Friday, 16 July 2010

History of electronic music

For those who came in late, what is electronic music?

Basically, it is a form of music that utilizes musical electronic music technology, be it synthesizers or computers while producing it.

Confusing huh?

While some of you may have heard about Kraftwerk, a lot more of you would have listened to Pink Floyd’s or Jean Michel Jarre’s music. Have you noticed any difference from the standard pop or rock music? I am sure you would have noticed the electronic music tunes that predominantly stand out in their music. That is to say you might be able to differentiate the music made using electromechanical means (such as the electric guitar or the Hammond organ) and the music produced using electronic technology (devices such as the synthesizer and the computer). Well the electronic part is what is called electronic music.

Although electronic music was initially identified as western art music, with the advent of affordable music technology, it became very popular. However, it was during the sixties, that electronic music became increasingly popular as synthesizers started becoming a part of many music bands. One of the most popular electronic music artists during the sixties was Delia Derbyshire, who worked with the BBC Radiophone Workshop which incidentally was a very popular electronic music studio.

But it was in the seventies that synthesizers became a part of rock music with popular bands such as Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Yes using this format in their music. The German band Kraftwerk took a more electronic approach and released an album totally composed on an electronic theme. Although it was a bit bizarre, it sounded rather cool. The other artists who popularized this were Jean Michel Jarre (his concerts were phenomenal, we’ll leave that for another day!), Vangelis, Tangerine Dream etc. Besides most of the leading bands started incorporating the synthesizer into their music. There was Bowie, Genesis, Roxy Music, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Police… so many of them.

And now can you name a single band that doesn’t use electronic music technology in their music?

That’s enough for this week… gotta catch some sleep

Next week, we will discuss how computers play a part in electronic music.

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