Edgard Varèse

French composer

Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse[1] (December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965), was a French composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.

Edgard Varèse

Varèse's music has an emphasis on timbre and rhythm. He made up the term "organized sound." This phrase means that some timbres and rhythms can be grouped together. Although his finished works only last about three hours, he has been thought as an influence by many big composers of the late 20th century. His use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the "Father of Electronic Music" while Henry Miller described him as "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound".


  1. After he arrived in the USA he commonly used the form 'Edgar' for his first name but reverted to 'Edgard', not entirely consistently, from the 1940s. Malcolm MacDonald, Varèse, Astronomer in Sound (London, 2003), ISBN 1-871082-79-X p. xi.