The beginnings of electronica as a music genre started when technological advancements in music instruments such as the introduction of electronic-based instruments and sound synthesizers in the music scene (Collins 87; Mickley)…
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Electronica Music and Its Impact on the Music Industry
Ultimately, within a span of a decade the elements comprising the original electronica genre were reborn within the recent music scene itself, as it became infused with other popular genres such as hip-hop, rap, rock, and dance music (Bogdanov 634). This helped the next generation of audiences in appreciating electronica’s legacy as one of the earliest predecessors of contemporary music today. The Historical Background of Electronica as a Musical Genre Electronica was originally used around the 1950’s in Hollywood movies for background music, in order to emphasize on the emotions of the characters being portrayed (Collins 78). Influenced by classical music, electronica became a mood-maker in cinema, implying the character’s detachment from reality. It was also borne out of a cultural purpose of widening and increasing what is considered to be musical sounds (Dunn 2). In later years there was an increase in the frequency of electronica played outside the movie industry, and in the late 1960’s Europe electronica can be heard in the radiowaves, most notably in Germany (Keith). The avant-garde music scene along with the movies gave way to electronica becoming a futuristic and space-themed music (Dunn 14; Reynolds).
Some of the known composers of early electronica include William S. Burroughs, Klaus Schulze, and Walter Carlos (Keith; Reynolds). They usually worked together with performers to create a distinct sound for each one. Some of the performers of early electronica that collaborated with these early composers and became well-known were Tangerine Dream, Tomita, Can, Faust and Neu!, King Crimson, and ELP (Keith; Reynolds). These early performers became known due to their strong resolve in making distinct, wild, and original sounds that use nearly everything from home-made gadgets to large, modular synthesizers. As the genre grew, there were also important changes in electronica such as its beginnings of being trickled slowly with traditional instruments (Collins 137). Gradually there became an acceptance of a wide variety of electronic instruments included with other non-electronic ones, and has now became staples in commonly-heard music (Dunn 6). This also allowed the increased use of electronic music instruments in the growing disco scene of the 1970’s (Mickley). Electronica rapidly evolved due to the vast leaps in technological advancement (Dunn 8). As a result, there came a wide availability of electronically-based instruments such as synthesizers and analogs that can alter the sounds produced, and the arrival of other electronic-based instruments such as keyboards and guitars. There was also an increased acceptability of electronica amongst listeners, leading to the development of important genres from electronica (Bogdanov 14). These include music that have a greater focus on accompaniment instead of vocals such as electronic dance music (EDM), funky beats, dance-pop, techno, and experimental rock. The Cultural Background of Electronica Most of the original listeners and audiences of electronica were late teens to people in their early 30’s, people from middle or working class and with near-equal mix of genders appreciating it(Campbell 323).Countries that allowed the proliferation of
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