Kees Tazelaar (*1962) followed courses in Sonology in Utrecht and The Hague, and later studied composition under Jan Boerman at the Royal Conservatoire. He has been teaching at the Institute of Sonology since 1993 and has been head of the institute since 2006.
His electronic music features a combination of formalisation, richness of sound and a compositional approach to sound spatialisation. Compositions have been commissioned by the Performing Arts Fund NL, Johan Wagenaar Stichting, Festival in de Branding, Hollandia, De Veenfabriek, Festival Relevante Musik Berlin, and Groupe de Recherches Musicales Paris.
As well as a composer, Kees Tazelaar is a historian, who has specialised in the early years of electronic music in the Netherlands and Germany. He has twice been the Edgard Varèse Guest Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he earned his PhD in 2013 with the dissertation On the Threshold of Beauty: Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925–1965 (Rotterdam: V2_Publishing, 2013).
Kees Tazelaar was awarded a Fellowship Residency from the Bogliasco Foundation in 2017.


Tazelaar, Kees. 2020. Tijd en ruimte in hedendaagse muziek. In Een kleine muziekgeschiedenis van hier en nu, ed. Mark Delaere, 182–194. Leuven: Matrix – Centrum voor nieuwe muziek.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2020. Walter Maas and the Contactorgaan Elektronische Muziek – A Lifeline for Electronic Music in the Netherlands. In 75 Years Gaudeamus: How the Unheard-of Comes to Unpredictable Life, eds. Henk Heuvelmans and Marisa Tempel. Utrecht: Stichting Gaudeamus Muziekweek.

Koenig, Gottfried Michael. 2018. Process and Form – Selected Writings on Music. Ed. Kees Tazelaar. Hofheim: Wolke Verlag.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2017. Roelof Vermeulen at Philips – A Search for Space in Music. In Proceedings of the 51st International Musicological Colloquium. Brno: Masaryk University.

Heer, Jan de and Kees Tazelaar. 2017. From Harmony to Chaos – Le Corbusier, Varèse, Xenakis and Le poème électronique. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Duizend & Een.

Heer, Jan de and Kees Tazelaar. 2017. Van harmonie naar chaos – Le Corbusier, Varèse, Xenakis en Le poème électronique. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Duizend & Een.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2015. Installing a Laboratory for Sonology – Gottfried Michael Koenig’s Pathway to the Netherlands. In A Laboratory for Sonology, ed. Kees Tazelaar, 8–32. The Hague: Royal Conservatoire Publications.

Tazelaar, Kees, ed. 2015. A Laboratory for Sonology. The Hague: Royal Conservatoire Publications.

Boehmer, Konrad. 2015. Nach Köln. Eds. Sander van Maas and Kees Tazelaar. Amsterdam: Konrad Boehmer Foundation.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2013. On the Threshold of Beauty – Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925–1965. Rotterdam: V2_Instituut voor de instabiele media/NAi Uitgevers.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2013. On the Threshold of Beauty – Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925–1965. PhD diss., Technische Universität Berlin.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2011. The Loudspeaker Speaks. Trans. Richard Barrett. In Witteveen+Bos-Prijs voor Kunst+Techniek 2011 – Dick Raaijmakers, 11–30. Deventer: Witteveen+Bos.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2011. Zonder schroom – De geschiedvervalsing van de Nederlandse elektronische muziek. www.opusklassiek.nl

Tazelaar, Kees. 2011. Ruimte voor Nederlandse elektronische muziek. In De Gids (5): 636–649.

Valle, Andrea and Tazelaar, Kees and Lombardo, Vincenzo. 2010. In a Concrete Space – Reconstructing the Spatialization of Iannis Xenakis’ Concret PH on a Multichannel Setup. Paper presented at the annual Sound Music Computation Conference. 21–24 July, Barcelona, Spain.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2009. Special Section Introduction – The Institute of Sonology. Leonardo Music Journal 19: 69–70.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2009. Poème électronique. Trans. Jane Bemont. Programme notes for the Varèse Symposium of the Holland Festival, 12 June, Amsterdam.

Lombardo, Vincenzo and Valle, Andrea and Fitch, John and Tazelaar, Kees and Weinzierl, Stefan and Borczyk, Wojciech. 2009. A Virtual-Reality Reconstruction of Poéme Électronique Based on Philological Research. In Computer Music Journal 33 (2): 24–47.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2007. Het Instituut voor Sonologie – Korte geschiedenis van een vreemde eend in de Hofvijver. In En dan nu de polonaise – Muziek in Den Haag en Scheveningen, 233–238. Den Haag: Trespassers W.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2007. Het stuk is grijs. In Dick Raaijmakers – Monografie, eds. Arjen Mulder en Joke Brouwer, 433–446. Rotterdam: V2_Instituut voor de instabiele media/NAi Uitgevers.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2007. Het Poème électronique. In Soundbites, eds. Tim Huisman and Ad Maas, 27–35. Leiden: Museum Boerhaave.

Weinzierl, Stefan and Tazelaar, Kees. 2006. Raumsimulation und Klangkunst – vom künstlichen Nachhall zur virtuellen Akustik. In Sonambiente Berlin 2006 Klang Kunst Sound Art, eds. Helga de la Motte-Haber, Matthias Osterwold and Georg Weckwerth, 350–365. Berlin: Kehrer.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2005. Taperecordermuziek – Notatievormen van elektronische muziek op band. In Muziek Op Schrift – de wereld van de muzieknotatie, ed. Rob van Berkel, 64–67. Tilburg: Scryption Boekenfonds.

Tazelaar, Kees. 2004. Zu Koenigs Terminus. In Gottfried Michael Koenig – Parameter und Protokolle seiner Musik, ed. Stefan Frikke, 56–96. Saarbrücken: Pfau Verlag.


Anyone describing or writing about the music of Kees Tazelaar is faced with a conundrum: while it is a natural enough habit to try to say what a certain sound or a certain music “sounds like”, this seems inappropriate here, since for the most part the sound materials and the structures they articulate, unique for each composition, clearly form two facets of the same musical phenomenon. Describing anything that happens in the music in terms of something else, something more familiar, can be compared to describing a dream: as soon as the words come out they seem misleading, the comparisons inadequate to the task of invoking an essentially incommunicable experience.
(From Richard Barrett’s liner notes for the 9 Trajectories CD-box, INA-GRM G6050/59)

Depths of Field 1199614:278
Depths of Field 2199604:364
Depths of Field 3199719:172
Depths of Field 4199704:532
Pier & Oceaan199911:218
Apertures – More Apertures2000–200553:178
E pur si muove…200115:044
Sterne vielleicht (?)!200206:452
A Guide to Night Sounds200214:208
Lasciar Vibrare v.4200415:295.1
Lasciar Vibrare v.5200434:068
Chroma 1200611:517
Chroma 2200611:537
Crosstalk A200816:11WFS / 8
Crosstalk B200814:20WFS / 8
Lustre200920:28WFS / 8
Un phénomène acoustique2010–201111:198
Rayons de son2010–201617:008 / 16
Blocs de son2010–201110:228
Voyage dans l'espace201132:008
Chatoyance 1201209:598
(with Richard Barrett)
Chatoyance 22013–201414:178
Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande 201415:278
Funktion Berg201403:001
…ritroverai qualcosa…201709:518
Chatoyance 32017–202010:508
Source Signals 2202027:408
Source Signals 3: Distant Objects202172:438
Zeestilte (in memory of Jan Boerman)202224:178
Szene am Bach (in memory of Jaap Vink)2022–202323:308 / 16
Variable Functions 1 (in memory of Gottfried Michael Koenig)2022–202319:028
Variable Functions 22022–202317:338

Kees Tazelaar’s music on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/kees-tazelaar

studio dektaz

The collective “studio dektaz” performs collaborative works by visual artist Marianne Dekker and composer Kees Tazelaar, in which a combination of abstract video projections and electronic music are presented spatially. Their projects have been presented at Metropoliskino in Hamburg, Tesla Galerie in Berlin, the 2009 Shanghai Electroacoustic Music Week, the Contemporary Museum of the National University in Mexico City (MUAC), the Institute for Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts at the University of Bath, Villa Elisabeth Berlin, Fylkingen in Stockholm, NK Berlin, Martin Harris Music Centre at the University of Manchester, festival Segnali 2017 and 2018 in Perugia, Museo de Aveiro Santa Joana, FAQ Festival at Willem Twee Den Bosch, and the Divadlo na Orlí theatre in Brno.

studio dektaz at Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/studiodektaz


“The past remains a part of my liberty” (Edgard Varèse)

Jan Boerman
De Zee (1964–1965)
Kompositie 1972 (1972)
Vlechtwerk (1988)
Tellurisch (1991)

Tom Dissevelt
Twelve-tone Composition for the Skymasters (1959)

Gottfried Michael Koenig
Klangfiguren II (1955–1956)
Essay (1957)
Terminus I (1962)
Terminus X (1967)

György Ligeti
Pièce électronique no.3 (1957)
with Paul Berg and Johan van Kreij

Luctor Ponse
Concerto 1 pour piano et bande magnétique (1967)

Dick Raaijmakers
Canon 1 (1964)
with Johan van Kreij
Ballade Erlkönig voor Luidsprekers (1967)
with Johan van Kreij
Mao Leve! (1977)
with Johan van Kreij

Edgard Varèse
Le poème électronique (1957–1958)
with Jan de Heer

Iannis Xenakis
Concret PH (1958)
with Jan de Heer and Casper Schipper