Futurist Luigi Russolo is perhaps the first artist and theorist of creative sound. With the publication his manifesto L’arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noises) in 1913,sound art begun to have a impact on the creative art practices.." http://cotati.sjsu.edu/spoetry/folder6/ng632.html .In a quest to capture “symphonies of ever day life”, Russolo invented intonarumori (noise instruments) which could produce many synthesized timbres over a range of pitches.
From the field of music, composer Edgar Varèse began an attempt towards "liberation of sound" in his compositions. Varèse’s works were a bold attempt to occupy the subliminal space in the tangential areas of modern music. Walter Fähndrich, (whose Music for a Quarry is located in the Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams), largely takes on from Varèse’s experiments. Fähndrich describes his work as music, but music "created for particular spaces and times of day," qualities it shares with sound art.
Sound came to occupy a fundamental role-space in modernist artistic praxis in the works of the Dadaists during the 1910s. Marcel Duchamp’s visual and conceptual art, for example, often involved sound. He proposed that "a line of identical sounds could turn around the listener in arabesques (on the right, left, over, under)," creating, for example, "an immense Venus de Milo made of sounds around the listener." Duchamp’s interventions had a significant impact on the generation of conceptual artists working in the 1960s and '70s, many of whom used sound and referred to their work as 'sound sculpture'. http://eamusic.dartmouth.edu/~kov/soundArt/index.html, http://www.audium.org/intro.html. Other significant Dadaist interventions in sound can be located in the in the works of Hugo Ball, founder of the Dada movement in Zurich, created the poème simulatane, or simultaneous poem, first presented at the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916 with a high-energy, performance-oriented ‘cacophony’ of whistling, sighing, grunting, coughing, and singing.
The Russian modernists like Wassily Kandinsky and Aleksandr Scriabin, entered the domain of creative sound in their explorations of links between viual and aural perceptions. Early leads into public sound art projects can be found in the interventions Arseni Avraamov. The Russian artist directed several monumental sound spectacles in commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution. Performed for the fifth anniversary of the revolution, his Symphony of Factory Sirens contained "a huge cast of choirs (joined by spectators), the foghorns of the entire Caspian flotilla, two batteries of artillery guns, a number of full infantry regiments (including a machine-gun division), hydroplanes, and all the factory sirens of (the port-town of) Baku."
Composer, artist, and philosopher John Cage’s questionings of cultural and artistic practices have largely determined the direction of contemporary sound art. Cage’s intervention is pivotal in the history of creative sound, temporally and conceptually bridging the early experiments of the Futurists and Dadaists working in the 1910s and '20s and the concerns of artists working today. While artists working in the early twentieth century generally reveled in the new, harsh noises of industry and machinery, Cage and many later artists listened for the subtle harmonies that were generated by chance in the natural and built environment.
Following Cage, 20th-century composers have experimented and dismantled the near cartographic boundaries between music, sound and noise. With Edgar Varèse's experimentations with electronics and Pierre Schaeffer's coinage “musique concrète", to describe music made from found sounds such as birdsong or traffic - the line between what was music and what was simply noise became increasingly blurred. Often, recontextualisation has been a key tool. Just as Marcel Duchamp's urinal had become art by virtue of being placed in a gallery, so could the roar of cars - or a two-minute silence - if presented as an object of aesthetic contemplation.
Over the last decade “Sound walking” and “radio art” has emerged as important interventionist measures, as sound artist have discovering that the democratic potential of sonic arts are being increasingly marginalized as galleries, museums and recording houses increasingly commodity sound .