Electronic music encompasses an eclectic variety of genres. Some of the more prominent genres include future bass, hybrid trap, deep house and trance.
Numerous tape compositions exist, yet few have established themselves in this genre alone. But that could soon change!
Most people believe electronic music began with the development of the synthesiser in the 60s; while this is certainly connected, its roots actually go much deeper. Sine, sawtooth and square wave generators were first invented during this era allowing audio signals to be produced electronically for transmission via loudspeakers; with tape recorders soon thereafter leading avant garde composers to experiment using sound as compositional medium for their work often known as tape music.
In the 1950s, there were two opposing tendencies within electronic music: experimental musique concrete movement and commercially minded corporate establishment such as RCA’s studio d’Essai and NWDR (Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, which eventually became WDR). At this time, early synthesizers such as those produced at the Moog company (particularly its modular synthesizer used by artists such as Gary Numan on Switched On Bach album) began being produced.
The 1980s witnessed the birth of synth pop, one of the turning points for electronic music, thanks to new digital synths such as Korg’s M1, Yamaha’s DX7, and Roland’s D-50. These machines allowed musicians to freely create and modify sounds at will allowing Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Wendy Carlos to release some iconic tracks defining this genre such as their albums or singles that helped define it.
Electronic music has quickly become an integral component of modern pop culture and is celebrated at large-scale commercial festivals like Tomorrowland or Electric Daisy Carnival. Artists such as Daft Punk, Tiesto and Skrillex have gained international acclaim and their music can be heard on countless radio stations globally.
Electronic music covers an expansive spectrum, from beat-driven bass lines of drum and bass, ambient drones of dubstep and Zedd’s modular synth pop. Additionally, IDM or Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) provides quiet listening experiences at home utilizing textures with evolving modulations rather than driving rhythms.
Electro-soul is another notable electronic genre, which blends hip hop, jazz, funk and disco into an enjoyable sonic journey. Tik Tok users especially are avid followers of electro-soul. Artists such as GRiZ, Gramatik and Daily Bread continue the genre’s popularity even after Pretty Lights has left (we miss him dearly).
Disco marked an important turning point for electronic music in the 1970s. Its distinctive sounds were driven by sequencers and other digital equipment which allowed musicians to control and automate their production process. Key instruments in the genre included Roland Juno-60s as well as polyphonic synthesizers which created chords with complex overtones similar to what early analog organs could produce.
At this time, several other electronic music styles emerged: drum and bass (which accelerated hip-hop breakbeats to house tempo, while anchoring them with dub-reggae bass patterns); jungle (which used sampled breaks from funk and soul records but pitched them to more danceable tempos, creating what is commonly known as disco groove – examples including Roni Size, Goldie and Bad Company); trip-hop (characterized by rock-influenced guitar riffs and keyboard melodies); glitch-hop (used modern production techniques to produce sound that sounds as though it came off your hard drive); glitch-hop – where modern production techniques create styles that sound as though it came directly off your hard drive;); trip-hop used modern production techniques to produce what sound like it came straight off your hard drive); trip-hop; glitch-hop (using modern production techniques to produce styles similar to Roni Size and Goldie); trip-hop was created; glitch-hop employing modern production techniques to produce styles similar to Fatboy Slim’s famous disco groove); trip hop used modern production techniques to produce styles similar to Fatboy Slim’s classic disco groove); glitch-hop was created using modern production techniques to produce something similar to what came off your hard drive! Finally glitch-hop uses modern production techniques in order to produce styles similar to Fatboy Slim’s disco tracks while glitch-hop use modern production techniques to produce something sounding like something off your hard drive).
Electronic music production comes in two forms. First is using a synthesiser – an instrument which generates sounds electronically via something known as an oscillator – to create new sounds not possible with traditional instruments. Another method involves recording and manipulating sounds using computer music production software; this option is much cheaper and simpler but does require knowledge of this area of music creation software.
Modern electronic music’s first significant advances began at the turn of the 20th century with the invention of tape recorders and a revolutionary composition technique known as musique concrete, which involved editing together natural and industrial sounds recorded on tape recorders to form compositions using only sound fragments as raw material for compositions like those by Pierre Schaeffer who utilized its techniques rather than traditional melodies and scales for musical compositions. Later composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis utilized musique concrete techniques in their works as well.
Other technical advancements also aided the growth of electronic music. By the 1920s, mechanical acoustical recordings had been replaced by electrical recordings, leading to improved quality recordings as well as innovations such as sound speed adjustment and graphic scoring (which provided instructions to musicians that helped prevent two performances of an identical piece from sounding identical).
Other technological developments accelerated the emergence of electronic music following the computer revolution, and by the 1990s it was becoming widespread within popular music – but just because a song featured an electric guitar or organ instead of pipe organ did not make it “electronic.”
Electronic instruments create sounds by converting electric or electronic signals into audible acoustic vibrations through power amplifiers and loudspeakers, also known as loudspeakers or electrophones – this type of instrument is also known as digital musical instrument (DMI). Acoustic instruments were the dominant form for creating music until recent advances in technology and manufacturing allowed for new instruments that have greatly changed how music is created.
Electronic musicians typically utilize keyboard instruments like Hammond organs or synthesizers as keyboard instruments for electronic composition. These instruments allow composers to produce complex sounds that cannot be achieved using traditional instruments; electronic keyboard instruments can often be combined with traditional instruments for added effects and allow performers to manipulate pitch, tone color and dynamic range of their performance.
In the 1920s, there was a surge of enthusiasm for developing novel electronic instruments designed to produce unique timbres not available from traditional musical instruments. Leon Theremin invented one such instrument – The Theremin – while French musician-scientist Maurice Martenot built his first Ondes martenot In 1928 and it remains commercially successful today as does Hammond Solovox and Ondes martenot
Synthesists approach their instruments as collections of parts that must be programmed together to produce the desired timbre, known as programming, either before or during performance. Alternately, software programs on computers may also be used to create music; signal paths provide insight into this route of transmission from an acoustic instrument to final broadcast.
Electronic music performance stands apart from other genres due to the separation between physical action and sound process, impacting instrument design and instrumental play practices. Gestural electronic music performances offer new interfaces which combine an on-body sensor with digital sound-producing parts via interpretation layers for interactive use by performers who touch them with their hands or arms as though playing instruments themselves.
The Theremin was the first instrument to do this (Theremin and Petrishev 1996, Sala 1955), followed by Trautonium (Patteson 2016) and Ondes Martenot (Vaiedelich and Quartier 2013). They all combine synthetic sound production with gestures resembling conventional musical instruments – showing us the importance of linking musician’s intentions with physical movements.
As well, samplers (Sample, Reference Sampling) provide another form of instrument separation between sound production and physical action, such as samplers. Samplers allow users to store sounds in memory for later playback via keyboard or sequencer – whether full instrument recordings such as piano, violin or trumpet, excerpts from songs or found sounds such as ocean waves or sirens are stored for later recall by these instruments.
Stability between these elements allows performers to develop an intimate knowledge of both interface and sound processes, helping them navigate the composition while providing continuity to audience perception. Furthermore, it enables performers to focus on performing without constantly having to adjust their positions on stage – thus freeing up time for more engaging interactions with audiences and less time spent trying to adjust themselves onstage.