electronic


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production, an electronic musician being a musician who composes and/or performs such music. In general a distinction can be 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. 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 previously not been considered musical. During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were composed. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sound and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music: musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds, while music produced solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was also created in the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers for the purpose of composing music. Algorithmic composition was first demonstrated in Australia in 1951. In America and Europe, live electronics were pioneered in the early 1960s. In the 1970s to early 1980s, the Mini-Moog became the most widely used synthesizer in both popular and electronic art music. In 1980, a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), and Yamaha released the first FM digital synthesizer. Electronic music, became increasingly common in the popular domain starting in the late 1960s because of the advent of affordable music technology. Today electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music.