The Best of Instrumental Modern Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re a fan of instrumental modern music, then this is the blog for you! We’ll be featuring the best of the best in this genre, so stay tuned for some great tunes.

A Brief History of Instrumental Music

Instrumental music has been around since the beginning of time. cavemen banged on rocks and sticks, and they sang while they did it. This was the first form of communication, and it was how they told stories and shared information. eventually, people started playing music on instruments. The first instruments were probably pieces of wood or bone that were struck with a stick.

The early years

Instrumental music has been around for centuries, dating back to the earliest days of civilization. The first instruments were probably crude percussion instruments made from natural materials like wood, bone, and stone. Over time, these simple instruments gave way to more complex designs, including stringed instruments like the lute and violin.

During the Renaissance period, instrumental music reached new heights of popularity and creativity. Instrumentalists were often highly skilled composers and performers, and their music was prized for its beauty and intricacy. Many of the greatest composers of the era, including Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi, wrote extensive catalogs of instrumental works.

In the centuries that followed, instrumental music continued to evolve and diversify. New genres emerged, such as classical and romantic music, while others (like jazz) drew upon a range of older traditions. Today, instrumental music is more popular than ever before, with musicians from all over the world creating works that push the boundaries of what is possible on their chosen instrument.

The Classical period

The Classical period falls between the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. It is associated with composer such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. The music of this period is characterized by a lighter, more articulate sound than that of the Baroque period that preceded it. Classical music tends to be more emotionally neutral than Romantic music, which came after the Classical period.

The Romantic period

Instrumental music flourished during the Romantic period (c.1810-1910). New sounds and new expressive possibilities were explored by composers who were responding to the social and intellectual changes of their time.

The Industrial Revolution was in full swing during the Romantic period, and this had a profound effect on the way people lived and worked. There was a growing middle class with more leisure time, and travel became easier and more widespread. People were exposed to new cultures and ideas, and this influenced the way they thought about music.

Composers began to experiment with different combinations of instruments, and they also wrote longer and more complex pieces of music. They were inspired by the natural world, by folk music, and by the music of other cultures. Classical forms such as the symphony and concerto were developed further, and new forms such as the melodrama, opera, and tone poem were created.

The Romantic period was one of great change in instrumental music, and it remains one of the most popular periods for listeners today.

The 20th century

In the 20th century, composers began to move away from traditional tonality—the idea that a piece of music is based around a single “home” note, or key. This new type of music is called atonal music, meaning “without tonality.”

The invention of new instruments and electronics also allowed for new ways of making sound. These sounds were often incorporated into modernist music.

During the first half of the 20th century, many composers experimented with atonal music. But by the mid-1900s, a group of composers known as serialists began to use atonality in a more organized way. Serialism is a technique in which a composer uses a fixed set of rules to create a piece of music.

The best-known serialist composer is Arnold Schoenberg, who was born in Austria but later moved to the United States. Schoenberg’s students included Alban Berg and Anton Webern, who were also influential serialist composers. The group of composers that came after Schoenberg and his students is sometimes called the Second Viennese School.

The Second Viennese School was not the only group experimenting with atonal music in the early 1900s. In France, a group of composers known as Les six (The Six) were writing pieces that incorporated popular forms such as jazz into atonal music. One member of Les six, Erik Satie, wrote furniture music—pieces that were meant to be background music for parties or other gatherings. Another member, Darius Milhaud, wrote ballet music and film scores.

During the 1950s and 1960s, many composers began to experiment with electronic devices such as amplifiers and speakers. These electronic devices could create sounds that had never been heard before inmusic—sounds that were not able to be produced by acoustic instruments alone. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti created pieces using electronic devices and recorded sounds played backwards or at different speeds. These pieces are examples of musique concrète, meaning “concrete music.”

The Best Instrumental Music of the Modern Era

Instrumental music has come a long way since its humble beginnings. The early days of instrumental music were dominated by classical and folk music. However, the modern era has seen a surge in popularity for instrumental music. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best instrumental music of the modern era.

The 21st century

The 21st century has been influential on instrumental music in many ways. One of the main ways it has influenced music is through the use of computers and digital technology, which has changed the way music is written, performed, and produced.

The 21st century has seen a rise in the popularity of electronic and digital music, with genres such as dubstep, drum and bass, and trance becoming increasingly popular. This has led to a new wave of instrumentalists who use computers and digital technology to create their music.

Instrumental music has also been influenced by the rise of social media and online streaming platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud. These platforms have given rise to a new generation of musicians who are able to share their music with the world without the need for a record label or distributor.

The 21st century has seen a resurgence in popularity for traditional acoustic instruments such as the piano and guitar. This is due in part to the rise of singer-songwriters who often accompany themselves on these instruments. Additionally, many film scores and video game soundtracks feature these acoustic instruments prominently.

The 2010s

The best instrumental music of the 2010s came from a variety of genres, including post-rock, electronic, jazz, and folk. While many of the decade’s best instrumental albums were created by artists who had been active for years, such as Tortoise and This Will Destroy You, the 2010s also saw the rise of new talents like Nils Frahm and Jaga Jazzist.

Here are ten of the best instrumental albums of the 2010s.

1. This Will Destroy You – Tunnel Blanket (2011)
2. Explosion in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (2011)
3. Nils Frahm – Spaces (2013)
4. The Album Leaf – Into the Blue Again (2006)
5. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (2011)
6. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (2012)
7. Sigur Rós – Kveikur (2013)
8. Battles – Juice B Crypts (2019)
9. Tortoise – The Catastrophist (2016)
10. Jaga Jazzist – Pyramid (2018)

The 2020s

As we move further into the 2020s, we are starting to see a definitive shift in the sound of popular music. Hip-hop and R&B have been dominating the charts for some time now, but there is a growing popularity for more experimental and alternative sounds. This is most evident in the rise of electronic and dance music, as well as a renewed interest in jazz and classical music.

This list contains some of the best instrumental music of the modern era, spanning several genres and styles. It includes both newer artists who are redefining what it means to be an instrumentalist, as well as established masters who are still innovating within their field. Whether you’re a fan of energetic electronic beats or mellow acoustic arrangements, there is something on this list for everyone.

1. “Merengue” by Kamasi Washington
2. “Super Rich Kids” by Flying Lotus
3. “Afro Blue” by Robert Glasper Experiment
4. “Singularity” by Steve Coleman and Five Elements
5. “Nessun Dorma” by Wicked Lester
6. “Conception Vessel” by Vijay Iyer Sextet
7. “Apex” by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
8. “Red Baraat Festival Bhangra” by Red Baraat
9. “Spyboy Suite No 1: Pum Pum (featuring Common)” by Mark de Clive-Lowe

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