What is 'electronic music?

thx, :satellite: it’s cool to be able to digitally discuss these important ideas…


from a related thread >

http://llllllll.co/t/time-signatures-in-electronic-music/3828/106

'kids with grids

'…another summer, sound of the funky drummer

four tet and steve reid

recording tape at 'the village 1975

Here’s an attempt: music made with instruments that use circuits to provide abstractions for sound and musical manipulation.

I’ll probably think that’s totally wrong and have a completely different idea in a couple of hours.

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I’ll take a stab:

Music that utilizes the manipulation of electrical impulses as opposed to manipulation of acoustical devices as the basis for the overall sound.

… I think the underlying theme here could end up being what is being manipulated. This fits my own concept that an electric guitar is still fundamentally an acoustic instrument, in my view. Although, an alternative definition could be much less technical: composed sound derived from mostly synthesized sources as opposed to acoustic instruments.

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in all seriousness: ( if not helpfulness )

its: whatever an electronic musician says it is…
or is kit… ?

not to take away from the question… its an interesting question.

with mention to the history of set drumming

I thought I’d share a link to avenaim’s sarps project…

I don’t know if this is electronic music necessarily… ?

really dig the way this setup " interprets " patterns on the fly.
Its well worth watching a few of avenaims vids -more varied than you might imagine… the clockwork ep with oren ambachi was at the time I first heard it pretty freak amazing. ( first abstract noise scape type record I’d heard on a stereo… )

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recording tape at 'the village 1975


is it electronic music because it’s curtis roads?
is it electronic music because he used punchcard code to make the sounds with a computer?
is it acoustic music because he recorded it/plays it back on analogue reel to reel tape?
is it electronic music because we’re hearing it digitally over the internet via youtube?
is it acoustic music because our ears hear analogue which the headphones/speakers translate?

'a moebius loop of authenticity -@jasonw22

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analog/digital
acoustic/electronic

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thank you @jasonw22
there is no argument, by definition acoustic music is not electronic/electric
and yet…


entertainment

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I think my interest in defining it comes from wanting to blur/bend/break the definitions. Cross-pollination makes for healthy hybrids.

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quantised/unquantised should get a look in…

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[quote=“abalone, post:6, topic:4123”]
is it electronic music because it’s curtis roads?[/quote] no

[quote=“abalone, post:6, topic:4123”]is it electronic music because he used punchcard code to make the sounds with a computer?[/quote] yeah

[quote=“abalone, post:6, topic:4123”]is it acoustic music because he recorded it/plays it back on analogue reel to reel tape?[/quote] possibly

[quote=“abalone, post:6, topic:4123”]is it electronic music because we’re hearing it digitally over the internet via youtube?[/quote] in my opinion, yes

[quote=“abalone, post:6, topic:4123”]is it acoustic music because our ears hear analogue which the headphones/speakers translate?[/quote] no

i have nothing significant to add to the discussion because my feeling on this topic could be viewed as somewhat dismissive

perhaps i’m being psychologically lazy but if you are not in a room hearing unadulterated/unamplified air pressure…it’s electronic

i understand the need to distinguish the difference in early days of recording and for the sake of marketing commercial releases but it seems unnecessary today

if the distinction matters at all it is to us: as artists how we approach our chosen tools, how we tackle composition, and how we promote our work varies in relation to this distinction (or the perceived blurring of these lines)

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Yeah, my only ongoing/perennial interest in this is on the level of “what is possible?” and “how does it work?”

But on another (probably more fundamental) level, it’s all music. And the thing in common with all of it are the ears and minds listening to it. Physiologically we’re all more or less the same (barring disabilities or unique superpowers), and that translates to fairly universal potential for comprehending variations in music theory, regardless of acoustic/electronic/analog/digital/quantized/unquantized. It’s all just music.

Culturally we’re different, but that’s precisely the thing I seek to cross-pollinate. Much of the music in “latest tracks/videos” or “what are you listening to” resists genre classification. I love that.

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thank you @glia
imho, you add to the discussion

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Music heard through loudspeakers? Isn’t MOST of the music we hear these days “electronic”, even if it’s Louis Armstrong or John Dowland (I am remembering something here from R Murray Schafer about Schizophonia) ?? For myself though, I think of the music that I make as “electronic” when I am not trying to simulate drums or guitar or the wind in the trees but dealing with the electronically-generated sound itself as a ding an sich. But it seems to have become a “genre”. I find it very interesting to read what people think about this.

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well now that my mind kicks into gear

it does matter to me quite a bit more than i’m willing to admit and i think i try to suppress the feeling . on one hand i flippantly describe all sound as identical despite awareness of common distinctions (sidenote: unclassifiable duality might just be inherent to sound as a phenomena . showing properties of both waves and particles is the most fundemental example)

anyway i’ve grown to prefer music that is easily/obviously classified as electronic

it goes back to a quote regarding videogames (regarding a wellmade game that celebrated the limits and POSSIBILITIES within the medium)

i think artists who make prominent use of electronics don’t always celebrate the features and possibilities of the tools exclusive to the electronic world . the pattern arrangements and sonics that are less likely to crop up outside of our realm

in that sense the music ends up crafted like a game based on hollywood IP rather than purpose built from the ground up for it’s intended platform

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We do suffer from the ills of automation. What seems “easier” equates to a loss of muscle memory, and with loss of muscle memory we miss out on expressive possibility. Unexamined automation inevitably leads to tropes. I’m always looking for ways to get my arms and legs (not just my fingers and brain) back into electronic music, so that I can use the vast universe of timbre that electronics open up, without losing the “feel” that comes from making use of the body while playing.

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thx, this is fun :slight_smile:

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this touches on part of my question which sparked this thread

i consider that amazing album conclusively electronic but does the fact that the whole band isnt electric cause others to exclude them?

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How about something like Aphex Twin’s “Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments”? To me that’s definitely electronic music.

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[quote=“jasonw22, post:16, topic:4123”]
Unexamined automation inevitably leads to tropes. I’m always looking for ways to get my arms and legs (not just my fingers and brain) back into electronic music, so that I can use the vast universe of timbre that electronics
[/quote]hmm

i respectfully disagree but acknowledge my past agreement with this sentiment . it is what led me to monomes as controllers and physical mixers/fx as primary tools

please don’t take this as judgement or an indictment of you but in my case i wish i had spent the time building confidence in my mind/intellect with regard to music rather than trusting body/instinct

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I was kind of wondering with that album whether the instruments are really played mechanically, or in fact the technique is mostly disguised sampling? Good excuse to give it another listen!

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