Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music), and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.
The first electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the 19th century, and shortly afterward Italian futurists explored sounds that had not been considered musical. During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s, in Egypt and France. Musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. Music produced solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was also created in Japan and the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers to compose music. Algorithmic composition with computers was first demonstrated in the 1950s (although algorithmic composition per se without a computer had occurred much earlier, for example Mozart's Musikalisches Würfelspiel).
In the 1960s, live electronics were pioneered in America and Europe, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the music industry, and Jamaican dub music emerged as a form of popular electronic music. In the early 1970s, the monophonic Minimoog synthesizer and Japanese drum machines helped popularize synthesized electronic music.
In the 1970s, electronic music began having a significant influence on popular music, with the adoption of polyphonic synthesizers, electronic drums, drum machines, and turntables, through the emergence of genres such as disco, krautrock, new wave, synth-pop, hip hop and EDM. In the 1980s, electronic music became more dominant in popular music, with a greater reliance on synthesizers, and the adoption of programmable drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and bass synthesizers such as the TB-303. In the early 1980s, digital technologies for synthesizers including digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 were popularized, and a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).
Electronically produced music became prevalent in the popular domain by the 1990s, because of the advent of affordable music technology. Contemporary electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.
|Cultural origins||Late 19th and early 20th century, Europe and the United States|
At the turn of the 20th century, experimentation with emerging electronics led to the first electronic musical instruments. These initial inventions were not sold, but were instead used in demonstrations and public performances. The audiences were presented with reproductions of existing music instead of new compositions for the instruments. While some were considered novelties and produced simple tones, the Telharmonium accurately synthesized the sound of orchestral instruments. It achieved viable public interest and made commercial progress into streaming music through telephone networks.
Critics of musical conventions at the time saw promise in these developments. Ferruccio Busoni encouraged the composition of microtonal music allowed for by electronic instruments. He predicted the use of machines in future music, writing the influential Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music. Futurists such as Francesco Balilla Pratella and Luigi Russolo began composing music with acoustic noise to evoke the sound of machinery. They predicted expansions in timbre allowed for by electronics in the influential manifesto The Art of Noises.
Developments of the vacuum tube led to electronic instruments that were smaller, amplified, and more practical for performance. In particular, the theremin, ondes Martenot and trautonium were commercially produced by the early 1930s.
From the late 1920s, the increased practicality of electronic instruments influenced composers such as Joseph Schillinger to adopt them. They were typically used within orchestras, and most composers wrote parts for the theremin that could otherwise be performed with string instruments.
Avant-garde composers criticized the predominant use of electronic instruments for conventional purposes. The instruments offered expansions in pitch resources that were exploited by advocates of microtonal music such as Charles Ives, Dimitrios Levidis, Olivier Messiaen and Edgard Varèse. Further, Percy Grainger used the theremin to abandon fixed tonation entirely, while Russian composers such as Gavriil Popov treated it as a source of noise in otherwise-acoustic noise music.
Developments in early recording technology paralleled that of electronic instruments. The first means of recording and reproducing audio was invented in the late 19th century with the mechanical phonograph. Record players became a common household item, and by the 1920s composers were using them to play short recordings in performances.
The introduction of electrical recording in 1925 was followed by increased experimentation with record players. Paul Hindemith and Ernst Toch composed several pieces in 1930 by layering recordings of instruments and vocals at adjusted speeds. Influenced by these techniques, John Cage composed Imaginary Landscape No. 1 in 1939 by adjusting the speeds of recorded tones.
Concurrently, composers began to experiment with newly developed sound-on-film technology. Recordings could be spliced together to create sound collages, such as those by Tristan Tzara, Kurt Schwitters, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Walter Ruttmann and Dziga Vertov. Further, the technology allowed sound to be graphically created and modified. These techniques were used to compose soundtracks for several films in Germany and Russia, in addition to the popular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the United States. Experiments with graphical sound were continued by Norman McLaren from the late 1930s.
The first practical audio tape recorder was unveiled in 1935. Improvements to the technology were made using the AC biasing technique, which significantly improved recording fidelity. As early as 1942, test recordings were being made in stereo. Although these developments were initially confined to Germany, recorders and tapes were brought to the United States following the end of World War II. These were the basis for the first commercially produced tape recorder in 1948.
In 1944, prior to the use of magnetic tape for compositional purposes, Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh, while still a student in Cairo, used a cumbersome wire recorder to record sounds of an ancient zaar ceremony. Using facilities at the Middle East Radio studios El-Dabh processed the recorded material using reverberation, echo, voltage controls, and re-recording. What resulted is believed to be the earliest tape music composition. The resulting work was entitled The Expression of Zaar and it was presented in 1944 at an art gallery event in Cairo. While his initial experiments in tape-based composition were not widely known outside of Egypt at the time, El-Dabh is also known for his later work in electronic music at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the late 1950s.
Following his work with Studio d'Essai at Radiodiffusion Française (RDF), during the early 1940s, Pierre Schaeffer is credited with originating the theory and practice of musique concrète. In the late 1940s, experiments in sound based composition using shellac record players were first conducted by Schaeffer. In 1950, the techniques of musique concrete were expanded when magnetic tape machines were used to explore sound manipulation practices such as speed variation (pitch shift) and tape splicing (Palombini 1993, 14).
On 5 October 1948, RDF broadcast Schaeffer's Etude aux chemins de fer. This was the first "movement" of Cinq études de bruits, and marked the beginning of studio realizations and musique concrète (or acousmatic art). Schaeffer employed a disk-cutting lathe, four turntables, a four-channel mixer, filters, an echo chamber, and a mobile recording unit. Not long after this, Pierre Henry began collaborating with Schaeffer, a partnership that would have profound and lasting effects on the direction of electronic music. Another associate of Schaeffer, Edgard Varèse, began work on Déserts, a work for chamber orchestra and tape. The tape parts were created at Pierre Schaeffer's studio, and were later revised at Columbia University.
In 1950, Schaeffer gave the first public (non-broadcast) concert of musique concrète at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. "Schaeffer used a PA system, several turntables, and mixers. The performance did not go well, as creating live montages with turntables had never been done before." Later that same year, Pierre Henry collaborated with Schaeffer on Symphonie pour un homme seul (1950) the first major work of musique concrete. In Paris in 1951, in what was to become an important worldwide trend, RTF established the first studio for the production of electronic music. Also in 1951, Schaeffer and Henry produced an opera, Orpheus, for concrete sounds and voices.
In Cologne, what would become the most famous electronic music studio in the world was officially opened at the radio studios of the NWDR in 1953, though it had been in the planning stages as early as 1950 and early compositions were made and broadcast in 1951. The brain child of Werner Meyer-Eppler, Robert Beyer, and Herbert Eimert (who became its first director), the studio was soon joined by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig. In his 1949 thesis Elektronische Klangerzeugung: Elektronische Musik und Synthetische Sprache, Meyer-Eppler conceived the idea to synthesize music entirely from electronically produced signals; in this way, elektronische Musik was sharply differentiated from French musique concrète, which used sounds recorded from acoustical sources.
"With Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in residence, it became a year-round hive of charismatic avante-gardism [sic]" on two occasions combining electronically generated sounds with relatively conventional orchestras—in Mixtur (1964) and Hymnen, dritte Region mit Orchester (1967). Stockhausen stated that his listeners had told him his electronic music gave them an experience of "outer space", sensations of flying, or being in a "fantastic dream world". More recently, Stockhausen turned to producing electronic music in his own studio in Kürten, his last work in the medium being Cosmic Pulses (2007).
The earliest group of electronic musical instruments in Japan, Yamaha Magna Organ was built in 1935, however after the World War II, Japanese composers such as Minao Shibata knew of the development of electronic musical instruments. By the late 1940s, Japanese composers began experimenting with electronic music and institutional sponsorship enabled them to experiment with advanced equipment. Their infusion of Asian music into the emerging genre would eventually support Japan's popularity in the development of music technology several decades later.
Following the foundation of electronics company Sony in 1946, composers Toru Takemitsu and Minao Shibata independently explored possible uses for electronic technology to produce music. Takemitsu had ideas similar to musique concrète, which he was unaware of, while Shibata foresaw the development of synthesizers and predicted a drastic change in music. Sony began producing popular magnetic tape recorders for government and public use.
The avant-garde collective Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop), founded in 1950, was offered access to emerging audio technology by Sony. The company hired Toru Takemitsu to demonstrate their tape recorders with compositions and performances of electronic tape music. The first electronic tape pieces by the group were "Toraware no Onna" ("Imprisoned Woman") and "Piece B", composed in 1951 by Kuniharu Akiyama. Many of the electroacoustic tape pieces they produced were used as incidental music for radio, film, and theatre. They also held concerts employing a slide show synchronized with a recorded soundtrack. Composers outside of the Jikken Kōbō, such as Yasushi Akutagawa, Saburo Tominaga and Shirō Fukai, were also experimenting with radiophonic tape music between 1952 and 1953.
Musique concrète was introduced to Japan by Toshiro Mayuzumi, who was influenced by a Pierre Schaeffer concert. From 1952, he composed tape music pieces for a comedy film, a radio broadcast, and a radio drama. However, Schaeffer's concept of sound object was not influential among Japanese composers, who were mainly interested in overcoming the restrictions of human performance. This led to several Japanese electroacoustic musicians making use of serialism and twelve-tone techniques, evident in Yoshirō Irino's 1951 dodecaphonic piece "Concerto da Camera", in the organization of electronic sounds in Mayuzumi's "X, Y, Z for Musique Concrète", and later in Shibata's electronic music by 1956.
Modelling the NWDR studio in Cologne, NHK established an electronic music studio in Tokyo in 1955, which became one of the world's leading electronic music facilities. The NHK Studio was equipped with technologies such as tone-generating and audio processing equipment, recording and radiophonic equipment, ondes Martenot, Monochord and Melochord, sine-wave oscillators, tape recorders, ring modulators, band-pass filters, and four- and eight-channel mixers. Musicians associated with the studio included Toshiro Mayuzumi, Minao Shibata, Joji Yuasa, Toshi Ichiyanagi, and Toru Takemitsu. The studio's first electronic compositions were completed in 1955, including Mayuzumi's five-minute pieces "Studie I: Music for Sine Wave by Proportion of Prime Number", "Music for Modulated Wave by Proportion of Prime Number" and "Invention for Square Wave and Sawtooth Wave" produced using the studio's various tone-generating capabilities, and Shibata's 20-minute stereo piece "Musique Concrète for Stereophonic Broadcast".
In the United States, electronic music was being created as early as 1939, when John Cage published Imaginary Landscape, No. 1, using two variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano, and cymbal, but no electronic means of production. Cage composed five more "Imaginary Landscapes" between 1942 and 1952 (one withdrawn), mostly for percussion ensemble, though No. 4 is for twelve radios and No. 5, written in 1952, uses 42 recordings and is to be realized as a magnetic tape. According to Otto Luening, Cage also performed a William [sic] Mix at Donaueschingen in 1954, using eight loudspeakers, three years after his alleged collaboration. Williams Mix was a success at the Donaueschingen Festival, where it made a "strong impression".
The Music for Magnetic Tape Project was formed by members of the New York School (John Cage, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, David Tudor, and Morton Feldman), and lasted three years until 1954. Cage wrote of this collaboration: "In this social darkness, therefore, the work of Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff continues to present a brilliant light, for the reason that at the several points of notation, performance, and audition, action is provocative."
Cage completed Williams Mix in 1953 while working with the Music for Magnetic Tape Project. The group had no permanent facility, and had to rely on borrowed time in commercial sound studios, including the studio of Louis and Bebe Barron.
In the same year Columbia University purchased its first tape recorder—a professional Ampex machine—for the purpose of recording concerts. Vladimir Ussachevsky, who was on the music faculty of Columbia University, was placed in charge of the device, and almost immediately began experimenting with it.
Herbert Russcol writes: "Soon he was intrigued with the new sonorities he could achieve by recording musical instruments and then superimposing them on one another." Ussachevsky said later: "I suddenly realized that the tape recorder could be treated as an instrument of sound transformation." On Thursday, May 8, 1952, Ussachevsky presented several demonstrations of tape music/effects that he created at his Composers Forum, in the McMillin Theatre at Columbia University. These included Transposition, Reverberation, Experiment, Composition, and Underwater Valse. In an interview, he stated: "I presented a few examples of my discovery in a public concert in New York together with other compositions I had written for conventional instruments." Otto Luening, who had attended this concert, remarked: "The equipment at his disposal consisted of an Ampex tape recorder . . . and a simple box-like device designed by the brilliant young engineer, Peter Mauzey, to create feedback, a form of mechanical reverberation. Other equipment was borrowed or purchased with personal funds."
Just three months later, in August 1952, Ussachevsky traveled to Bennington, Vermont at Luening's invitation to present his experiments. There, the two collaborated on various pieces. Luening described the event: "Equipped with earphones and a flute, I began developing my first tape-recorder composition. Both of us were fluent improvisors and the medium fired our imaginations." They played some early pieces informally at a party, where "a number of composers almost solemnly congratulated us saying, 'This is it' ('it' meaning the music of the future)."
Word quickly reached New York City. Oliver Daniel telephoned and invited the pair to "produce a group of short compositions for the October concert sponsored by the American Composers Alliance and Broadcast Music, Inc., under the direction of Leopold Stokowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After some hesitation, we agreed. . . . Henry Cowell placed his home and studio in Woodstock, New York, at our disposal. With the borrowed equipment in the back of Ussachevsky's car, we left Bennington for Woodstock and stayed two weeks. . . . In late September, 1952, the travelling laboratory reached Ussachevsky's living room in New York, where we eventually completed the compositions."
Two months later, on October 28, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening presented the first Tape Music concert in the United States. The concert included Luening's Fantasy in Space (1952)—"an impressionistic virtuoso piece" using manipulated recordings of flute—and Low Speed (1952), an "exotic composition that took the flute far below its natural range." Both pieces were created at the home of Henry Cowell in Woodstock, NY. After several concerts caused a sensation in New York City, Ussachevsky and Luening were invited onto a live broadcast of NBC's Today Show to do an interview demonstration—the first televised electroacoustic performance. Luening described the event: "I improvised some [flute] sequences for the tape recorder. Ussachevsky then and there put them through electronic transformations."
1954 saw the advent of what would now be considered authentic electric plus acoustic compositions—acoustic instrumentation augmented/accompanied by recordings of manipulated or electronically generated sound. Three major works were premiered that year: Varèse's Déserts, for chamber ensemble and tape sounds, and two works by Luening and Ussachevsky: Rhapsodic Variations for the Louisville Symphony and A Poem in Cycles and Bells, both for orchestra and tape. Because he had been working at Schaeffer's studio, the tape part for Varèse's work contains much more concrete sounds than electronic. "A group made up of wind instruments, percussion and piano alternates with the mutated sounds of factory noises and ship sirens and motors, coming from two loudspeakers."
At the German premiere of Déserts in Hamburg, which was conducted by Bruno Maderna, the tape controls were operated by Karlheinz Stockhausen. The title Déserts suggested to Varèse not only "all physical deserts (of sand, sea, snow, of outer space, of empty streets), but also the deserts in the mind of man; not only those stripped aspects of nature that suggest bareness, aloofness, timelessness, but also that remote inner space no telescope can reach, where man is alone, a world of mystery and essential loneliness."
In 1958, Columbia-Princeton developed the RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer, the first programmable synthesizer. Prominent composers such as Vladimir Ussachevsky, Otto Luening, Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Halim El-Dabh, Bülent Arel and Mario Davidovsky used the RCA Synthesizer extensively in various compositions. One of the most influential composers associated with the early years of the studio was Egypt's Halim El-Dabh who, after having developed the earliest known electronic tape music in 1944, became more famous for Leiyla and the Poet, a 1959 series of electronic compositions that stood out for its immersion and seamless fusion of electronic and folk music, in contrast to the more mathematical approach used by serial composers of the time such as Babbitt. El-Dabh's Leiyla and the Poet, released as part of the album Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1961, would be cited as a strong influence by a number of musicians, ranging from Neil Rolnick, Charles Amirkhanian and Alice Shields to rock musicians Frank Zappa and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
In 1954, Stockhausen composed his Elektronische Studie II—the first electronic piece to be published as a score. In 1955, more experimental and electronic studios began to appear. Notable were the creation of the Studio di fonologia musicale di Radio Milano, a studio at the NHK in Tokyo founded by Toshiro Mayuzumi, and the Philips studio at Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which moved to the University of Utrecht as the Institute of Sonology in 1960.
The world's first computer to play music was CSIRAC, which was designed and built by Trevor Pearcey and Maston Beard. Mathematician Geoff Hill programmed the CSIRAC to play popular musical melodies from the very early 1950s. In 1951 it publicly played the Colonel Bogey March, of which no known recordings exist, only the accurate reconstruction. However, CSIRAC played standard repertoire and was not used to extend musical thinking or composition practice. CSIRAC was never recorded, but the music played was accurately reconstructed. The oldest known recordings of computer-generated music were played by the Ferranti Mark 1 computer, a commercial version of the Baby Machine from the University of Manchester in the autumn of 1951. The music program was written by Christopher Strachey.
The impact of computers continued in 1956. Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson composed Illiac Suite for string quartet, the first complete work of computer-assisted composition using algorithmic composition. "... Hiller postulated that a computer could be taught the rules of a particular style and then called on to compose accordingly." Later developments included the work of Max Mathews at Bell Laboratories, who developed the influential MUSIC I program in 1957, one of the first computer programs to play electronic music. Vocoder technology was also a major development in this early era. In 1956, Stockhausen composed Gesang der Jünglinge, the first major work of the Cologne studio, based on a text from the Book of Daniel. An important technological development of that year was the invention of the Clavivox synthesizer by Raymond Scott with subassembly by Robert Moog.
Also in 1957, Kid Baltan (Dick Raaymakers) and Tom Dissevelt released their debut album, Song Of The Second Moon, recorded at the Philips studio in the Netherlands. The public remained interested in the new sounds being created around the world, as can be deduced by the inclusion of Varèse's Poème électronique, which was played over four hundred loudspeakers at the Philips Pavilion of the 1958 Brussels World Fair. That same year, Mauricio Kagel, an Argentine composer, composed Transición II. The work was realized at the WDR studio in Cologne. Two musicians performed on a piano, one in the traditional manner, the other playing on the strings, frame, and case. Two other performers used tape to unite the presentation of live sounds with the future of prerecorded materials from later on and its past of recordings made earlier in the performance.
These were fertile years for electronic music—not just for academia, but for independent artists as synthesizer technology became more accessible. By this time, a strong community of composers and musicians working with new sounds and instruments was established and growing. 1960 witnessed the composition of Luening's Gargoyles for violin and tape as well as the premiere of Stockhausen's Kontakte for electronic sounds, piano, and percussion. This piece existed in two versions—one for 4-channel tape, and the other for tape with human performers. "In Kontakte, Stockhausen abandoned traditional musical form based on linear development and dramatic climax. This new approach, which he termed 'moment form,' resembles the 'cinematic splice' techniques in early twentieth century film."
The theremin had been in use since the 1920s but it attained a degree of popular recognition through its use in science-fiction film soundtrack music in the 1950s (e.g., Bernard Herrmann's classic score for The Day the Earth Stood Still).
In the UK in this period, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (established in 1958) came to prominence, thanks in large measure to their work on the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. One of the most influential British electronic artists in this period was Workshop staffer Delia Derbyshire, who is now famous for her 1963 electronic realisation of the iconic Doctor Who theme, composed by Ron Grainer.
In 1961 Josef Tal established the Centre for Electronic Music in Israel at The Hebrew University, and in 1962 Hugh Le Caine arrived in Jerusalem to install his Creative Tape Recorder in the centre. In the 1990s Tal conducted, together with Dr Shlomo Markel, in cooperation with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and VolkswagenStiftung a research project (Talmark) aimed at the development of a novel musical notation system for electronic music.
Milton Babbitt composed his first electronic work using the synthesizer—his Composition for Synthesizer (1961)—which he created using the RCA synthesizer at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.
For Babbitt, the RCA synthesizer was a dream come true for three reasons. First, the ability to pinpoint and control every musical element precisely. Second, the time needed to realize his elaborate serial structures were brought within practical reach. Third, the question was no longer "What are the limits of the human performer?" but rather "What are the limits of human hearing?"
The collaborations also occurred across oceans and continents. In 1961, Ussachevsky invited Varèse to the Columbia-Princeton Studio (CPEMC). Upon arrival, Varese embarked upon a revision of Déserts. He was assisted by Mario Davidovsky and Bülent Arel.
The intense activity occurring at CPEMC and elsewhere inspired the establishment of the San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1963 by Morton Subotnick, with additional members Pauline Oliveros, Ramon Sender, Anthony Martin, and Terry Riley.
Simultaneously in San Francisco, composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern, presented the first “Audium” concert at San Francisco State College (1962), followed by a work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1963), conceived of as in time, controlled movement of sound in space. Twelve speakers surrounded the audience, four speakers were mounted on a rotating, mobile-like construction above. In an SFMOMA performance the following year (1964), San Francisco Chronicle music critic Alfred Frankenstein commented, "the possibilities of the space-sound continuum have seldom been so extensively explored". In 1967, the first Audium, a "sound-space continuum" opened, holding weekly performances through 1970. In 1975, enabled by seed money from the National Endowment for the Arts, a new Audium opened, designed floor to ceiling for spatial sound composition and performance. “In contrast, there are composers who manipulated sound space by locating multiple speakers at various locations in a performance space and then switching or panning the sound between the sources. In this approach, the composition of spatial manipulation is dependent on the location of the speakers and usually exploits the acoustical properties of the enclosure. Examples include Varese's Poeme Electronique (tape music performed in the Philips Pavilion of the 1958 World Fair, Brussels) and Stanley Schaff's [sic] Audium installation, currently active in San Francisco” Through weekly programs (over 4,500 in 40 years), Shaff “sculpts” sound, performing now-digitized spatial works live through 176 speakers.
Along with the Moog modular synthesizer, other makes of this period included ARP and Buchla.
Pietro Grossi was an Italian pioneer of computer composition and tape music, who first experimented with electronic techniques in the early sixties. Grossi was a cellist and composer, born in Venice in 1917. He founded the S 2F M (Studio de Fonologia Musicale di Firenze) in 1963 in order to experiment with electronic sound and composition.
Musical melodies were first generated by the computer CSIRAC in Australia in 1950. There were newspaper reports from America and England (early and recently) that computers may have played music earlier, but thorough research has debunked these stories as there is no evidence to support the newspaper reports (some of which were obviously speculative). Research has shown that people speculated about computers playing music, possibly because computers would make noises, but there is no evidence that they actually did it.
The world's first computer to play music was CSIRAC, which was designed and built by Trevor Pearcey and Maston Beard in the 1950s. Mathematician Geoff Hill programmed the CSIRAC to play popular musical melodies from the very early 1950s. In 1951 it publicly played the "Colonel Bogey March" of which no known recordings exist. However, CSIRAC played standard repertoire and was not used to extend musical thinking or composition practice which is current computer-music practice.
The first music to be performed in England was a performance of the British National Anthem that was programmed by Christopher Strachey on the Ferranti Mark I, late in 1951. Later that year, short extracts of three pieces were recorded there by a BBC outside broadcasting unit: the National Anthem, "Ba, Ba Black Sheep, and "In the Mood" and this is recognised as the earliest recording of a computer to play music. This recording can be heard at the this Manchester University site. Researchers at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch declicked and restored this recording in 2016 and the results may be heard on Soundcloud.
Laurie Spiegel is also notable for her development of "Music Mouse—an Intelligent Instrument" (1986) for Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari computers. The intelligent-instrument name refers to the program's built-in knowledge of chord and scale convention and stylistic constraints. She continued to update the program through Macintosh OS 9, and as of 2012, it remained available for purchase or demo download from her Web site.
The late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s also saw the development of large mainframe computer synthesis. Starting in 1957, Max Mathews of Bell Labs developed the MUSIC programs, culminating in MUSIC V, a direct digital synthesis language
Live electronics (or electroacoustic improvisation) is a form of experimental improvised music that developed in response to the rigidity of sound-based composition for fixed media such as musique concrète, early studio based electronic music, and computer music. Musical improvisation often plays a large role in the performance of this music.
In Europe in 1964, Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Mikrophonie I for tam-tam, hand-held microphones, filters, and potentiometers, and Mixtur for orchestra, four sine-wave generators, and four ring modulators. In 1965 he composed Mikrophonie II for choir, Hammond organ, and ring modulators.
In 1966–67, Reed Ghazala discovered and began to teach "circuit bending"—the application of the creative short circuit, a process of chance short-circuiting, creating experimental electronic instruments, exploring sonic elements mainly of timbre and with less regard to pitch or rhythm, and influenced by John Cage's aleatoric music [sic] concept.
In the 1950s, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the international music industry. Ikutaro Kakehashi, who founded Ace Tone in 1960, developed his own version of electronic percussion that had been already popular on the overseas electronic organ. At NAMM 1964, he revealed it as the R-1 Rhythm Ace, a hand-operated percussion device that played electronic drum sounds manually as the user pushed buttons, in a similar fashion to modern electronic drum pads.
In 1963, Korg released the Donca-Matic DA-20, an electro-mechanical drum machine. In 1965, Nippon Columbia patented a fully electronic drum machine. Korg released the Donca-Matic DC-11 electronic drum machine in 1966, which they followed with the Korg Mini Pops, which was developed as an option for the Yamaha Electone electric organ. Korg's Stageman and Mini Pops series were notable for "natural metallic percussion" sounds and incorporating controls for drum "breaks and fill-ins."
In 1967, Ace Tone founder Ikutaro Kakehashi patented a preset rhythm-pattern generator using diode matrix circuit similar to the Seeburg's prior U.S. Patent 3,358,068 filed in 1964 (See Drum machine#History), which he released as the FR-1 Rhythm Ace drum machine the same year. It offered 16 preset patterns, and four buttons to manually play each instrument sound (cymbal, claves, cowbell and bass drum). The rhythm patterns could also be cascaded together by pushing multiple rhythm buttons simultaneously, and the possible combination of rhythm patterns were more than a hundred. Ace Tone's Rhythm Ace drum machines found their way into popular music from the late 1960s, followed by Korg drum machines in the 1970s. Kakehashi later left Ace Tone and founded Roland Corporation in 1972, with Roland synthesizers and drum machines becoming highly influential for the next several decades. The company would go on to have a big impact on popular music, and do more to shape popular electronic music than any other company.
Turntablism has origins in the invention of direct-drive turntables. Early belt-drive turntables were unsuitable for turntablism, since they had a slow start-up time, and they were prone to wear-and-tear and breakage, as the belt would break from backspin or scratching. The first direct-drive turntable was invented by Shuichi Obata, an engineer at Matsushita (now Panasonic), based in Osaka, Japan. It eliminated belts, and instead employed a motor to directly drive a platter on which a vinyl record rests. In 1969, Matsushita released it as the SP-10, the first direct-drive turntable on the market, and the first in their influential Technics series of turntables. It was succeeded by the Technics SL-1100 and SL-1200 in the early 1970s, and they were widely adopted by hip hop musicians, with the SL-1200 remaining the most widely used turntable in DJ culture for several decades.
In Jamaica, a form of popular electronic music emerged in the 1960s, dub music, rooted in sound system culture. Dub music was pioneered by studio engineers, such as Sylvan Morris, King Tubby, Errol Thompson, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Scientist, producing reggae-influenced experimental music with electronic sound technology, in recording studios and at sound system parties. Their experiments included forms of tape-based composition comparable to aspects of musique concrète, an emphasis on repetitive rhythmic structures (often stripped of their harmonic elements) comparable to minimalism, the electronic manipulation of spatiality, the sonic electronic manipulation of pre-recorded musical materials from mass media, deejays toasting over pre-recorded music comparable to live electronic music, remixing music, turntablism, and the mixing and scratching of vinyl.
Despite the limited electronic equipment available to dub pioneers such as King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, their experiments in remix culture were musically cutting-edge. King Tubby, for example, was a sound system proprietor and electronics technician, whose small front-room studio in the Waterhouse ghetto of western Kingston was a key site of dub music creation.
In the late 1960s, pop and rock musicians, including the Beach Boys and the Beatles, began to use electronic instruments, like the theremin and Mellotron, to supplement and define their sound. In his book Electronic and Experimental Music, Thom Holmes recognises the Beatles' 1966 recording "Tomorrow Never Knows" as the song that "ushered in a new era in the use of electronic music in rock and pop music" due to the band's incorporation of tape loops and reversed and speed-manipulated tape sounds. By the end of the decade, the Moog synthesizer took a leading place in the sound of emerging progressive rock with bands including Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Genesis making them part of their sound. Gershon Kingsley's "Popcorn" was the first international electronic dance hit in 1969. Instrumental prog rock was particularly significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Can, and Faust to circumvent the language barrier. Their synthesiser-heavy "krautrock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy Music), would be a major influence on subsequent electronic rock.
Ambient dub was pioneered by King Tubby and other Jamaican sound artists, using DJ-inspired ambient electronics, complete with drop-outs, echo, equalization and psychedelic electronic effects. It featured layering techniques and incorporated elements of world music, deep basslines and harmonic sounds. Techniques such as a long echo delay were also used. Other notable artists within the genre include Dreadzone, Higher Intelligence Agency, The Orb, Ott, Loop Guru, Woob and Transglobal Underground.
Electronic rock was also produced by several Japanese musicians, including Isao Tomita's Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock (1972), which featured Moog synthesizer renditions of contemporary pop and rock songs, and Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974). The mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art music musicians such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and Tomita, who with Brian Eno were a significant influence on the development of new-age music.
Dub music influenced electronic musical techniques later adopted by hip hop music, when Jamaican immigrant DJ Kool Herc in the early 1970s introduced Jamaica's sound system culture and dub music techniques to America. One such technique that became popular in hip hop culture was playing two copies of the same record on two turntables in alternation, extending the b-dancers' favorite section. The turntable eventually went on to become the most visible electronic musical instrument, and occasionally the most virtuosic, in the 1980s and 1990s.
After the arrival of punk rock, a form of basic electronic rock emerged, increasingly using new digital technology to replace other instruments. Pioneering bands included Ultravox with their 1977 track "Hiroshima Mon Amour" on Ha!-Ha!-Ha!, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and The Human League. Yellow Magic Orchestra in particular helped pioneer synth-pop with their self-titled album (1978) and Solid State Survivor (1979). The definition of MIDI and the development of digital audio made the development of purely electronic sounds much easier. These developments led to the growth of synth-pop, which after it was adopted by the New Romantic movement, allowed synthesizers to dominate the pop and rock music of the early 80s. Key acts included Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, Talk Talk, Japan, and Eurythmics. Synth-pop sometimes used synthesizers to replace all other instruments, until the style began to fall from popularity in the mid-1980s.
Released in 1970 by Moog Music, the Mini-Moog was among the first widely available, portable and relatively affordable synthesizers. It became once the most widely used synthesizer at that time in both popular and electronic art music. Patrick Gleeson, playing live with Herbie Hancock in the beginning of the 1970s, pioneered the use of synthesizers in a touring context, where they were subject to stresses the early machines were not designed for.
In 1974, the WDR studio in Cologne acquired an EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer, which a number of composers used to produce notable electronic works—including Rolf Gehlhaar's Fünf deutsche Tänze (1975), Karlheinz Stockhausen's Sirius (1975–76), and John McGuire's Pulse Music III (1978).
In 1975, the Japanese company Yamaha licensed the algorithms for frequency modulation synthesis (FM synthesis) from John Chowning, who had experimented with it at Stanford University since 1971. Yamaha's engineers began adapting Chowning's algorithm for use in a digital synthesizer, adding improvements such as the "key scaling" method to avoid the introduction of distortion that normally occurred in analog systems during frequency modulation. However, the first commercial digital synthesizer to be released would be the Australian Fairlight company's Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) in 1979, as the first practical polyphonic digital synthesizer/sampler system.
In 1980, Yamaha eventually released the first FM digital synthesizer, the Yamaha GS-1, but at an expensive price. In 1983, Yamaha introduced the first stand-alone digital synthesizer, the DX7, which also used FM synthesis and would become one of the best-selling synthesizers of all time. The DX7 was known for its recognizable bright tonalities that was partly due to an overachieving sampling rate of 57 kHz.
Barry Vercoe describes one of his experiences with early computer sounds:
At IRCAM in Paris in 1982, flutist Larry Beauregard had connected his flute to DiGiugno's 4X audio processor, enabling real-time pitch-following. On a Guggenheim at the time, I extended this concept to real-time score-following with automatic synchronized accompaniment, and over the next two years Larry and I gave numerous demonstrations of the computer as a chamber musician, playing Handel flute sonatas, Boulez's Sonatine for flute and piano and by 1984 my own Synapse II for flute and computer—the first piece ever composed expressly for such a setup. A major challenge was finding the right software constructs to support highly sensitive and responsive accompaniment. All of this was pre-MIDI, but the results were impressive even though heavy doses of tempo rubato would continually surprise my Synthetic Performer. In 1985 we solved the tempo rubato problem by incorporating learning from rehearsals (each time you played this way the machine would get better). We were also now tracking violin, since our brilliant, young flautist had contracted a fatal cancer. Moreover, this version used a new standard called MIDI, and here I was ably assisted by former student Miller Puckette, whose initial concepts for this task he later expanded into a program called MAX.
IRCAM in Paris became a major center for computer music research and realization and development of the Sogitec 4X computer system, featuring then revolutionary real-time digital signal processing. Pierre Boulez's Répons (1981) for 24 musicians and 6 soloists used the 4X to transform and route soloists to a loudspeaker system.
STEIM is a center for research and development of new musical instruments in the electronic performing arts, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. STEIM has existed since 1969. It was founded by Misha Mengelberg, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Dick Raaymakers, Jan van Vlijmen, Reinbert de Leeuw, and Konrad Boehmer. This group of Dutch composers had fought for the reformation of Amsterdam's feudal music structures; they insisted on Bruno Maderna's appointment as musical director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and enforced the first public fundings for experimental and improvised electronic music in The Netherlands.
Elektronmusikstudion (EMS), formerly known as Electroacoustic Music in Sweden, is the Swedish national centre for electronic music and sound art. The research organisation started in 1964 and is based in Stockholm.
In 1980, a group of musicians and music merchants met to standardize an interface that new instruments could use to communicate control instructions with other instruments and computers. This standard was dubbed Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and resulted from a collaboration between leading manufacturers, initially Sequential Circuits, Oberheim, Roland—and later, other participants that included Yamaha, Korg, and Kawai. A paper was authored by Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits and proposed to the Audio Engineering Society in 1981. Then, in August 1983, the MIDI Specification 1.0 was finalized.
MIDI technology allows a single keystroke, control wheel motion, pedal movement, or command from a microcomputer to activate every device in the studio remotely and in synchrony, with each device responding according to conditions predetermined by the composer.
MIDI instruments and software made powerful control of sophisticated instruments easily affordable by many studios and individuals. Acoustic sounds became reintegrated into studios via sampling and sampled-ROM-based instruments.
Miller Puckette developed graphic signal-processing software for 4X called Max (after Max Mathews) and later ported it to Macintosh (with Dave Zicarelli extending it for Opcode) for real-time MIDI control, bringing algorithmic composition availability to most composers with modest computer programming background.
The early 1980s saw the rise of bass synthesizers, the most influential being the Roland TB-303, a bass synthesizer and sequencer released in late 1981 that later became a fixture in electronic dance music, particularly acid house. One of the first to use it was Charanjit Singh in 1982, though it wouldn't be popularized until Phuture's "Acid Tracks" in 1987. Music sequencers began being used around the mid 20th century, and Tomita's albums in mid-1970s being later examples. In 1978, Yellow Magic Orchestra were using computer-based technology in conjunction with a synthesiser to produce popular music, making their early use of the microprocessor-based Roland MC-8 Microcomposer sequencer.
Drum machines, also known as rhythm machines, also began being used around the late-1950s, with a later example being Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974), which used a rhythm machine along with electronic drums and a synthesizer. In 1977, Ultravox's "Hiroshima Mon Amour" was one of the first singles to use the metronome-like percussion of a Roland TR-77 drum machine. In 1980, Roland Corporation released the TR-808, one of the first and most popular programmable drum machines. The first band to use it was Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1980, and it would later gain widespread popularity with the release of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" in 1982. The TR-808 was a fundamental tool in the later Detroit techno scene of the late 1980s, and was the drum machine of choice for Derrick May and Juan Atkins.
The characteristic lo-fi sound of chip music was initially the result of early sound cards' technical limitations; however, the sound has since become sought after in its own right.
The trend has continued to the present day with modern nightclubs worldwide regularly playing electronic dance music (EDM). Today, electronic dance music has radio stations, websites, and publications like Mixmag dedicated solely to the genre. Moreover, the genre has found commercial and cultural significance in the United States and North America, thanks to the wildly popular big room house/EDM sound that has been incorporated into U.S. pop music and the rise of large-scale commercial raves such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland (festival) and Ultra Music Festival.
Other recent developments included the Tod Machover (MIT and IRCAM) composition Begin Again Again for "hypercello", an interactive system of sensors measuring physical movements of the cellist. Max Mathews developed the "Conductor" program for real-time tempo, dynamic and timbre control of a pre-input electronic score. Morton Subotnick released a multimedia CD-ROM All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis.
As computer technology has become more accessible and music software has advanced, interacting with music production technology is now possible using means that bear no relationship to traditional musical performance practices: for instance, laptop performance (laptronica), live coding and Algorave. In general, the term Live PA refers to any live performance of electronic music, whether with laptops, synthesizers, or other devices.
In the last decade, a number of software-based virtual studio environments have emerged, with products such as Propellerhead's Reason and Ableton Live finding popular appeal. Such tools provide viable and cost-effective alternatives to typical hardware-based production studios, and thanks to advances in microprocessor technology, it is now possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. Such advances have democratized music creation, leading to a massive increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the internet. Software based instruments and effect units (so called "plugins") can be incorporated in a computer-based studio using the VST platform. Some of these instruments are more or less exact replicas of existing hardware (such as the Roland D-50, ARP Odyssey, Yamaha DX7 or Korg M1). In many cases, these software-based instruments are sonically indistinguishable from their physical counterpart.
Artists can also individuate their production practice by creating personalized software synthesizers, effects modules, and various composition environments. Devices that once existed exclusively in the hardware domain can easily have virtual counterparts. Some of the more popular software tools for achieving such ends are commercial releases such as Max/Msp and Reaktor and open source packages such as Csound, Pure Data, SuperCollider, and ChucK.
Circuit bending is the creative customization of the circuits within electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and small digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators. Emphasizing spontaneity and randomness, the techniques of circuit bending have been commonly associated with noise music, though many more conventional contemporary musicians and musical groups have been known to experiment with "bent" instruments. Circuit bending usually involves dismantling the machine and adding components such as switches and potentiometers that alter the circuit. With the revived interest for analogue synthesizers, circuit bending became a cheap solution for many experimental musicians to create their own individual analogue sound generators. Nowadays many schematics can be found to build noise generators such as the Atari Punk Console or the Dub Siren as well as simple modifications for children toys such as the famous Speak & Spells that are often modified by circuit benders. Reed Ghazala has explored circuit bending with the Speak & Spell toy, and has held apprenticeships and workshops on circuit bending.
Following the circuit bending culture, musicians also began to build their own modular synthesizers, causing a renewed interest for the early 1960s designs. Eurorack became a popular system.
特許第一〇八六六四号, 同 第一一〇〇六八号, 同 第一一一二一六号
クロダオルガン株式会社（昭和３０年 [1955年]創業、２００７年に解散）は約５０年の歴史のあいだに自社製造のクロダトーン...の販売、設置をおこなってきましたが、[2007年]クロダオルガン株式会社廃業... [In English: Kuroda Organ Co., Ltd. (founded in 1955, dissolved in 2007) has been selling and installing its own manufactured Kurodatone ... during about 50 years of history, but [in 2007] the Croda Organ Closed business ...]
[JVC] Developed Japan's first electronic organ, 1958.
the development [and release] in 1959 of an all-transistor Electone electronic organ, first in a successful series of Yamaha electronic instruments. It was a milestone for Japan's music industry..
Acid house (also simply known as just "acid") is a subgenre of house music developed around the mid-1980s by DJs from Chicago. The style was defined primarily by the deep basslines and "squelching" sounds of the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer. Acid house spread to the United Kingdom and continental Europe, where it was played by DJs in the acid house and later rave scenes. By the late 1980s, acid house had moved into the British mainstream, where it had some influence on pop and dance styles.
Acid house brought house music to a worldwide audience. The influence of acid house can be heard on later styles of dance music including trance, breakbeat hardcore, jungle, big beat, techno and trip hop.Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit are an English electronic music band, formed in Cambridge in 2008. The band consists of members Grace Chatto, and brothers Jack and Luke Patterson. Many of their projects are known for blending elements of both classical and dance music, and featuring guest vocalists. Notable collaborators include Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Anne Marie, Sean Paul, Demi Lovato, Zara Larsson, Julia Michaels, Luis Fonsi and Marina and the Diamonds.
The band released their debut single "A+E" in 2012, followed by their 2013 single "Mozart's House", the latter of which reached number 17 on the UK Singles Chart. In January 2014, they scored their first UK chart topping single with "Rather Be", a collaboration with Jess Glynne. The song also reached number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2015, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The band's debut album New Eyes was released in June 2014 and has received a gold certification from the BPI. Their 2016 single "Rockabye", which features Jamaican artist Sean Paul and singer Anne-Marie, became their second number one hit in the UK and the Christmas number one single for 2016. The song became an international chart topper for the band, additionally charting at number nine in the US. "Symphony" featuring Zara Larsson became their third UK number one single in 2017. Their second album, What Is Love?, was released in November 2018. As of 2016, Clean Bandit have sold over 13 million singles and 1.6 million albums worldwide.Downtempo
Downtempo (sometimes used synonymously with "trip hop") is a genre of electronic music similar to ambient music, but with a greater emphasis on beats and a less "earthy" sound than trip hop.Drum and bass
Drum and bass (also written as "drum 'n' bass" or "drum & bass"; commonly abbreviated as "D&B", "DnB" or "D'n'B"), is a genre and branch of electronic music which emerged from rave and jungle scenes in Britain during the early 1990s. The style is often characterised by fast breakbeats (typically 160–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers.
The popularity of drum and bass at its commercial peak ran parallel to several other homegrown dance styles in the UK including big beat and hard house. Drum and bass incorporates a number of scenes and styles. A major influence on jungle and drum and bass was the original Jamaican dub and reggae sound. Another feature of the style is the complex syncopation of the drum tracks' breakbeat.Drum and bass subgenres include breakcore, ragga jungle, hardstep, darkstep, techstep, neurofunk, ambient drum and bass, liquid funk, jump up, deep, drumfunk, funkstep, sambass, dnbnoise, and drill 'n' bass. From its roots in the UK, the style has established itself around the world. Drum and bass has influenced many other genres like hip hop, big beat, dubstep, house, trip hop, ambient music, techno, jazz, rock and pop. Drum and bass is dominated by a relatively small group of record labels. The major international music labels had shown very little interest in the drum and bass scene, until BMG Rights Management acquired RAM in February 2016. Drum and bass remains most popular in the UK although it has developed scenes all around the world, in countries such as the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Greece, Canada, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Australia.Electroacoustic music
Electroacoustic music is a style of Western art music which originated around the middle of the 20th century, following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition to fixed media during the 20th century are associated with the activities of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at the ORTF in Paris, the home of musique concrète, the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) studio in Cologne, where the focus was on the composition of elektronische Musik, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City, where tape music, electronic music, and computer music were all explored. Practical electronic music instruments began to appear in the early 1900s.Electronic rock
Electronic rock is a broad music genre that involves a combination of rock music and electronic music, featuring instruments typically found within both genres. It originates from the late 1960s, when rock bands such as the Doors, Pink Floyd, Yes, and the Moody Blues began incorporating the Moog synthesizer into their sound. Sampling and tape manipulation would also become common with the genre. Electronic rock acts usually fuse elements from other music styles, including punk rock, industrial rock, hip hop, techno, and synth-pop, which has helped spur subgenres such as indietronica, dance-punk, and electroclash. Since the late 2000s, electronic rock has become increasingly popular.Electropop
Electropop is a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, electronic sound. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and influence since the 2000s.Krautrock
Krautrock (also called kosmische Musik, German: cosmic music) is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 1960s among bands drawing on diverse sources such as psychedelic rock, the avant-garde, electronic music, funk, minimalism, jazz improvisation, and world music styles. The term "krautrock" was coined by English-speaking music journalists in the early 1970s as a humorous umbrella label for the varied German scene. Largely divorced from the traditional blues and rock and roll influences of British and American rock music up to that time, the period contributed to the evolution of electronic and ambient music as well as the birth of post-punk, alternative rock and new-age music.LMFAO
LMFAO (an initialism for Laughing My Fucking Ass Off) was an American electronic dance music duo consisting of uncle Redfoo and nephew SkyBlu. They respectively are a son and grandson of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. RedFoo and SkyBlu grew up in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, where they formed the group LMFAO in 2006 and later became part of the electro house scene. LMFAO started building a local buzz through its shows and radio play. In 2010, they were featured on David Guetta's song "Gettin' Over You", which charted all over Europe and the United States, including reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart.
LMFAO are best known for their hit song "Party Rock Anthem", which reached #1 in the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. "Party Rock Anthem" also reached the top five in Italy and Norway and was the third best-selling digital single of 2011 with sales of 9.7 million copies worldwide. In September 2012, the duo announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus.List of electronic music festivals
The following is an incomplete list of music festivals that feature electronic music, which encapsulates music featuring electronic instruments such as electric guitar and keyboards, as well as recent genres such as electronic dance music (EDM). Many of the festivals in this list take place in the United States and Europe, though every year thousands of electronic-focused music festivals are held throughout the world. This list generally excludes multi-genre festivals with only a partial focus on electronic music (Glastonbury, Summer Sonic Festival, and Big Day Out) and festivals that have added EDM stages in later years. However, fusion festivals may be listed under individual subtopics of Category:Electronic music festivals by country.
Since the early 1900s there have been music festivals that featured electronic instruments, as electronic sounds were used in experimental music such as electroacoustic and tape music. The use of live electronic music greatly expanded in the 1950s, along with the use of electric guitar and bass. With the advent of new technologies in the 1960s, electronic genres such as electronic rock, electronic jazz, disco, computer music, synthpop, psychedelic rock and ambient music followed, with large free festivals showcasing the sounds into the 1970s. There has been a significant change in the capabilities of amplifiers, sequencers, and mixing synthesizers since 1980, as well as computers and digital audio workstations. This has given electronic musicians and DJs the ability to mix elaborate and complicated music in forms such as techno, electronica, trap, trance, house, and industrial, all of which have large festivals, raves, technoparades, algoraves, doofs, or teknivals in their sole dedication.List of electronic music genres
This is a list of electronic music genres, consisting of genres of electronic music, primarily created with electronic musical instruments or electronic music technology. A distinction has been made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar. Purely electronic sound production can be achieved using devices such as the Theremin, sound synthesizer, and computer. Genre however is not always dependent on instrumentation.
In its early development electronic music was associated almost exclusively with Western art music, but from the late 1960s on the availability of affordable music technology, particularly of synthesizers, meant that music produced using electronic means became increasingly common in the popular domain of rock and pop music, resulting in major electronically based subgenres. After the definition of MIDI in 1982 and the development of digital audio, the creation of purely electronic sounds and their manipulation became much simpler. As a result, synthesizers came to dominate the pop music of the early 1980s. In the late 1980s, electronic dance music (EDM) records made using only electronic instruments became increasingly popular, resulting in a proliferation of electronic genres, subgenres and scenes. In the new millennium, as computer technology became even more accessible and music software advanced, interacting with music production technology made it possible to create music that has some similarities and some differences to traditional musical performance practices, leading to further developments and rapidly evolving subgenres.List of industrial music festivals
The following is an incomplete list of industrial music festivals, which encapsulates music festivals focused on industrial music. The list may have some overlap with list of electronic music festivals, list of gothic festivals, and list of heavy metal festivals. Industrial music is a genre of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s, and precursors included acts such as electronic group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts such as The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, and composers such as John Cage. AllMusic defines industrial as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music"; "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation".Notable hybrid genres are industrial rock from the late 1970s and industrial metal from the 1980s, while electro-industrial developed in the late 1980s. Because of its genre fluidity, industrial music may be featured at rock festivals, heavy metal festivals, goth festivals, and electronic music festivals, though there are also festivals dedicated solely to industrial music. In North America in particular, electro-industrial music is often termed industrial dance, and since the late 1980s industrial music festivals often attract industrial fans termed rivetheads or cybergoths, with other countercultures such as cyberpunk and goth appearing as well. Cybergoth dance styles include rave dance styles, while more rock-focused festivals may feature dance styles such as pogoing, headbanging, and moshing. The rivethead dress code that emerged in the late 1980s is militaristic with hints of punk aesthetics and fetish fashion, while cybergoth fashion from the late 1990s combines rivethead industrial aesthetics with a style associated with "gravers" (gothic ravers).Live electronic music
Live electronic music (also known as live electronics) is a form of music that can include traditional electronic sound-generating devices, modified electric musical instruments, hacked sound generating technologies, and computers. Initially the practice developed in reaction to sound-based composition for fixed media such as musique concrète, electronic music and early computer music. Musical improvisation often plays a large role in the performance of this music. The timbres of various sounds may be transformed extensively using devices such as amplifiers, filters, ring modulators and other forms of circuitry (Sutherland 1994, 157). Real-time generation and manipulation of audio using live coding is now commonplace.Melbourne shuffle
The Melbourne shuffle is a rave dance that developed in the 1980's. Typically performed to electronic music, the dance was popular in the 1980's and 1990's Melbourne rave scene, where the dance originated. The dance moves involve a fast heel-and-toe movement or T-Step, combined with a variation of the running man coupled with a matching arm action. The dance is improvised and involves "repeatedly shuffling your feet inwards, then outwards, while thrusting your arms up and down, or side to side, in time with the beat". Other moves can be incorporated including 360-degree spins and jumps and slides.Popular Melbourne clubs during the dance's heyday included Chasers, Heat, Mercury Lounge, Viper, Two Tribes and PHD.Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo (harpsichord and cello) and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families (such as piano, strings, and wind instruments) or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles (e.g., string quartet) or wind ensembles (e.g., wind quintet). Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
In jazz ensembles or combos, the instruments typically include wind instruments (one or more saxophones, trumpets, etc.), one or two chordal "comping" instruments (electric guitar, piano, or Hammond organ), a bass instrument (bass guitar or double bass), and a drummer or percussionist. Jazz ensembles may be solely instrumental, or they may consist of a group of instruments accompanying one or more singers. In rock and pop ensembles, usually called rock bands or pop bands, there are usually guitars and keyboards (piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer, etc.), one or more singers, and a rhythm section made up of a bass guitar and drum kit.
Music ensembles typically have a leader. In jazz bands, rock and pop groups and similar ensembles, this is the band leader. In classical music, orchestras, concert bands and choirs are led by a conductor. In orchestra, the concertmaster (principal first violin player) is the instrumentalist leader of the orchestra. In orchestras, the individual sections also have leaders, typically called the "principal" of the section (e.g., the leader of the viola section is called the "principal viola"). Conductors are also used in jazz big bands and in some very large rock or pop ensembles (e.g., a rock concert that includes a string section, a horn section and a choir which are accompanying a rock band's performance).Nu jazz
Nu jazz, also known as jazztronica, is a genre of jazz and electronic music. The term was coined in the late 1990s to refer to music that blends jazz elements with other musical styles, such as funk, soul, electronic music, and free improvisation.Programming (music)
Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices and computer software, such as sequencers and workstations, to generate sounds of musical instruments. Programming is used in most electronic music and hip hop music since the 1990s. It is also frequently used in "modern" pop and rock music from various regions of the world, and sometimes in jazz and contemporary classical music.The Prodigy
The Prodigy are an English electronic music band from Braintree, Essex, formed in 1990 by keyboardist and songwriter Liam Howlett. The line-up of the band has included MC and vocalist Maxim, dancer and vocalist Keith Flint (until his death in March 2019), dancer and live keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill (who left to pursue a solo career in 1999), and dancer and vocalist Sharky (1990-1991). Along with the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy are credited as pioneers of the breakbeat-influenced genre big beat, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s. Howlett's rock inspired drum rhythms infused with electronic rave music beats/breaks were combined with Maxim's omnipresent mystique, Thornhill's shuffle dancing style and Flint's modern punk appearance.The Prodigy first emerged in the underground rave scene in the early 1990s and achieved popularity and worldwide recognition with UK number one singles such as "Firestarter" and "Breathe", both singles coming from their UK and US chart topping album The Fat of the Land (1997). A third single from the album, “Smack My Bitch Up”, was also successful. They earned titles like "the premiere dance act for the alternative masses" and "the Godfathers of Rave", and remain one of the most successful electronic acts of all time. They have sold an estimated 25 million records worldwide, and won numerous music awards during their career, including two Brit Awards for Best British Dance Act, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Kerrang! Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards, and received two Grammy Award nominations.Trance music
Trance is a genre of electronic music that emerged from the British new-age music scene and the early 1990s German techno and hardcore scenes. At the same time trance music was developing in Europe, the genre was also gathering a following in the Indian state of Goa.Trance music is characterized by a tempo lying between 110–150 bpm (BPM), repeating melodic phrases, and a musical form that distinctly builds tension and elements throughout a track often culminating in 1 to 2 "peaks" or "drops". Although trance is a genre of its own, it liberally incorporates influences from other musical styles such as techno, house, pop, chill-out, classical music, tech house, ambient, and film music.A trance is a state of hypnotism and heightened consciousness. This is portrayed in trance music by the mixing of layers with distinctly foreshadowed build-up and release. A common characteristic of trance music is a mid-song climax followed by a soft breakdown disposing of beats and percussion entirely, leaving the melody or atmospherics to stand alone for an extended period before gradually building up again. Trance tracks are often lengthy to allow for such progression and commonly have sufficiently sparse opening and closing sections to facilitate mixing by DJs.Trance is mostly instrumental, although vocals can be mixed in: typically they are performed by mezzo-soprano to soprano female soloists, often without a traditional verse/chorus structure. Structured vocal form in trance music forms the basis of the vocal trance subgenre, which has been described as "grand, soaring, and operatic" and "ethereal female leads floating amongst the synths". However, male singers, such as Jonathan Mendelsohn, are also featured.
Electronic and electroacoustic music
decade of origin