Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Electronic Music

Rate this topic


crizon
 Share

Recommended Posts

To be honest, the only songs on the OP's post that didn't bore me were the Wax Tailor ones, and that's because the rapping gave my mind something to focus on while the music was playing.

If those are good representations of Electronica, then I don't think I can possibly be interested in the genre. There's just not enough there to keep it interesting for me. (Just being honest with ya, don't mean to be mean.)

I actually used to have techno as my favorite genre. But then I discovered the amazing uplifting feeling that trance gives, and thus far, trance has been my favorite genre since. (As long as it's good trance anyway.)

Egosum, I actually did like the song you posted just now. I actually kinda like hardstyle, though I like some things about it and slightly dislike some things about it. I think it's that hard beat that most hardstyle songs tend to have in common.

I'll give a few examples of the kind of music I like, since we've got a whole topic going about electronic music now. The OP seemed to think lowly of trance, so I wonder if he's heard any good trance yet. :P

(Know this though, you'll want to listen to each of them more than a third of the way through to give them a fair listen.)

Flütlicht - The Fall

DJ Tiesto - Heroes

I like techno and trance because they're relatively complex genres of music. There's enough to them to keep my mind focused on the music, and either genre can get me "moving", as in tapping my foot or even dancing if the opportunity presents itself. On top of that, the emotions I experience from trance are usually very uplifting and just... amazing in ways I'm not sure how to describe. Trance expresses a really good sense of life for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many people on this thread have labeled electronic music as "complex", yet they don't substantiate that claim in any way. All I read is that the music is "genius", it is "complex" yet I can't think of any particular reason why. The essence of this music, it seems to me, is repetition. Rhythms, melodies (if you can call them that), harmonies, and musical structures are repeated over and over and over again. Perhaps there is layering involved of one repetitive structure over another, yet that doesn't seem to be a formula for complexity.

In short, what I see in electronic music is monotony and predictability. I listen to about two minutes of a song and I am bored. Can anyone give me a reason why this music is so great that involves some sort of analysis of their musical elements and structure rather than a single adjective?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, when I say complex, I pretty much mean there's a lot going on. Predictable-ness in songs kinda bores me too. I'd like to think the songs I like aren't really all that predictable. But maybe the "complexity" generated by certain layerings is what gets me, I dunno.

I imagine your statement is probably a blanket statement about the whole mother genre of electronic music. I'm curious, did you listen to the songs I linked? And if so, all the way through? The first two minutes of many good electronic songs isn't going to get you anywhere if you're trying to judge the song as a whole. (Though slow starts may be a prevalent weakness for the general rave genres.)

If you want specific starting points on the three example songs I listed, here you go. I admit, these start quite slow and repetitive, and get better at about these points.

Flütlicht - The Fall: 3:50

DJ Toxic - It's Killing Me: 3:08 (This skips a lot of repetitive stuff, but also skips over a buildup and straight to what I believe is a really amazing breakdown, as far as the emotion it elicits from me.)

DJ Tiesto - Heroes: If you have patience, you can skip ahead to 2:15. The initial repetitive-ness ends and some goodness starts, but that part can get a little repetitive too. (So descriptive of me, sorry.) But it really gets good at 3:55.

For the most part, the emotions a song makes me feel is more important than the complexity of a song. But if there is audibly "more going on", it holds my attention easier.

Edited by Amaroq
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In short, what I see in electronic music is monotony and predictability. I listen to about two minutes of a song and I am bored. Can anyone give me a reason why this music is so great that involves some sort of analysis of their musical elements and structure rather than a single adjective?

Nope. Makes my ears bleed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hrmmm, this is a tough question to answer. Yes, because of the beat driven nature of many electronic songs, there is a degree of repetition (and there are a great many songs that are terrible due to being overly repetitious). The key, for those songs that are truly good, is finding a way to utilize the various loops within the song to slowly evoke change, kinda like a slowly unfolding story. At least that's what I look for in the songs I select.

For reference, I recommend Vibrasphere to check out. Also, like any genre, electronica has heaps of terrible music available to offend your ears. Especially considering much of an umbrella term 'electronica' is, don't take any one song to be indicative of the genre as a whole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In short, what I see in electronic music is monotony and predictability. I listen to about two minutes of a song and I am bored. Can anyone give me a reason why this music is so great that involves some sort of analysis of their musical elements and structure rather than a single adjective?

Electronic music is an enormous category. You're saying that an entire performance medium draws monotonous and predictable results, which is beyond unreasonable. Would you ever come to the same conclusion that all guitar music is monotonous and predictable? How about trumpet music? Or solo violin music?

There is a lot of boring, monotonous, and predictable electronic music - just as most music is on all types of instruments.

One thing about computer-produced music is that it can derive timbrel and spatial results that are unrivaled by acoustic instruments. This allows the composer to see through their unique vision in a much more unlimited manner. If you want to amplify synthetically-produced partials on a violin, for example, and then time-stretch them to fit a two-minute sound window -- well, you can easily do that. Show me how a composer would accomplish this feat otherwise.

However, even more important is the electronic music continuum's constant creations of better, more sophisticated, and more sonically-unique impulse convolutions (reverbs, delays, and the general resultant "sound room" that these techniques produce). I think that most connoisseurs of electronic music are largely drawn to the new and innovative forms of digital signal processing that can further enhance the sound worlds these pieces of music live in.

Of course, the best way to understand music is to listen to it, so asking for justification on a message board will do you little good. Check out

for his haunting electro-acoustic textures; the Alva Noto + Ryuchi Sakamoto compositional collaborations for their beautiful, space-age live piano music manipulations; and Hildur Gudnadottir for her moody, mentally-manipulative works for cello and electronics.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos on a computer, would they be any less enjoyable?

I ask this question because modern technology allows for such amazing music to be composed without composers ever meeting a single musician.

If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos on a computer, it would only indicate that he did that as opposed to writing it free-hand. If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos for a computer (which is what I think you meant to ask) then it would probably not only sound bad - the score wouldn't make any sense. What would a computer do with a sustain notation, for example? How would Rach 3 be performed if a computer's only tempo indication is Allegro ma non troppo?

Rachmaninoff intended for the work to be interpreted, not played back with machine-like precision. At the moment, a computer cannot intelligently "interpret" music - it can only create the illusion that it is interpreting a score.

Also, though computers are remarkably close to modeling a perfect-sounding Steinway piano, they aren't there quite yet. So why this would be the method for performing a Rachmaninoff work would be beyond me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos on a computer, it would only indicate that he did that as opposed to writing it free-hand. If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos for a computer (which is what I think you meant to ask) then it would probably not only sound bad - the score wouldn't make any sense. What would a computer do with a sustain notation, for example? How would Rach 3 be performed if a computer's only tempo indication is Allegro ma non troppo?

Rachmaninoff intended for the work to be interpreted, not played back with machine-like precision. At the moment, a computer cannot intelligently "interpret" music - it can only create the illusion that it is interpreting a score.

Also, though computers are remarkably close to modeling a perfect-sounding Steinway piano, they aren't there quite yet. So why this would be the method for performing a Rachmaninoff work would be beyond me.

If a piece of music is composed for the computer, interpretation by the computer isn't necessary. All that is necessary is interpretation of the composer. A song written for the computer can be related to a traditional live performance that is recorded and sold. It's an interpretation, but it's only one interpretation. And if you buy that recording and only that recording, it's the only interpretation. Your argument fits a situation where the computer is doing both the composing and the playing. In that case, I agree with you completely., but that isn't what I was referring to
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a piece of music is composed for the computer, interpretation by the computer isn't necessary. All that is necessary is interpretation of the composer. A song written for the computer can be related to a traditional live performance that is recorded and sold. It's an interpretation, but it's only one interpretation. And if you buy that recording and only that recording, it's the only interpretation. Your argument fits a situation where the computer is doing both the composing and the playing. In that case, I agree with you completely., but that isn't what I was referring to

What? How can a computer compose music? It has no volition. It must be told what to do. I'm an electronic composer - the computer is not the composer, I am.

Depending upon the musical processes implemented in an electronic piece, there could easily be computer-based interpretation. That's not up for argument whatsoever.

What were you referring to, then?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What? How can a computer compose music? It has no volition. It must be told what to do. I'm an electronic composer - the computer is not the composer, I am.

Depending upon the musical processes implemented in an electronic piece, there could easily be computer-based interpretation. That's not up for argument whatsoever.

What were you referring to, then?

I think you should re-read what I posted.

In your post that I originally replied to, you argued that:

Rachmaninoff intended for the work to be interpreted, not played back with machine-like precision. At the moment, a computer cannot intelligently "interpret" music - it can only create the illusion that it is interpreting a score.

And my reply amounted to "that has nothing to do with anything we are talking about." A computer doesn't need to interpret. If I am a composer, I only have to program my interpretation of the music that is to be played back by the computer.

Edited by Alexandros
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And my reply amounted to "that has nothing to do with anything we are talking about." A computer doesn't need to interpret. If I am a composer, I only have to program my interpretation of the music that is to be played back by the computer.

I still honestly have no idea what you're asking. You wrote: If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos on a computer, would they be any less enjoyable? I have no idea what you're getting at, because obviously the process is not important to the listener's enjoyment of the work. Whether he decided to write the whole thing in his head, or on score paper, or on a computer, is not relevant to the musical quality of the work.

Anyway, if you're a composer, you have to first decide the type of performance you want the performers to give. It all depends on the composition. I cited Rach 3 as an example - no computer can actually interpret what Allegro ma non Troppo means other than picking an arbitrary tempo or a fluctuation of tempo within that range. So if the piece were written to be interpreted - as opposed to playing back as perfectly and mathematically-consistent as possible (i.e. the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen) - then a computer would be a poor choice. I also mentioned the computer's inability to synthesize a piano well, and truly no good piece of music should be played by a computer without its synthesis process being as precisely within the composer's intent as possible. So, in the case of Rach 3, the computer would be a poor performance choice because the piano is a much better-sounding piano than a computer.

Composers do not program "interpretations" for computers, they program compositions for computers. Sometimes that can involve generative modulation of synthesis parameters - in which case, that's not interpretation, but rather non-linear adaptivity. If you want to write a piece of music for a computer to "interpret" you will probably find the next millennium a more appropriate time to compose your magnum opus. For the meantime, you'll probably have to find a different technique to utilize for computer music, because machine listening/learning techniques are in their infancy presently.

Edited by Andrew Grathwohl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aphex Twin. Nuff said. :P

One of his craziest ones, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIeA2ct5Sew, was made with a single recording of a ball bearing bouncing off a metal surface. The name is a reference to the horse tamed by Alexander the Great.

And the same guy made

and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBFXJw7n-fU. Edited by brian0918
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos on a computer, it would only indicate that he did that as opposed to writing it free-hand. If Rachmaninoff composed his piano concertos for a computer (which is what I think you meant to ask) then it would probably not only sound bad - the score wouldn't make any sense. What would a computer do with a sustain notation, for example? How would Rach 3 be performed if a computer's only tempo indication is Allegro ma non troppo?

Rachmaninoff intended for the work to be interpreted, not played back with machine-like precision. At the moment, a computer cannot intelligently "interpret" music - it can only create the illusion that it is interpreting a score.

Also, though computers are remarkably close to modeling a perfect-sounding Steinway piano, they aren't there quite yet. So why this would be the method for performing a Rachmaninoff work would be beyond me.

Wait... what? I think you completely misunderstood what Alexandros was trying to say.

Let me try to rephrase his post how he probably meant it.

If Rachmaninoff had created a piece of electronic music instead of piano music, would it be boring, repetitive, or monotonous as you claim electronic music is by default?

It isn't the medium that makes the music. It's the artist creating the music. A good artist would create excellent music whether it were traditional or electronic. Therefore you can't discount all electronic music. (Might I add, for the same reason you can't discount digital art.)

brian0908: Aphex Twin also made the music for this. :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3far9oHZOsI

I hear it's best when you watch it alone, in the dark. So turn out your lights and go into your room by yourself before you start it up.

Edited by Amaroq
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Rachmaninoff had created a piece of electronic music instead of piano music, would it be boring, repetitive, or monotonous as you claim electronic music is by default?

I'm a composer of electronic music, so I don't know where you're getting the idea that I think that about electronic music. What I said earlier was simply a point I was making - that point being that there are boring and monotonous pieces of music within all genres of music, so why focus all of the negativity on the electronic medium?

Aphex Twin has made among the most original and innovative electronic music pieces of the past few decades. I highly support that recommendation...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...