Electronic Music Roots

They say music is the food to the soul, verily this is true. Many music types have a deep history and find many followers in all corners of the world. Nowadays as the music industry has progressed, a new form of music is emerging, many of its contributors being the youth. This is the electric music…

But what is this electronic music? What are its roots?

The electronic music can be used to describe the music of composers who combine multiple styles such as whole-variant of a pentatonic folksong over chromatic counterpoint or a tertian arpeggiating melody over some secundal and quartal harmonies. These form the roots of electronic music.

Electric music employs the conscious use of different styles that are alien to the composer, it’s not in his/her nature or it can be from an era that is long gone. It also refers to describe a piece of music written by a composer that is lacking or appears to have been freely based upon other models.

Today’s musical eclecticism has gained an explanation that has itself become a standard, thus setting the roots of electric music, it’s looks somewhat like: go through the recordings produced by composers, they (composers) get revealed from the time they are young and new to quite a wide array of music; as adults, they naturally compose music which is energized by the music they have listened to and enjoyed, regardless of the genre. But that explanation, is not satisfactory, in its entirety. At bottom, recordings may provide the entry, still why will they put confidence to write in an unfamiliar genre?

The musical eclecticism nowadays has a great impact form the enormous use of the computer. But the roots of electric music spring from whether a composer is writing a symphony, song, or string quartet, they can now hear the music they wrote as electronic music, and its credit goes to playback features. By the stroke of nature, this practice impacts taste. The truth that computers can hardly reproduce vibrato reinforces contemporary composers’ significant (though certainly not total) prejudice against vibrato and as far as the rhythm is concerned, a machine like computer running out of breath or doesn’t lose count and this has distinctly encouraged the love of contemporary composers’ for long, driving rhythmic phrases, which are commonly known as ostinatos. Rhythmic ostinatos and Vibrato-less singing style are in fact the two stamp of authentication of much music outside the classical tradition in West.

The use of computers goes beyond this. Nowadays many composers with backgrounds in the classical music are discovering it easier to plug in and manipulate signals (live) electronically. More and more composers (the classical ones) are now entering the electric music side as their accepted famous colleagues took decades ago: that is a shift from acoustic/classical to sound (electronic) production. The widespread availability of music programs such as GarageBand and the growing attention music schools’ towards music (electronic) are creating an atmosphere where a composer needs electronic music techniques as part of his/her toolkit.

Robin Holloway the famous composer, academic, and writer has cites the composers Benjamin Britten, Dmitri Shostakovich, Copland, Poulenc and Tippet as electric composers, who worked and produced music that is along the lines laid down by Igor Stravinsky.


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