Essay on Musical Instruments

Students are often asked to write an essay on Musical Instruments in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

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100 Words Essay on Musical Instruments

What are musical instruments.

Musical instruments are tools that make sounds. People play them to create music. Some are old, like drums and flutes, and some are new, like electronic keyboards. Instruments can be simple, like a shaker, or complex, like a piano.

Types of Instruments

There are many kinds of instruments. They are often grouped by how they make sound. String instruments use strings, wind instruments need air, and percussion instruments make noise when hit. Keyboard and electronic instruments are also popular.

Learning to Play

Playing an instrument takes practice. Many start learning at school or with a teacher. It’s fun and can be a hobby or a job. Playing music helps with learning and brings joy.

Instruments in Culture

Instruments are important in culture. They are used in celebrations, religious events, and for entertainment. Each country has unique instruments that make their music special. Instruments help keep traditions alive.

Musical instruments are a key part of human life. They bring people together and let them express feelings through music. Learning about instruments teaches us about history, culture, and art.

250 Words Essay on Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are tools that people use to create music. Just like a painter uses a brush to paint pictures, musicians use instruments to make sounds. There are many kinds of musical instruments, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small enough to fit in your pocket, like a harmonica, while others are so big they fill up a whole room, like a pipe organ.

Types of Musical Instruments

Instruments are often grouped by how they make sound. String instruments, like guitars and violins, have strings that you pluck or bow to make music. Wind instruments, such as flutes and trumpets, need air blown into them. Percussion instruments, like drums and tambourines, make sounds when you hit them. Finally, keyboard instruments, like pianos and electronic keyboards, have keys that you press to create notes.

Playing an instrument takes practice. At first, it might be tough to make a nice sound, but with time, you can learn to play songs. Some people take lessons with a teacher, while others teach themselves. Playing an instrument can be a fun hobby and a great way to express yourself.

Music Brings Us Together

Music is a language that everyone can understand, and instruments are the tools we use to speak that language. They help us to share our feelings, celebrate, and come together. Whether in a big concert or a small gathering at home, musical instruments add joy and excitement to our lives.

500 Words Essay on Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are tools that people use to make music. Just like a painter uses a brush to paint pictures, musicians use instruments to create sounds. There are many kinds of musical instruments, and each one can make different noises. Some are played by hitting them, like drums. Others are played by blowing air through them, like flutes. There are also instruments that make sound when you pull strings, like guitars.

Learning to Play an Instrument

Playing an instrument can be fun, but it also takes practice. When you learn, you start with simple notes and rhythms. As you get better, you can play harder pieces of music. Many schools have music classes where students can learn to play. Some kids also take lessons outside of school from a music teacher. It’s important to practice regularly if you want to improve.

The History of Musical Instruments

Musical instruments have been around for a very long time. Thousands of years ago, people made instruments from natural materials like wood, bone, and stone. Over time, as people learned more about music and making things, instruments became more complex. For example, early flutes were just hollow tubes, but now they have keys and parts that make them easier to play and sound better.

Musical Instruments Around the World

The role of instruments in music.

Instruments add beauty and feeling to music. They can be loud or soft, high or low. When many instruments play together, like in an orchestra, they can make a big, rich sound. Each instrument has its own part, but when they all play together, it’s like they’re having a conversation in the language of music.

Musical instruments are a big part of what makes music so wonderful. They come in all shapes and sizes and can make all kinds of sounds. Learning to play an instrument is a skill that can bring a lot of joy. Whether it’s the beating of a drum or the melody from a violin, instruments help us tell stories and express feelings through music.

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The history and evolution of electronic music

  • 25 July 2022, Monday

Characteristics of electronic music

The history of electronic music, late 19th- and early 20th century, tape recorders in 1940s and 1950s, development of electronic studios, musique concrète, elektronische musik, american electronic music scene, the influence of japanese instruments, late 1960s to early 1980s, late 1980s to 1990s, electronic music in 2000s, 2010s and today.

After experiencing a financial fallout in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global electronic music industry is enjoying a revival after the return of live performances. At the end of 2023, the industry’s value topped $11.8 billion, with EDM musicians being among the most in-demand creators. This guide is dedicated to the history of electronic music, its defining characteristics, and some of the most significant artists of one of the broadest and most diverse genres of music.

Electronic music can be characterized as a genre of music that is created and produced by using electronic and electromechanical instruments, various digital instruments, or so-called circuitry-based music technology. Electronic music instruments include an electronic oscillator, theremin, or a synthesizer while electromechanical gear encompasses the Hammond organ, electronic piano, or electronic guitar.

Generally speaking, electronic music can be made from an extensive variety of sound resources, from basic electronic oscillators to diverse complex computer installations and software, to microprocessors. These sounds are recorded and edited on tape and then transformed into a permanent form that’s played back and reproduced using loudspeakers, either alone or in combination with ordinary musical instruments.

End of 19th / beginning of 20th century

Development of first electronic instruments


Invention of phonograph

Introduction of eletronic recording

Invention of audio tape and first practical audio tape recorde r in Germany

Establishment of first audio tape recorder for commercial use in the USA & invention of 'Musique Concrète' in France

Development of 'Elektronische Musik' in Cologne, Germany

Formation of Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

Widespread establishment of electronic music studios across whole Europe and the US & rise of popular electronic music

1970s - late 1980s

Growth of disco and establishment of other subgenres, e. g. synth-pop, house, techno, acid house, trance , etc.

Invention of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

Flourishing of the international 'rave' scene into what it is today

Establishment of Ableton Live , a digital audio workstation

Rise of large-scale commercial electronic festivals, e. g. Tomorrowland, Weekend Festival, Ultra Music Festival , etc.

A huge financial fallout of global electronic music industry due to Covid-19

Increase of the industry's value by 71% reaching $6 billions

Although some claim that the first electrical music instrument, Golden Dionysus, was possibly developed in 1748, marking the birth of electronic music, the genre more probably originated, in the broader sense, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. At that time, emerging electronics allowed for experimentation with sounds and, subsequently, with electronic devices. As an outcome, a number of electronic instruments were developed, including Telharmonium (an electrical organ developed in 1896), and later, in the 1920s and 1930s, the Hammond organ (an electronic organ), Ondes Martenot (an early electronic device played with keyboards or a ring along a wire), Trautonium (an early electronic synthesizer) or the theremin (an electronic invention developed in 1930).

These early innovations were first used for demonstrations and public performances as they were in most cases too complex, impractical, and incapable of creating a sound of any magnitude and depth. Later, with the invention of vacuum tubes, smaller, amplified, and more practical instruments could be developed that were gradually featured in newly written compositions.

A turning point for the overall music industry was the invention of the phonograph (later known as the gramophone ) by, independently, Thomas Alva Edison and Emile Berliner around the 1870s/1880s. Phonographs were the first means of recording and reproducing audio files (the sounds could be captured and saved for future use) and marked the beginning of the recording industry that we know today.

Phonograph, today known as a gramophone

Record players slowly became a typical household item, with electrical recordings, nowadays known as phonograph records, introduced in 1925.

Record player

More experiments with record players and innovations followed in the 1930s leading to the development of sound speed adjusting and sound-on-film technology and the creation of sound collages and graphical sound. Such technologies were then used in the composition of the first movie soundtracks, mostly in Germany and Russia. In 1935, the first practical audio tape was invented, making an essential point in the historical development of electronic music.

Although invented in the mid-1930s, more development and improvements to tape recording technology had to be made. The first test recordings made in stereo were developed in 1942 in Germany but were brought to the USA right after World War II and the first tape recorder for commercial use was furbished in 1948. Composers used this new instrument for further musical experimentation throughout the 1950s. The main focus at the time was on the development of the technique and musical styles with a strong influence on avant-garde styles and music. After musicians and artists became more or less familiar with the tape recorder, many historically important compositions came to life, followed by the utilization of the medium in live performances.

Tape recorder

After tape recorders gained their recognition, as well as financial support, back in Europe, the first well-established electronic music studios were established, mostly in government-owned and supported broadcast facilities. It was not until 1958 that American innovators could catch up with their European confreres in terms of studio establishments and further music innovations, both technologically and artistically.

In 1948, musique concrète, a unique practice, and type of music composition was invented in Paris, France by two French composers, Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry , in the Studio d'Essai at Radiodiffusion Française (RDF). The Musique concrète technique was concerned with the creation of tape collages or montages of recorded sounds. All these sounds - e. g. sound effects, musical fragments, vocals, and other sounds or noises produced by an individual and their environment - were being looked at as ‘concrete’ raw materials taken from ‘concrete’ means and situations. Therefore, music concrète was opposed to the use of oscillators as they were considered ‘artificial’ , ‘anti-humanistic’, and thus not ‘concrete’ sound sources

More than a style or a musical movement, musique concrète could be seen as a group of various ways of transforming sound and creating music, using techniques and tape manipulations such as speed alteration and variation (also called pitch shifting), tape splicing, playing tapes backward, or signal feedback loops. The first major musique concrète composition was Symphonie pour un homme seul (Symphony for One Man Only) written in 1950 by Schaffer and Henry . The other significant work of the movement was Henry’s ballet score, Orphée , from 1953.

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Karlheinz Stockhausen , who shortly worked in Schaeffer's studio in 1952, had a different idea of the ways sounds and music could be transformed and altered and therefore joined the WDR Cologne's Studio for Electronic Music established by Herbert Einer . Rather than ‘concrete’ sounds, Stockhausen emphasized pure, electronically generated sounds and his focus was on electronic sound modifications rather than tape manipulation. What he wanted to achieve, through sound alterations, such as filtering and modulating, was authentic electric plus acoustic compositions, meaning acoustic instrumentations altered and accompanied by modified, electronically produced sounds.

This marked the birth of Elektronische Musik, a German branch of electronic music, which, as opposed to musique concrète, emphasized the greatness and ‘purity’ of electronic sounds and the necessity to combine electronic music with a serial composing that uses rhythms, ordered groups of pitches, and other musical elements.

Both Studio d'Essai and the Studio in Cologne set examples for electronic music studios of that time and were therefore widely imitated across Europe. Such a trend continued throughout the 1960s with many more studios being established in all major urban centers in Europe before reaching the culture of the USA.

The birth of electronic music in the United States most likely started in 1939 when a musician, John Cage , published his composition, Imaginary Landscape, No. 1 , utilizing various mediums and sound sources such as two variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano, and cymbal. No electronic means of production were used for the composition. Generally, however, the production of electronic music in the USA was rather plain and sporadic and this lasted until around 1958.

The only significant remaining work on electronic music in the country was two projects undertaken by Cage and two composers at Columbia University, Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky. Between 1942-1958, Cage completed Williams Mix (1952) and Fontana Mix (1958) and composed 5 more Imagery Landscapes, written mostly for RCA test records and percussion ensembles. He also formed The Music for Magnetic Tape Projec t along with other composers and members of the New York School including Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, David Tudor, and Morton Feldman . The emphasis of the project was on experimenting with the recording of both electronic and natural sounds while combining them with instrumental music, dance, and visual arts.

The goal of the project led by Luening a nd Ussachevsky was to create a professional tape studio that would demonstrate the capabilities and musical possibilities of tape as a medium. Joined by Milton Babbitt , the two composers established the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (today known as Computer Music Center or CMC ) in 1959 which has become the oldest center of electronic and computer music research in the USA. After 1958, more studios were set up across the region of North America, including the Experimental Music Studio at the University of Illinois and the University of Toronto Studio in 1959. Such establishment of these facilities provided ways for both production and education in electronic music to evolve and move forward.

The equipment of electronic music studios was developing and changing too, including various sound sources (sin-wave, square-wave, microphones, etc.), monitors and quality-control equipment (spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope, power amplifiers), recording and playback systems, routing circuitry, and much more. With such studio gear, musicians and composers were able to record sounds, both electronic and microphoned, and perform operations such as modulation, reverberation, and filtering, to modify these sounds.

During the 1950s, Japanese electronic musical instruments started having a strong influence on the international music industry. Various Japanese manufacturers, such as AceTone, Korg, Matsushita, Roland, and Yamaha , were developing their own versions of electronic music devices. These included percussion instruments , the Mini Pops (early drum machines), electric organs (e. g. Yamaha Electone), or synthesizers .

Particularly synthesizers and drum machines developed by the Roland Corporation were highly influential for the next few decades and the company itself was one of the most prominent players in shaping and forming popular music and electronic music into what it is today. Another important role in the development of electronic music was played by the company Matsushita (now Panasonic) which invented and developed the first direct-drive turntables which then led to the establishment of turntablism - the art of manipulating and forming sounds and creating new music, sound effects, mixes, and other beats. The later version of Matsushita's turntables (Technics SL-1200) was widely developed by Hip Hop artists and was one of the most popular turntables in DJ culture. Moreover, the first all-digital synthesizers were released by the company Yamaha in 1983.

The late 1960s saw the rise of popular electronic music and its merge with other musical genres, especially pop and rock, which led to the establishment of new genres. Renowned musicians of that time, such as the Beatles or the Beach Boys , started integrating electronic instruments, including the theremin or Mellotron , into their sound. Genres such as electronic rock and electronica were pioneered by the American duo Silver Apples and experimental rock bands, like White Noise and the United States of America , who were known for adding oscillators and synthesizers to their psychedelic sound. In the 1970s, electronic rock was also produced by a number of Japanese musicians, such as Isao Tomita or Osamu Kitajima .

Mood synthesizers became particularly popular among progressive rock bands, including Pink Floyd , Genesis , Yes , and Emerson, Lake & Palmer . A whole new sub-genre of progressive rock, krautrock (also known as kosmische Musik) was born in West Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s, represented by prominent artists such as Tangerine Dream , Can , Faust , and, most importantly, Kraftwerk .

New-age music and ambient music, particularly ambient dub, were developed in the early- and mid-1970s by the impact of rising electronic art music. New-age music was strongly influenced by various, mostly European-born, artists, including French composer Jean Michel Jarre , German musician Klaus Schulze , or Greek songwriter Vangelis . Ambient dub was pioneered by several Jamaican sound musicians as King Tubby , and later adopted by other international artists like Dreadzone , The Orb , or Ott .

After disco became highly popular (for a fairly short period of time) in the 1970s, late 1970s and early 1980s saw the emergence and rising success of synth-pop , featuring the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. The sub-genre was debuted and greatly influenced by musicians, such as Ultravox with the song ‘ Hiroshima Mon Amour ’ (1977), and Depeche Mode with a track called ‘ Dreaming of Me ’ (1980), and New Order with their song ‘ Ceremony ’ (1981). Other key acts included Eurythmics , Duran Duran , Yazoo , and Spandau Ballet .

Later, synth-pop became widely renowned across the world presenting new promising artists, like Lime and Men Without Hats from Canada; Propaganda , Sandra and Modern Talking from Germany or Yello from Switzerland, and Telex from Belgium. The sound of synth-pop also became the defining feature of Italo-disco . The keyboard synthesizers became so widespread that even heavy metal rock bands were featuring them in their music. Bands including Van Halen with their track ‘ Jump ’ (1983) and Europe with the well-known song ‘ The Final Countdown ’ (1986) achieved great global success.

Additionally significant in the 1980s was the invention of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) , a technical standard that describes and standardizes a communication protocol, the digital interface, and electrical connectors between various electronic musical instruments, computer software, and other related audio gadgets for recording, editing and playing music. MIDI was finalized in 1983 and the technology made the development of purely electronic sound much easier.

The wide success of synth-pop continued through the whole 1980s decade moving closer and closer to dance music, with the most prominent acts including Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, and The Communards . However, the 1980s were defined mostly by the development and rising popularity of electronic dance music (EDM) and, gradually, its subgenres, like house, techno, acid house, trance, and many more.

In the late 1980s, EDM gained a reputation as ‘drug music’ and the genre, nowadays used as an umbrella term for other subgenres, was taken up in clubs as well as many underground places, fitness centers, fields, or warehouses, across Europe. In 1987, a British DJ Danny Ramplimg started organizing a weekly party, called Shoom in one of London's fitness clubs, and soon such parties, often taking place illegally, spread to other European countries, most notably Germany. There, in the city of Frankfurt, another important sub-genre, trance , was born.

By the end of the 1990s, the ‘rave’ scene was resembling the way it looks today and the gradual development of EDM and its subgenres, allowed the musical style to progress and eventually become an essential part of the mainstream music industry like never before. Also, electronica , an umbrella term for electronic genres intended for listening rather than strictly dancing, became popular on the British music scene. The most renowned artists of these subcultures were, for example, Astralwerks, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, DJ Keoki and Sims .

The genre of electronic music in the 2000s and 2010s was strongly shaped by technological advances and the invention and higher accessibility of computer technology and musical software. Not only that many technological innovations were introduced in the new millennium, such as CDs or DVDs (replacing vinyl records), but also other relevant products emerged on the market, such as the digital audio workstation (DAW) Ableton Live (2001) or the studio emulation Reason (2000). These devices have provided less complex, more cost-effective, and viable alternatives to traditional hardware-based production studios and, therefore, it’s become possible to produce high-quality music simply using a bit more than a laptop computer. Particularly Ableton Live is considered one of the first music applications to automatically beat-match a song and has been widely used by DJs for shows and other live performances, as well as for composing, recording, and mastering a record.

The popularity of electronic music and its subgenres was ever-growing throughout the first decade of the 21st century. Musicians and producers such as David Guetta, Daft Punk, Tiësto or Skrillex were receiving international acclaim and by the end of the 2000s, all renowned DJs were regularly performing at the biggest stadiums in both US (mainly Los Angeles) and Europe. Moreover, the 2000s and 2010 also experienced the rise of large-scale commercial festivals and parties, such as Tomorrowland in Belgium, the Weekend Festival in Estonia, Ultra Music Festival in Florida, and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.

As of today, particularly in 2022, the electronic music industry seems to be buzzing once again , even after suffering from a huge financial loss in 2020. The value of the industry has grown in a total of 16 countries, led by market share gains mostly in the UK and Germany . Additionally, recorded electronic music grew by up to 18% with physical format sales growing for the first time in 20 years along with artists’ and DJ earnings going up by 111% .

Within a century, electronic music has developed into one of the most extensive music genres, covering more than 300 sub-genres. In this guide, we’ve focused on the historical development of electronic music and dived into its key characteristics and some of the most iconic artists.

If you’d like to learn more about one of the most successful electronic music sub-genres, electronic dance music, don’t hesitate to dive into our article on what EDM is and the artists that define the genre!

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  • Electronic Music History

The Evolution of Electronic Music: Exploring Its History and Significance

  • March 7, 2024

essay on electronic instruments

Electronic music is a genre that has undergone a dramatic evolution over the past few decades. From its humble beginnings as a novelty sound, to its current status as a mainstream music genre, electronic music has come a long way. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of electronic music, and examine how it has evolved over time. From the early days of synthesizers and drum machines, to the rise of electronic dance music and the current electronic music scene, we will delve into the fascinating world of electronic music and its impact on the music industry. Whether you’re a fan of electronic music or simply curious about its history, this article is sure to provide an insightful and entertaining look at this ever-evolving genre.

The Origins of Electronic Music

The beginnings of electronic sound.

Electronic music has its roots in the early 20th century, with experiments conducted by inventors and composers seeking to create new sounds using electronic devices. The development of the first electronic musical instruments, such as the Theremin and the Ondes Martenot, marked the beginning of a new era in music production.

One of the earliest and most influential electronic music pioneers was the Russian inventor, Leon Theremin. In the 1920s, he created the Theremin, an electronic instrument that produced sound by detecting the movement of the player’s hands. The Theremin was the first instrument to exploit the properties of early electronic technology, and it soon became popular in the Soviet Union, where it was used in various experimental music productions.

Another significant contribution to the beginnings of electronic sound was the invention of the Ondes Martenot by the French composer, Maurice Martenot. The Ondes Martenot was introduced in the 1930s and was the first electronic instrument to be used in a symphony orchestra. It produced its sound by manipulating radio frequencies and could produce a wide range of tones and timbres.

The development of these early electronic instruments opened up new possibilities for music composition and production, leading to a growing interest in electronic music during the mid-20th century. Experimental composers began to explore the potential of electronic sound, and many notable works were created during this period, including the groundbreaking “Poème électronique” by Edgard Varèse, which was premiered at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.

As technology continued to advance, the possibilities for electronic music production became increasingly diverse, paving the way for the development of a wide range of electronic instruments and music styles. Today, electronic music has become a ubiquitous part of popular culture, with a rich history and a bright future ahead.

The Emergence of Electronic Instruments

Early attempts at electronic music.

Electronic music as we know it today can trace its roots back to the early 20th century, when inventors and musicians first began experimenting with electronic instruments. Some of the earliest examples of electronic music were created using devices such as the Theremin, which was invented in 1919 by Russian inventor Leon Theremin. The Theremin was an early electronic instrument that could produce sounds by detecting the position of the player’s hands near its antennae.

The Development of Synthesizers

In the 1960s, the development of synthesizers marked a significant turning point in the evolution of electronic music. Synthesizers allowed musicians to create a wide range of sounds by combining different waveforms and filtering techniques. The first commercial synthesizer, the RCA Mark II, was developed in 1957, but it was the Moog synthesizer, developed in the late 1960s, that really brought electronic music into the mainstream.

The Impact of Digital Technology

The advent of digital technology in the 1980s had a profound impact on the world of electronic music. Digital synthesizers allowed for greater flexibility and precision in sound creation, and the rise of computer-based music production opened up new possibilities for musicians and producers. Digital technology also made it easier to record, edit, and manipulate sounds, leading to a explosion of creativity in the electronic music scene.

The Evolution of Electronic Instruments

As electronic music has evolved over the years, so too have the instruments used to create it. Today, there are a wide variety of electronic instruments available to musicians, ranging from classic analog synthesizers to cutting-edge digital devices. Some of the most popular electronic instruments used in contemporary electronic music include:

  • Analog synthesizers: These are electronic instruments that generate sound using analog circuits and components. They are known for their warm, rich sound and are still popular among many electronic musicians today.
  • Digital synthesizers: These are electronic instruments that generate sound using digital signals and algorithms. They offer a wide range of sounds and are often used in conjunction with other digital devices such as samplers and drum machines.
  • Samplers: These are electronic instruments that allow musicians to record and play back sounds from external sources. They are often used in conjunction with digital synthesizers to create complex soundscapes.
  • Drum machines: These are electronic instruments that produce drum sounds and rhythms. They are often used in conjunction with other electronic instruments to create beats and rhythms for electronic music.

Overall, the emergence of electronic instruments has played a crucial role in the evolution of electronic music, allowing musicians to create a wide range of sounds and expanding the possibilities of musical expression.

The Rise of Electronic Music in the 20th Century

The avant-garde movement.

The avant-garde movement played a significant role in the evolution of electronic music. It emerged in the early 20th century as a form of artistic rebellion against traditional conventions and norms. This movement embraced experimentation and innovation, pushing the boundaries of established art forms, including music.

One of the key figures in the avant-garde movement was composer and music theorist, Arnold Schoenberg. He developed the twelve-tone technique, which rejected traditional tonality and created a new system of organizing sound. This approach opened up new possibilities for electronic music, as it allowed composers to create entirely new sonic landscapes.

Another significant development in the avant-garde movement was the use of tape music. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer began experimenting with recording and manipulating sounds on tape, creating new textures and effects. This technique laid the groundwork for the development of electronic music and allowed composers to explore new dimensions of sound.

The avant-garde movement also embraced the use of electronic instruments , such as the theremin and the Ondes Martenot. These instruments used electronic circuits to generate sound, allowing composers to create entirely new timbres and effects.

Overall, the avant-garde movement played a crucial role in the evolution of electronic music. It encouraged experimentation and innovation, pushing the boundaries of established musical conventions and paving the way for new forms of electronic music.

The Birth of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic music can be traced back to the early 20th century, when composers and inventors began experimenting with electronic devices to create new sounds. One of the earliest examples of electronic music was the “Musique Trouvee” or “Found Music,” created by French composer, Pierre Schaeffer, in the 1940s. This was followed by the development of the first electronic synthesizer, the RCA Mark II, in the United States in the late 1940s.

The Emergence of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) as we know it today began to emerge in the 1970s, with the development of new synthesizer technologies and the rise of disco. The use of synthesizers in disco allowed for a greater level of creativity and experimentation, leading to the development of new sounds and styles. One of the earliest forms of EDM was the “Krautrock” scene in Germany, which emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This scene, which included bands such as Can and Kraftwerk, was characterized by the use of electronic instruments and a focus on experimentation and innovation.

The birth of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) as a distinct genre can be traced back to the early 1980s, with the emergence of a new sound that blended elements of disco, punk, and electronic music. This new sound was characterized by a focus on the use of electronic instruments and a strong emphasis on rhythm and repetition. One of the earliest examples of this new sound was the song “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa, which was released in 1982 and featured a distinctive electro-funk sound that would come to define the genre.

The Impact of EDM on Popular Culture

The rise of EDM in the 1980s had a profound impact on popular culture, leading to the emergence of a new generation of artists and producers who embraced the use of electronic instruments and technology. The popularity of EDM also led to the development of new subcultures and communities, such as the raving scene, which emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This scene, which was characterized by all-night dance parties and the use of drugs such as ecstasy, had a significant impact on the development of EDM and the broader culture of clubbing and partying.

The Continued Evolution of EDM

Today, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) continues to evolve and expand, with new subgenres and styles emerging all the time. From the early days of disco and punk, to the rise of the raving scene and the current dominance of EDM in popular culture, the genre has come a long way. With the continued development of new technologies and the rise of new artists and producers, it is likely that EDM will continue to play a major role in popular culture for years to come.

The Mainstreaming of Electronic Music

As electronic music continued to evolve in the latter half of the 20th century, it began to gain widespread acceptance and appreciation from mainstream audiences. This shift was facilitated by several key factors, including the development of new technologies, the influence of popular culture, and the efforts of dedicated artists and producers.

One of the most significant technological advancements that contributed to the mainstreaming of electronic music was the invention of the synthesizer. In the 1960s, synthesizers such as the Moog Synthesizer and the ARP Odyssey were introduced, allowing musicians to create a wide range of electronic sounds and textures. These early synthesizers were initially used primarily in experimental and avant-garde music, but they soon became popular in a variety of genres, including rock, pop, and electronic dance music.

In addition to technological advancements, the mainstreaming of electronic music was also influenced by popular culture. As electronic sounds and rhythms became more prevalent in popular music, they began to be incorporated into a wide range of genres, from rock and pop to hip-hop and R&B. Artists such as Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, and Madonna embraced electronic music and helped to bring it into the mainstream, while film and television soundtracks also played a significant role in introducing electronic music to a wider audience.

Finally, the mainstreaming of electronic music was facilitated by the efforts of dedicated artists and producers who worked tirelessly to push the boundaries of the genre and to create innovative and exciting new sounds. Pioneering artists such as Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, and Tangerine Dream helped to establish electronic music as a legitimate art form, while later artists such as The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, and Skrillex continued to push the genre forward and to bring it to new audiences.

Overall, the mainstreaming of electronic music in the 20th century was a complex and multifaceted process that was driven by a combination of technological advancements, cultural influences, and the creative vision of dedicated artists and producers. As electronic music continues to evolve and diversify in the 21st century, it remains an integral and influential part of our cultural landscape.

The Global Impact of Electronic Music

The dissemination of electronic music across the world.

Electronic music has transcended borders and has become a global phenomenon. It has influenced music culture worldwide, with its beats and rhythms reverberating across continents. This section will explore the dissemination of electronic music across the world, examining how it has evolved and adapted to different cultural contexts.

The Internet and the Democratization of Electronic Music

The internet has played a significant role in the dissemination of electronic music across the world. With the advent of digital technology, music production and distribution have become more accessible, enabling electronic music producers to reach a wider audience. The internet has provided a platform for artists to share their work, collaborate with others, and gain exposure to new audiences. Social media platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube have become vital for promoting electronic music, allowing artists to share their music with fans worldwide.

The Emergence of Electronic Music Scenes in Different Regions

Electronic music has also evolved differently in different regions, giving rise to unique electronic music scenes. For example, techno emerged in Detroit, USA, in the 1980s, while house music originated in Chicago, USA, in the early 1980s. Today, these genres have become global phenomena, with their distinct sounds and rhythms influencing electronic music worldwide. Other regions such as Europe, Asia, and South America have also developed their own electronic music scenes, reflecting their cultural contexts and influences.

The Impact of Globalization on Electronic Music

Globalization has also played a significant role in the dissemination of electronic music . With the increasing movement of people and ideas across borders, electronic music has been exposed to diverse cultural influences, leading to the emergence of new subgenres and styles. Electronic music has become a symbol of globalization, reflecting the interconnectedness of the world and the fusion of different cultures.

In conclusion, the dissemination of electronic music across the world has been facilitated by the internet, the emergence of unique electronic music scenes in different regions, and the impact of globalization. Electronic music has become a global phenomenon, reflecting the interconnectedness of the world and the fusion of different cultures.

The Intersection of Electronic Music and Culture

Electronic music has played a significant role in shaping and reflecting the cultural identity of various societies around the world. It has become a powerful medium for expressing the unique values, beliefs, and experiences of different communities. By examining the intersection of electronic music and culture , we can gain a deeper understanding of how this art form has influenced and been influenced by the world around it.

One of the key aspects of the intersection between electronic music and culture is the role of technology in its development. As technology has advanced, so has the ability to create and produce electronic music. This has led to the emergence of new styles and genres, as well as the development of new tools and techniques for creating music.

Another important factor is the influence of cultural traditions and practices on electronic music. Many electronic music genres have been inspired by and have incorporated elements of traditional music from various cultures around the world. For example, the use of sampling and manipulation of sounds from non-Western musical traditions has been a key feature of many electronic music styles.

Moreover, electronic music has often served as a platform for social and political commentary, reflecting the concerns and issues of the communities that produce it. In many cases, electronic music has been used to challenge the status quo and to advocate for change, particularly in regards to issues related to race, gender, and social inequality.

In addition, the intersection of electronic music and culture has also been marked by the rise of subcultures and countercultures that have embraced electronic music as a central part of their identity. These subcultures have often been characterized by a DIY ethos, with artists and producers creating their own music and building their own communities outside of the mainstream music industry.

Overall, the intersection of electronic music and culture is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that reflects the dynamic relationship between art and society. By examining this relationship, we can gain a better understanding of the historical and cultural significance of electronic music and its role in shaping the world around us.

The Influence of Electronic Music on Other Genres

Electronic music has had a profound impact on various genres of music. From rock to pop, hip-hop to jazz, electronic music has seeped into every corner of the music industry. Here’s how electronic music has influenced other genres:

  • Rock music : Electronic music has had a significant impact on rock music, especially since the 1990s. The use of electronic instruments, such as synthesizers and drum machines, has become increasingly common in rock music. Bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, and The Prodigy have incorporated electronic elements into their music, blurring the lines between rock and electronic music.
  • Pop music : Pop music has always been at the forefront of new sounds and trends, and electronic music is no exception. From the synth-pop of the 1980s to the EDM-infused pop of today, electronic music has played a significant role in shaping the sound of pop music. Artists like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande have all incorporated electronic elements into their music, creating a unique sound that is both catchy and innovative.
  • Hip-hop music : Hip-hop music has been heavily influenced by electronic music since its inception. From the early days of DJing and turntablism to the current EDM-infused sound of hip-hop, electronic music has played a crucial role in shaping the sound of hip-hop. Artists like Kanye West, Drake, and Travis Scott have all incorporated electronic elements into their music, creating a unique sound that is both experimental and commercially successful.
  • Jazz music : Jazz music has also been influenced by electronic music. The use of electronic instruments, such as synthesizers and samplers, has become increasingly common in jazz music. Artists like Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, and Robert Glasper have all incorporated electronic elements into their music, creating a unique sound that blends the traditional sound of jazz with the experimental sound of electronic music.

Overall, electronic music has had a profound impact on various genres of music. Its influence can be seen in the way that artists from different genres have incorporated electronic elements into their music, creating a unique sound that is both innovative and commercially successful.

The Future of Electronic Music

Technological advancements and their impact on electronic music.

As technology continues to advance, it has a significant impact on the world of electronic music. From new hardware and software to the internet and digital distribution, the tools available to electronic musicians have grown and evolved at an exponential rate. This has led to a democratization of music production, where anyone with access to a computer and some basic equipment can create and release their own music.

One of the most significant technological advancements in recent years has been the development of digital audio workstations (DAWs). These software programs allow musicians to record, edit, and mix their music on a computer, eliminating the need for expensive hardware and giving them complete control over the creative process. This has opened up new possibilities for experimentation and collaboration, as well as making it easier for musicians to work from anywhere in the world.

Another important development has been the rise of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. These platforms have not only changed the way people listen to music, but also the way musicians make money from their work. For the first time, artists can reach a global audience without the need for physical distribution and can earn a steady income from their music. This has allowed electronic musicians to focus on creating new music and experimenting with new sounds, rather than worrying about how they will make a living.

In addition to these technological advancements, the internet has also played a crucial role in the evolution of electronic music. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram have given musicians a direct line of communication with their fans, allowing them to share their work and connect with others in the scene. Online communities like Reddit and Discord have also become important spaces for music fans and producers to share their knowledge and ideas, as well as discover new music and artists.

Overall, the future of electronic music looks bright, with new technologies and platforms providing exciting opportunities for musicians and fans alike. As the world continues to become more interconnected, it is likely that electronic music will continue to play a central role in shaping the sound of the future.

The Evolution of Electronic Music Subgenres

The evolution of electronic music has been marked by a constant progression of subgenres, each with its unique characteristics and contributions to the overall electronic music landscape.

Emergence of New Subgenres

As technology advances and producers continue to experiment with new sounds and techniques, new subgenres of electronic music continue to emerge. Some of the most notable subgenres that have emerged in recent years include:

  • Hyperpop: A genre that combines elements of pop, trap, and electronic music, characterized by its heavy use of digital effects and unconventional song structures.
  • Techno: A genre that originated in Detroit in the late 1980s, characterized by its repetitive, mechanical beats and futuristic soundscapes.
  • Vaporwave: A genre that emerged in the early 2010s, characterized by its use of retro nostalgia, distorted samples, and lo-fi production techniques.

The Influence of Technology

Technology has played a significant role in the evolution of electronic music subgenres. Advances in digital audio workstations (DAWs), virtual instruments, and music software have made it easier for producers to create and manipulate sounds in new ways. This has led to a proliferation of new subgenres and styles, as well as a greater diversity of sounds within existing genres.

The Importance of Subgenres

Subgenres are important because they provide a way for electronic music producers to experiment with new sounds and techniques while still maintaining a sense of identity and community. They also provide a way for listeners to navigate the vast and diverse world of electronic music, helping them to find producers and tracks that align with their musical tastes and interests.

The Future of Electronic Music Subgenres

As technology continues to advance and electronic music producers continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, it is likely that we will see the emergence of even more subgenres and styles in the years to come. However, it is also important to recognize the value of established subgenres and to continue to celebrate and support the rich history and diversity of electronic music.

The Continued Relevance of Electronic Music in Popular Culture

The influence of electronic music on mainstream culture.

Electronic music has permeated various aspects of mainstream culture, making it an indispensable element in modern entertainment. The impact of electronic music can be observed in:

  • Film scores: The fusion of electronic music with cinematic storytelling has given rise to immersive and innovative soundtracks, enhancing the emotional resonance of visual narratives.
  • Video games: The incorporation of electronic music in video game soundtracks has played a significant role in shaping the immersive experiences of players, heightening the emotional intensity of in-game events and creating a distinctive sonic identity for various gaming genres.
  • Advertising: Electronic music’s versatility and adaptability have made it a popular choice for advertising campaigns, lending a contemporary and energetic tone to commercial messages and helping brands connect with younger audiences.

The Evolution of Electronic Music Genres and Subcultures

As electronic music continues to evolve, so do the genres and subcultures that emerge around it. The development of new technologies and the fusion of electronic music with other styles have given rise to:

  • Techno: A genre born from the integration of electronic sounds with elements of rock, funk, and disco, techno music emphasizes mechanical rhythms and futuristic themes, influencing a subculture that celebrates technological advancement and human innovation.
  • Trance: Developed from the fusion of electronic music with elements of classical and world music, trance music is characterized by extended melodic lines, hypnotic rhythms, and ethereal atmospheres, inspiring a subculture that values spirituality, self-expression, and unity.
  • Dubstep: Arising from the convergence of electronic music with reggae, dubstep emphasizes wobbling basslines, intricate soundscapes, and mechanical beats, giving rise to a subculture that celebrates the fusion of digital and analog aesthetics, creativity, and experimentation.

The Importance of Electronic Music in Social and Political Contexts

Electronic music has also played a significant role in reflecting and shaping social and political contexts. By providing a platform for marginalized voices and exploring themes of resistance, liberation, and unity, electronic music has become a powerful tool for:

  • Promoting social change: Electronic music has been used to raise awareness about important social issues, mobilizing people to engage in activism and advocacy for causes such as environmental conservation, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial justice.
  • Fostering global connections: The global reach of electronic music has facilitated cultural exchange and understanding, connecting people across borders and fostering a sense of unity among diverse communities.
  • Encouraging creativity and self-expression: Electronic music’s experimental nature has encouraged artists to push boundaries and challenge conventions, fostering a culture of innovation and self-expression that transcends traditional artistic norms.

As electronic music continues to evolve, its continued relevance in popular culture is undeniable, reflecting the ever-changing social, political, and technological landscape of our times.

1. What is electronic music?

Electronic music is a genre of music that is created using electronic instruments and technology. It includes a wide range of styles, from experimental noise to commercial pop, and has been a significant force in the music industry since the mid-20th century.

2. When did electronic music emerge?

The roots of electronic music can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s, when electronic instruments such as the theremin and the synthesizer were first developed. However, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that electronic music gained widespread popularity, with the emergence of genres such as disco and techno.

3. Who are some notable electronic musicians?

There have been many notable electronic musicians throughout the history of the genre, including pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, as well as contemporary artists like Aphex Twin and Grimes.

4. How has electronic music evolved over time?

Electronic music has evolved significantly over the years, with new technologies and styles constantly emerging. Today, electronic music encompasses a wide range of styles, from ambient and chillout to techno and hardstep, and continues to be a driving force in the music industry.

5. What is the significance of electronic music?

Electronic music has had a profound impact on the music industry and culture as a whole. It has influenced countless other genres, from hip hop to pop, and has played a key role in shaping the sound of modern music. Additionally, electronic music has enabled artists to experiment with new sounds and techniques, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in music.

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ESSAY; Playing Music as a Toy, and a Toy as Music

By James Gorman

  • June 3, 2003

Tod Machover -- composer, inventor, cellist and educator -- has made it clear to me that I am a puritan. This has nothing to do with sex. It's about another sort of seduction, the lure of electronics and computer technology, the easy pleasure of video games, the ultimately hollow virtual world.

Mr. Machover, professor of music and media at the M.I.T. Media Lab, is devoting considerable energy to luring children into the electronic world. He has invented electronic instruments that allow anyone, skilled or not, to enjoy the kind of creativity and collaboration available only to the most advanced players of traditional instruments.

Mr. Machover has not ignored those advanced players. He has, in the past, helped develop instruments like the hypercello, which Yo-Yo Ma used to perform one of Mr. Machover's compositions. But now, Mr. Machover has turned his hand to musical toys, or instruments for children.

He recently came to New York for a performance of his Toy Symphony and to conduct workshops at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Hyperscore, a composing tool he and his colleagues developed, is on display there as part of the National Design Triennial. The workshops allowed children to work with Hyperscore and play two electronic instruments called Beatbugs and Music Shapers.

I went to talk to him and to see and touch the two performance toys because of my curmudgeonly conviction that electronics, even in the service of creativity, could not be good for children, or anyone else for that matter.

I know a bit about electronic toys. I've had my hand in coverage of consumer technology. I have watched children (frequently mine) become completely absorbed in video games. I myself am easily addicted to them. Consequently, in my anti-technology moments, I have the moral fervor of a sinner.

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Electronic Music (Within the 20th Century Art Music Tradition) Essay

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The most outstanding identity of music in the 20 th century is the abrupt emergence of progressed technology when it comes to recording and dispensing music. In addition, other new styles and forms of music also exist. Music artists today have become extremely famous the world over for their music is not limited to clubs or concerts only, but people across the world can access to any music regardless of location courtesy of technology.

Earlier periods had strict restrictions as to how the music should be composed, but the 20 th century heralded the introduction of new music forms and styles. Music of the 20 th century had different styles and forms, which include impressionistic, neoclassical, and 12-tone system. Some examples of “electromechanical sound devices include the electric guitar, the Hammond organ, and telharmonium.” At one time, there was a link between electronic music and the western art music and as from the 1960s; electronic music started becoming very popular.

Currently electronic music entails different forms of with the example of electronic dance music. This paper seeks to look into the electronic music within the 20 th century art music tradition, which uses musical instruments that have to be connected electrically and use of electronic music technology

The 20 th century harbingered first of the many innovative instruments seen over the centuries, which is the Theremin. For quite a number of centuries, there was a creation of music mostly using metal strings or constricting woodwinds and using percussion. After the World War II, progressive composers embraced electronic music, which limited the use of traditional instruments. Despite the fact that electronic music started in the classical composition world, in the 1960s, Wendy Carols made electronic music popular by using synthesizer that was developed by Robert Moog who had two popular albums, viz. Switched on Bach and the well tempered synthesizer.

By 1970s, musicians like “Suzanne Ciani, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, and Brian Eno had made electronic music popular.” The development of “techno music was in Detroit, Michigan, while house music started in Illinois around early 1980s. Acid house and new beat movements made development and acceptance of electronic music to be a reality into the mainstream music industry and even went ahead to pioneer dance music in nightclubs.”

Electronic music geneses lie in the creative imagination. Technologies that facilitated the electronic music are simply human urges of recording as well as changing sound. Despite the fact that electronic music describes music that is made using electronic devices and also uses electricity as source of energy, these technologies have opened up very diverse musical possibilities particularly in engineering, art, literature, as well as philosophy.

However, in the 20 th century, electronic instruments became a reality. An example of a celebrated modern studio belongs to Francis Bacon. The word “ elektron in Greek refers to amber, while the word electricus in Latin means produced by friction from amber.” In the sixteenth and seventeenth century, some of the electronic music elements were already in existence.

There was a debate in the 16 th century in regards to tuning systems. For instance, writers like Nicola Vicentino (1511-1576) made a defense of intonation against the compromised tuning systems that were on the rise with examples of equal temperament.

The 18 th century became a surge of interest in terms of musical devices like music boxes, carillons, and mechanical organs of different types. Jacques Vaucanson was the most famous engineer as his machines mimicked both biological and natural functions. He had a life-size flute player in the year 1738, which he blew and played twelve different melodies such that is outshined previous mechanical devices.

In terms of sound recording, the genesis of important change hinged on the manner that changing experiences and consumption of music that happened in the 19 th century. For instance, “the autograph was the phon-autograph invented by Leon Scott in the year 1857.” Sound recording in essence happened through a vibrating membrane attached to a pen that would draw a line in the shape of a wave<. Nevertheless, it could only record, but was unable to reproduce original sound. Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray invented earliest microphones; however, in the year 1877, there were statements that Emile Berliner was part of the invention of the first microphone.

Thomas Edison in the same year came up with the carbon microphone, which went ahead to be commercially available. In addition, in 1877 he also discovered the phonograph. In 1877, Sir Oliver Lodge and Ernst Werner von Siemens discovered loud speakers. Combined with magnetic and electromagnetic systems they evolved quite swiftly. In the early 1930s thanks to the magnetic tape invention, electrical recordings became a viable medium.

With the invention of innovative electronic instruments, electronic music started despite the fact that people viewed them as curiosities or novelties. For example, the Singing Arc an electronic instrument invented in 1899 by William Duddell used sounds produced by carbon arc lamps.

Electronic music composers in most parts of the world continue to operate in relative obscurity for many years. In many cases, performance opportunities that happened outside North America and Europe are limited with the resources being tight. In mist cases, composers like Halim El Dabh who was born in Egypt came to discover their own technologies.

In the past twenty years, the challenges to electronic music have gone down immensely in terms of size, cost, as well as speed, which are the three major factors in the revolution. In the early decades, there was great difficulty gaining access to electronic music equipment and it took quite a long time.

Most of the musicians who used analogue equipment spend quite a long time grappling with razor blades and tape. Musicians using earliest digital tools when creating programs and listening to the resultant music suffered huge delays that went for days. In many occasions, musicians had to make trips to cities in order to get work done since digital and analogue converters found in only few locations. 1983 was the year the accessibility of digital music technology came about after the release of Yamaha DX-7, which was a programmable digital music synthesizer.

For quite a number of years, electronic musicians changed their strategies because of the competing agendas of commercial profit, government programs, audio research, and artistic expression. In developing countries like Mexico where the government did not put in any investment in electronic music, the prices that went down led to the possibility of governments funding studios. Today, electronic musicians have unlimited access to many if not all of their tools and they can get information from the Internet, right at their studio, local cyber café, or at the comfort of their home.

In the 1600s, a desire to come up with space meant for sound in various forms was in the offing. In 1937, John Cage asked, “centers of experimental music to be started up where there will be use of oscillators, generators, turntables and film phonographs.”

A majority of the electronic musicians found it necessary to have specialized studio spaces; however, only a few of them could imagine that these studios would one day be at their homes. Today’s computer and software generation has made it possible to the musicians to be in a position to record, generate, produce, and even edit music from their own home studios. There are many advantages of having home studios because for one, it makes the composer free and secondly it promotes freedom of expression and flexibility.

Louis (1920-1989) together with Bebe Barron (1927) knew the first electronic music piece for magnetic tape composed in the US as “Heavenly Menagerie.”

Today, the home stereo is not the only one that gives novice musicians room to manipulate music, as the home computer has free audio software with examples of Soundhack, Garage Band, and Audacity. Electronic music goes back all the way to the steam age. Thaddeus Cahill, in the year 1897, patented a machine that weighed more than two hundred tons known as the Telharmonium.

This machine produced sine tones with dynamos and went to play organ-like keyboard. The currently known type is the eponymous electronic instrument of the Russian inventor Leon Theremin that was created in 1920. There was rejection of instrumental interfaces like the keyboards, finger holes, and frets by Theremin. Playing it entailed moving hands next to two antennas.

It appeared modern; however, it did not have the substance and legitimacy of more conventional instruments. There were other early electronic instruments like the Ondes Martenot (1928) as well as the Trautonium (1928) that were similarly added into a new chamber works and orchestral music by a couple of mote composers. However, Laurence Hammond’s electric organ development in 1935 made it musically popular to the public.

The early electronic instruments only made new sounds; however, they did not change the composition of music or the performance. After fifty years, the tape music came about after the Telharmonium and it embodied a type of desire that was high modernist for going to the levels of independence and composer-control.

Electronic music became popular in the late 1960s when musicians started using electronic instruments like Mellotron and Theremin to complement and classify their sound. There were even Japanese musicians who produced electronic rock with an example of Isao Tomita (1972). In mid 1970s, electronic art musicians like Tomita, Vangelis and Jean Jarre heavily influenced the New Age Music development. In the mid 20 th century, there was use of music sequencers. In addition, in the late 1950s there was the use of drum machines, which also went by the name rhythm machines.


Cascone, Kim. “The aesthetics of failure: Post-digital tendencies in contemporary computer music.” Computer Music Journal 24, no. 4 (2000): 12-18.

Paradiso, Joseph. “Electronic music: new ways to play.” Spectrum, IEEE 34, no. 12 (1997): 18-30.

Salznan, Eric. Twentieth-century music. New York: Pearson, 2001.

Simms, Bryan. Music of the twentieth: style and structure . New York: Schirmer Books, 1996.

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Children playing musical instruments.

What are the principal types of musical instruments?

The principal types of musical instruments are percussion, stringed, keyboard, wind, and electronic.

Archaeology has revealed musical instruments such as pipes and whistles in the Paleolithic Period and clay drums and shell trumpets in the Neolithic Period. Ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, India, East Asia, and the Americas all possessed diverse and well-developed assortments of musical instruments, indicating that a long previous development must have existed.

musical instrument , any device for producing a musical sound . The principal types of such instruments, classified by the method of producing sound, are percussion , stringed , keyboard , wind , and electronic .

essay on electronic instruments

Musical instruments are almost universal components of human culture: archaeology has revealed pipes and whistles in the Paleolithic Period and clay drums and shell trumpets in the Neolithic Period . It has been firmly established that the ancient city cultures of Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, India , East Asia , and the Americas all possessed diverse and well-developed assortments of musical instruments, indicating that a long previous development must have existed. As to the origin of musical instruments, however, there can be only conjecture. Some scholars have speculated that the first instruments were derived from such utilitarian objects as cooking pots (drums) and hunting bows (musical bows); others have argued that instruments of music might well have preceded pots and bows; while in the myths of cultures throughout the world the origin of music has frequently been attributed to the gods, especially in areas where music seems to have been regarded as an essential component of the ritual believed necessary for spiritual survival.

Whatever their origin, the further development of the enormously varied instruments of the world has been dependent on the interplay of four factors: available material, technological skills, mythic and symbolic preoccupations, and patterns of trade and migration. Thus, residents of Arctic regions use bone, skin, and stone to construct instruments; residents of the tropics have wood, bamboo, and reed available; while societies with access to metals and the requisite technology are able to utilize these malleable materials in a variety of ways. Myth and symbolism play an equally important role. Herding societies, for example, which may depend on a particular species of animal not only economically but also spiritually, often develop instruments that look or sound like the animal or prefer instruments made of bone and hide rather than stone and wood, even when all the materials are available. Finally, patterns of human trade and migration have for many centuries swept musicians and their instruments across seas and continents, resulting in constant flux, change, and cross-fertilization and adaptation .

The sound produced by an instrument can be affected by many factors, including the material from which the instrument is made, its size and shape, and the way that it is played. For example, a stringed instrument may be struck, plucked, or bowed, each method producing a distinctive sound. A wooden instrument struck by a beater sounds markedly different from a metal instrument, even if the two instruments are otherwise identical. On the other hand, a flute made of metal does not produce a substantially different sound from one made of wood, for in this case the vibrations are in the column of air in the instrument. The characteristic timbre of wind instruments depends on other factors, notably the length and shape of the tube. The length of the tube not only determines the pitch but also affects the timbre: the piccolo , being half the size of the flute, has a shriller sound. The shape of the tube determines the presence or absence of the “upper partials” (harmonic or nonharmonic overtones ), which give colour to the single note. (For more on the science of sound, see acoustics .)

Young girl wearing a demin jacket playing the trumpet (child, musical instruments, Asian ethnicity)

This article discusses the evolution of musical instruments, their structure and methods of sound production , and the purposes for which they have been used. Although it focuses on the families of instruments that have been prominent in Western art music, it also includes coverage of non-Western and folk instruments.

Musical instruments have been used since earliest times for a variety of purposes, ranging from the entertainment of concert audiences to the accompaniment of dances, rituals , work, and medicine. The use of instruments for religious ceremonies has continued down to the present day, though at various times they have been suspect because of their secular associations. The many references to instruments in the Old Testament are evidence of the fact that they played an important part in Jewish worship until for doctrinal reasons they were excluded. It is also clear that the early Christians in the eastern Mediterranean used instruments in their services, since the practice was severely condemned by ecclesiastics, who insisted that the references to instruments in the Psalms were to be interpreted symbolically. Although instruments continue to be banned in Islamic mosques (but not in religious processions or Sufi ritual) and in the traditional Eastern Orthodox church, they play important roles in the ritual of most other societies. For example, Buddhist cultures are rich in instruments, particularly bells and drums (and in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, wind instruments as well).

essay on electronic instruments

Belief in the magical properties of instruments is found in many societies. The Jewish shofar (a ram’s horn), which is still blown on Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), must be heard by the congregation. The power of the shofar is illustrated by the story of Joshua at the siege of Jericho: when the priests blew their shofars seven times, the walls of the city fell flat. In India, according to legend , when the deity Krishna played the flute, the rivers stopped flowing and the birds came down to listen. The birds are said to have done the same in 14th-century Italy when the composer Francesco Landini played his organetto , or portative organ . In China, instruments were identified with the points of the compass, with the seasons, and with natural phenomena. The Melanesian bamboo flute was a charm for rebirth.

Many of the instruments used in medieval Europe came from western Asia, and they have retained some of their original symbolism. For example, trumpets , long associated with military operations, had a ceremonial function in the establishment of European kings and nobles and were, in fact, regarded as a sign of nobility. In the later Middle Ages and for long afterward, they were associated with kettledrums (known originally as naker s, after their Arab name, naqqārah ), which were often played on horseback, as they still are in some mounted regiments. Trumpet fanfares, heard on ceremonial occasions in the modern world, are a survival of medieval practice.

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             Even 100 Year History of Electronic Instruments.              before the turn of the century, when the electronic age was still in its infancy, the first attempts to generate sound from electricity had begun. By 1901, Thaddeus Cadhill had already manufactured the Telharmonium, an electric organ, powered by dynamos and designed to send sound down telephone lines. The Telharmonium proved to be the first of several forward-thinking electronic instruments to be developed in the early part of the century, the most important of which was the Theramin.              Named after its Russian inventor Leon Theramin and consisting of a box with two ariels sticking out to control volume and pitch, the Theramin was the favorite instrument of Russian revolutionary leader Lenin. It was also manufactured for a short time in the United States, and although Theramin's ideas proved too progressive for the American public, they would later inspire Robert Moog to develop his first synths.              Other electronic instruments, like the rautonium, the Odnes Martenot and the first mass-market electronic instrument, the Hammond Organ, continued to pop up through the 20's and 30's. It was with the arrival of magnetic tape, developed around the same period and perfected during World War II, that the next major innovation in electronic music occurred, as the use of found-sound opened a new world of musical possibilities. Steve Reich experimented with manipulating tape to affect pitch or speed. Although tape editing was a difficult process that involved physically cutting and splicing the different sections together, tape continued to be used by anyone wishing to manipulate recorded sound until samplers were introduced in the 1980s.              At the same time as tape was being used to unlock the world of found-sound, the development of electronically generated or synthesized sound was continuing apace. American Hugh Le Caine developed a proto-type synth (short for synthesizer) with his 'electronic sackbut' in 1948.

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1. What are the basic performance characteristics of a system? Ans: STATIC CHARACTE RISTICS The static characteristics of an instrument are, in general, considered for instruments which are used to measure an unvarying process condition. All the static performance characteristics are obtained by one form or another of a process called calibration. There are a number of related definitions (or characteristics), which are described below, such as accuracy% precision, repeatability, resolution, errors, sensitivity, etc. l. Instrument: A device or mechanism used to determine the present value of the quantity under measurement. 2. Measurement: The process of determining the amount, degree, or capacity by comparison (direct or indirect) with the accepted standards of the system units being used. 3. Accuracy: The degree of exactness (closeness) of a measurement compared to the expected (desired) value. 4. Resolution: The smallest change in a measured variable to which an instrument will respond. 5. Precision: A measure of the consistency or repeatability of measurements, i.e. successive readings does not differ. (Precision is the consistency of the instrument output for a given value of input). 6. Expected value: The design value, i.e. the most probable value that calculations indicate one should expect to measure. 7 Error: The deviation of the true value from the desired value. 8. Sensitivity: The ratio of the change in output (response) of the instrument to a change of input or measured variable.

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Unless otherwise specified, all materials and diagrams are adapted from the following sources: 1. Principles of Measurement Systems (3 rd Edition), by John P. Bentley, Pearson/Prentice Hall 1995 2. Electronic Instrumentation and Measurement Techniques (2 nd Edition), by William David Cooper, Prentice Hall 1978 Systematic characteristics are quantities that describe the system, and can be represented in graphical or mathematical form. Range-Input range: specifies the minimum & maximum input values for the system (I min  I max)-Output range: specifies the minimum & maximum output values corresponding to the minimum & maximum input values (O min  O max) Span Span is the maximum variation in the input or output for a system (difference between the maximum & minimum values).-Input span: I max-I min-Output span: O max-O min Example: A typical thermocouple element has the following input & output ranges: Input range: 100  250 C Output range: 4  10 mV Example: A typical thermocouple element has the following span: Input span = 250 C – 100 C = 150 C Output span = 10 mV – 4 mV = 6 mV

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Lowering voting age and electronic voting on Electoral Commission’s research agenda

Commission to also examine the requirement for politicians’ addresses to be included on ballot papers amid safety concerns.

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Lowering the voting age and the requirement for politicians’ addresses to be included on ballot papers are among proposals to be considered by An Coimisiún Toghcháin, the Electoral Commission.

Electronic voting – controversial in Ireland since an abandoned experiment with e-voting machines – and electronic counting are listed as possible research topics in 2026 under the commission’s new research programme revealed on Wednesday.

The commission’s responsibilities includes research on Ireland’s democracy.

Under the plans the topic of whether to reduce the voting age from 18 will be a “research priority” for the commission this year. The programme document notes that other countries including Austria, Scotland, Malta and Germany, have reduced the voting age to 16 or 17 for at least certain types of elections. It also says that reducing the voting age is “a potentially transformative decision and, dependent on its outcome, research in this area could give rise to a referendum”.

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‘Over the moon’: Tori Towey hopes to return to Ireland on Thursday after charges dropped in Dubai

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GP faces €40,000 severance payment to receptionist of nearly 50 years after failing to ‘engage’ with her

essay on electronic instruments

The issue of politicians’ addresses being published on ballot papers was raised during the public consultation process, with one respondent saying: “Faced with an increasingly volatile political culture and threats of violence against candidates, removing this requirement may be necessary to ensure the personal safety of candidates and their families.”

The research on this topic is also to be carried out this year, with other broader issues around ballot paper design – including how names are listed alphabetically, a system viewed by many as unfair to candidates further down the ballot paper – set to be examined next year.

Research on election postering will also be carried out this year, with the research programme setting out how some people view them as an “eyesore” and others as “a necessary tool for drawing citizens into the conversation and turning them out to vote”.

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