Is Electronic a Genre of Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


We take a look at the question of whether electronic music can be considered its own genre, or if it is simply a catch-all term for any music made with electronic instruments.

What is electronic music?

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music), and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, as well as electrical elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electroacoustic instruments include the theremin, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer and computer can produce electronically generated sounds. Early examples of pure electronic sound generation include Oskar Vierling’s electric springboard (1930) and Joseph Schillinger’s coordinate-controlled Theremin (1931).

Is Electronic a Genre of Music?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. On the one hand, electronic music is its own distinct genre with a rich history and unique soundscape. On the other hand, many experts argue that it is not a genre at all but rather a catch-all term for any type of music that relies on electronic instrumentation or production techniques.

The history of electronic music.

The history of electronic music is fascinating, to say the least. It’s a genre that has been around for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to the very earliest days of musical experimentation.

In the early 1800s, French composer Pierre-Joseph-Marie Mondion created one of the first known pieces of electronic music. Titled “Le Chant Electrique,” the piece was intended to be performed by a single musician using an electrical apparatus.

While Mondion’s experiment was ultimately unsuccessful, it laid the groundwork for future electronic music pioneers like Russian composer Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin and American composer Henry Cowell. In the early 1900s, Scriabin created “Poeme de L’Extase,” a piece that featured a theremin, one of the first electronic instruments ever invented. Cowell, meanwhile, composed “Electrical Touch,” a work that made use ofplayer pianos and other early electrical devices.

It wasn’t until after World War II that electronic music really began to take off, however. In 1948, German-born composer Werner Meyer-Eppler, working with fellow German composers Robert Beyer and Hanns-Joachim Roderburg, pioneered the use of tape recorders in musical compositions. This new technology allowed them to create sounds that had never been heard before, paving the way for the development of musique concrète (literally “concrete music”), a form of avant-garde composition that made use of recorded sounds as raw material.

Over the next few decades, electronic music would continue to evolve and grow in popularity. In 1960, English composer Daphne Oram created one of the first pieces of purely electronic music with her composition “The Oramics Machine.” In 1965, Japanese composer Isao Tomita released his groundbreaking album Snowflakes are Dancing, which featured numerous pieces of classical music rearranged for synthesizer. And in 1977, Giorgio Moroder released “I Feel Love,” a disco track that made significant use of synthesizers and drum machines and is often credited as being one of the first true electronic dance tracks.

Today, electronic music is more popular than ever before. Thanks to advances in technology, anyone with a computer can now create their own electronic compositions; as a result, the genre has become increasingly diverse and experimental in recent years. From techno and dubstep to house and IDM (intelligent dance music), there are now subgenres and subcategories to suit just about every taste. Whether you’re a fan of its more commercial forms or its more avant-garde manifestations, there’s no doubt that electronic music is here to stay.

The different genres of electronic music.

In order to determine if electronic is a genre of music, it is important to understand the different types of electronic music. There are four main types of electronic music: techno, trance, house, and drum and bass. Techno is a type of electronic dance music that was created in Detroit in the early 1980s. Trance is a type of electronic music that was developed in the 1990s and is characterized by a hypnotic rhythm. House is a type of electronic dance music that was created in Chicago in the early 1980s. Drum and bass is a type of electronic music that was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s.

The popularity of electronic music.

Electronic music has been around for centuries, but it only became popular in the last few decades. Thanks to advances in technology, electronic music has become one of the most popular genres of music in the world.

There are many different subgenres of electronic music, but the most popular ones are house, techno, and trance. These subgenres are characterized by their use of synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments.

Despite its popularity, there is still some debate over whether or not electronic music should be considered a genre of music. Some people argue that it is not a genre because it is not created with traditional instruments. Others argue that it is a genre because it has its own distinct sound and style.

At the end of the day, whether or not you consider electronic music to be a genre is up to you. If you enjoy listening to it, then that’s all that matters.

The future of electronic music.

Although it is difficult to predict the future of any genre, let alone one that is as young and ever-evolving as electronic music, there are a few trends that suggest where the music might be headed.

For one, the line between electronic and non-electronic music is becoming increasingly blurred. As digital technology becomes more and more commonplace in both the recording studio and live performances, we are likely to see more and more artists incorporating elements of electronic music into their work, regardless of whether they consider themselves “electronic” musicians.

In addition, we are also seeing a growing trend of collaboration between electronic musicians and visual artists. As electronic music becomes more popular, there is a growing demand for visually-stunning live performances to go along with the music. This has led to a new breed of visual artist who specializes in creating mind-blowing light shows and videos specifically designed to complement the sounds of the music.

Finally, it is worth noting that electronic music is becoming increasingly global in scope. Thanks to the internet, anyone with a computer can make and distribute their own music without having to go through traditional channels like record labels or radio stations. This has led to the rise of numerous online communities devoted to electronic music from all over the world, which in turn has made it easier for international artists to find an audience for their work.

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