome of World War II), an autobiography, a mystery novel, newspaper and music columns. In 1941 he patented a "Secret Communications System" with actress Hedy Lamarr that used a code (stored on a punched paper tape) to synchronize a frequency hopping receiver and transmitter, a technique now known as spread spectrum which is now widely used in telecommunications. Antheil was born Georg Carl Johann Antheil and grew up in a family of German immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey. His father owned a local shoe store in Trenton.


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