How an 18th Century Monk Invented Electronic Music

Dom Prokop Diviš, a Czech polymath born on this day in 1698, enjoyed shocking people in both the literal and figurative sense of the word.

By Becky Ferreira | MOTHERBOARD

Often cast as the European counterpart to Benjamin Franklin because the two men simultaneously and independently invented the lightning rod, Diviš became fascinated with electricity while working as a theologian in a Moravian parish of Přímětice. Given his interest in shock-treating plants and erecting DIY „weather machines“ on his property, Diviš earned a reputation as a kook by his contemporaries.

But he is now regarded as the earliest visionary of electronic music, an artform that is normally not associated with the 18th century.

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