Electronic Music Quizlet

EDM (Electronic Dance Music) refers to any genre of music which uses electronic instrumentation in combination with drums and other rhythmic elements for an electric experience.

In the 1950s, electronic musical instruments first made their debut. Composers such as Pierre Schaeffer began experimenting with musique concrete composition, which combined recorded everyday sounds into new forms of composition.


Electronic music refers to any form of sound produced using equipment and instruments modified by humans to alter its original acoustic form, and this includes synthesizers, computers and sound modifiers like filters. Early examples of electronic music were first created during World War II using magnetic tape recording of sounds then edited together using speed or direction changes; experimental composers like Pierre Schaeffer developed Musique Concrete which consisted of these fragments edited together resulting in new musical genres like Musique Concrete.

Throughout the 1950s, there was great enthusiasm for electronic music – universities and private companies opened research facilities dedicated to its development, creating new types of electronic musical instruments such as the Telharmonium with oscillators to produce different sounds that could be controlled via keyboard; another instrument called an Ondes Martenot differed from piano by enabling musicians to modulate its sound by sliding their finger across a ring above a picture of a keyboard ring.

By the 1960s, there was an increasing need for sophisticated musical instruments that could recreate the sounds of traditional pianos and orchestral instruments, leading to the invention of synthesizers – devices capable of producing an array of sounds through different frequencies and combinations of waves. Musicians experimented with this new technology through circuit bending techniques on these machines – leading to an emerging culture of musicians creating modular synthesizer systems like Eurorack systems.

Electronic music continued its progression during the ’90s with the development of two subgenres: Downtempo and Electronica. More recently, however, there has been an increased focus on live performances which use computer hardware & software for producing music live – leading to a proliferation of styles which often go underappreciated or are miscategorized as EDM (Electronic Dance Music).


At the turn of the 20th century, composers showed increasing enthusiasm for using emerging technologies for musical purposes. Many composers experimented with recording and reproducing sounds using mechanical phonographs; however, due to its size and cost restrictions they did not become widely adopted. By early 20th century electronic instruments like Theremin and RCA electromechanical synthesizer became available which eventually led to more sophisticated technologies like the Moog synthesizer being created.

At this time, experimental styles of electronic music began to emerge as well. Artists such as John Cage were creating pieces utilizing various mediums and sounds such as two variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano and cymbals; The BBC Radiophonic Workshop helped popularize electronic music further by producing its first electronic signature tune for Doctor Who program in 1963.

With the rise of digital recording technology in the 1980s came a new type of electronic music: dance music (EDM). Producers could now record songs and then manipulate them using computer programs – giving rise to EDM artists like Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Tiesto and Skrillex who found great success through this genre of electronic music.

In the 1990s, electronic music evolved further. Subgenres such as italo disco, techno, house, trance, electro, breakbeat and drum and bass became widely popular; while more experimental forms like IDM, glitch and trip-hop became more widely practiced. Furthermore, during this era there has been a rise in large-scale commercial electronic music festivals and parties.


Electronic music encompasses many genres and subgenres. Some are dance-focused while others take more experimental approaches.

Techno, house, and trance are among the more well-known genres of electronic dance music (EDM). Techno is distinguished by its four-on-the-floor rhythmic pattern as well as use of electronic instruments such as drum machines (such as Roland TR-808s and TR-909s), sequencers, synthesizers. House is more of a pop genre which incorporates elements from hip hop and funk into its soundscape.

Trance music is another immensely popular genre that blends classical melodies with pulsating basslines and hypnotic synth modulation, creating a positive and upbeat listening experience.

Ambient music can create an ambiance of peace and serenity with electronic sounds; its organic components include strings, pianos and flutes. Trip-hop is more challenging to define due to its various subgenres including downtempo, dark trip-hop, glitchy trip-hop etc.

The early 1900s witnessed significant advancements in electronic music. Pierre Schaeffer experimented with musique concrete – an experimental style using natural sounds combined with ordered groups of pitches – at this time. Record players became household appliances, leading to experiments in sound speed adjustment and tape recording.

More recently, electronic music has seen the development of many new genres. Tropical house is one such genre influenced by pop music that blends elements of electro and house. Artists also frequently use tropical house to make dance remixes of pop songs using it as the foundation. On the other hand, vaporwave is purely online-developed joke genre which uses retro synthesizers, 80s samples and nostalgic photos as comedy devices to poke fun at consumerist society.


Electronic music has its foundations in electric musical instruments and production systems, such as Theremin (invented in 1928), with its long, thin metal antennae used by players to control pitch and volume; Ondes Martenot was designed in 1957 using flexible metal rods which vibrated when touched, creating sounds through vibration.

Early electric musical instruments were challenging to operate and required extensive programming. While Max Mathews used a computer at Bell Laboratories to compose music in the 1950s, it wasn’t until 1957 when an electronic instrument capable of performing original compositions first debuted – the Minimoog designed by Bob Moog became the foundation of modern electronic music synthesis.

Electronic instruments like the Moog and Ondes Martenot were popular with composers including Edgard Varese, Andre Jolivet, Olivier Messiaen and Tory Takemitsu to compose music such as musique concrete or spectralism in the 1960s and 70s; rock, disco and new wave styles also saw more frequent use of polyphonic synthesizers and drum machines as a result of rock music’s prominence at that time.

The 1990s and 2000s witnessed an exponential rise in artists producing electronic music using tools like samplers, sequencers, MIDI keyboards, computers, etc. As these tools have become more readily available and affordable for musicians of all stripes – from bedroom bands to professional studio artists – electronic music production has expanded exponentially.


Electronic music began gaining momentum during the late 1970s and early 1980s with the rise of digital synthesizers that allowed musicians to customize their sounds. Electronic sound also proved appealing to film industry; Wendy Carlos composed A Clockwork Orange’s soundtrack while other science fiction movies utilized electronic instruments, like Theremin.

The advent of synthesizers enabled musicians to produce music without large studios or expensive equipment, leading to the birth of several musical styles such as disco, house, techno and acid house – as well as subgenres such as trance and progressive house.

Electronic music saw another breakthrough with the advent of computer-based recording software that made creating and mixing electronic music easier, leading to an explosion in independent EDM record labels such as Monstercat and Spinnin’ Records that help find talent while monetising content – investing in these companies may prove profitable in terms of return.

More recently, artists are increasingly experimenting with mixing genres to produce fresh sounds that stand out. This trend will likely continue in 2023; electronic musician Jitwam incorporates jazz, R&B and even punk into his work, producing an exciting combination of genres sure to please audiences.

Electronic music festivals have played an essential part in driving industry growth. Not only are these events providing platforms for up-and-coming artists, they also boast state-of-the-art light shows and sound systems – an exciting trend which should spur demand for technology that combines music with visuals such as lighting or audiovisual software.