The basic idea of Zum Anbeginn neuer Zeiten is that actually two pianos are playing – one grand piano and one synthetic piano. The synthetic piano is based on the sound synthesis process referred to as frequency modulation (FM). In a paper written by Bill Schottstaedt, one can see how this technique may be used to simulate the timbre of pianos. The further the four Klavierstücke (piano pieces) proceed, the more is this simulation somewhat alienated. Additionally, the method of notation for the FM instruments becomes more complex and thus permits more sonic modifications. Moreover, in Klavierstück II, simple panning is introduced, replaced by quadraphonic panning in Klavierstück III and, finally, complemented by means of highly complex quadraphonic motions in the last piano piece. In Klavierstück I/II, the pianist plays on the bass strings. In Klavierstück III, the pianist then plays inside the whole piano, including hits on the body/strings with little hammers. Additionally, in Klavierstück I/III, the pianist also uses microphones (sending to loudspeakers) in order to mute the resonating strings creating a sizzle effect. In Klavierstück IV, the pianist finally plays at the keyboard, complemented by clusters, additive/subtractive clusters as well as keyboard glissandi.