Can Electronic Dance Music Be Played by an Orchestra?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Can Electronic Dance Music Be Played by an Orchestra? We take a look at how this new genre is being performed by some of the world’s top orchestras.


Electronic dance music, or EDM, has become one of the most popular genres of music in recent years. But can it be played by an orchestra?

The short answer is yes – but it’s not always easy.

Orchestras are typically made up of acoustic instruments, such as violins, cellos, and French horns. EDM, on the other hand, is produced electronically, using synthesizers and computers.

So how do you bridge the gap between the two?

There are a few ways to do it. One is to use special effects pedals that allow acoustic instruments to mimic the sounds of electronic ones. Another is to transcribe EDM tracks into sheet music so that they can be played by an orchestra.

But whatever method you use, there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of work to get EDM tracks sounding just right when played by an orchestra. It’s not impossible – but it definitely takes some practice!

What is Electronic Dance Music?

Electronic dance music, also known as EDM, is a genre of music that is often played in nightclubs, festivals, and concerts. The genre is characterized by its synthesized sounds and often includes heavy basslines. EDM is often produced by DJs who use turntables or laptops to create their music.

What is an Orchestra?

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello and double bass, as well as brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ὀρχήστρα (orchestra), a word for the area in front of a stage in ancient Greek theatre. A full-size orchestra may sometimes be called a symphony orchestra or philharmonic orchestra. The actual number of musicians employed in a given performance may vary from seventy to over one hundred musicians, depending on the work being played and the size of the venue.

The term orchestra has been used to describe similar ensembles in other genres of music, such as the rock band or blues band. In popular music, such groups are usually called bands rather than orchestras.

Can Electronic Dance Music Be Played by an Orchestra?

Over the past few years, electronic dance music, or EDM, has become one of the most popular genres in the world. Though it is often seen as a primarily youthful phenomenon, its appeal is actually quite broad. In fact, many classical and orchestral musicians have been exploring the possibilities of EDM.

The question of whether EDM can be played by an orchestra is a complex one. On the one hand, there are certain challenges that come with adapting EDM for an orchestra. The genre relies heavily on technology, and orchestras are not typically known for their use of electronic instruments. On the other hand, there are also a number of ways in which EDM could potentially benefit from being performed by an orchestra.

One thing that is clear is that there is no easy answer to this question. It is something that would need to be explored on a case-by-case basis. Each piece of EDM would need to be carefully considered to see if it would work well in an orchestral setting. However, it is certainly possible that some pieces of EDM could be successfully adapted for an orchestra.


So, can electronic dance music be played by an orchestra? The answer is a resounding yes! While it may not be the most traditional use of an orchestra, the instruments can add a new level of excitement and energy to the music. If you’re looking for something different and unique, consider giving it a try.

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