Music has been around since the beginning of time and plays a significant role in many people’s lives. According to a 2019 Medium survey of 513 respondents, 97 percent believe music is essential to them, and 83 percent actively search for something new to listen to.
Music has taken on an array of different sounds and styles. And with the rise of technology, innovative and groundbreaking developments are constantly pushing the envelope and redefining the way the world experience music.
Among the most popular types of music out there is electronic music, with countless talented artists making a name for themselves in the department. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique genre, including the all-time most remarkable people that have made it what it is today.
What is electronic music?
The history of electronic music began in the early 1900s when classical composers started experimenting with electric instruments and recorded sounds. By the 1950s, composers were utilizing tape machines to manipulate sound, giving rise to the birth of electronic music.
Today, electronic music is usually made with the help of computers and synthesizers and often combines traditional instruments with digital sounds. It can range from upbeat and hyped-up dance music to more ambient, chill vibes. Common types of electronic music include house, trance, techno, drum & bass, dubstep, electro-pop, and more.
What are the characteristics of electronic music?
A heavy focus on technology-based production characterizes electronic music. Electronic musical instruments create electronic sounds that are then manipulated electronically to create unique outputs.
The beats in electronic music are typically very repetitive and focus on one particular melody that gets repeated repeatedly throughout the song. This gives the music a very distinct and catchy sound that is easy to recognize. However, it requires a more complex production process than other music genres.
Now, electronic music takes advantage of new technological developments, such as Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controllers and digital audio workstations (DAWs), to create sounds and beats that traditional instruments could never achieve.
What artists make electronic music?
Electronic music is produced and played by countless artists who are a part of the music industry, from DJs to producers. Electronic instruments influenced composers to take music to the next level and create sounds that had never been done before. These creative minds pushed the boundaries of musical expression and made a lasting mark in electronic music.
Some people call these artists electronic music pioneers, as they were among the first to explore and break through the conventional walls of sound.
But in modern times, electronic music has become widely accessible to everyone, allowing people to express their creativity in new and unique ways. As a result, it has opened up opportunities for different electronic music genres to take off and blossom in the mainstream.
What does EDM artist mean?
While popular boybands of the 90s are still remembered fondly, the new millennium increased Electronic Dance Music (EDM). EDM artists are producers and DJs who specialize in making music through electronic means, blending digital melodies and beats.
Electronic art musicians have also popularized various styles, which are now popularly played in various clubs and music festivals worldwide. EDM pioneers like Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Armin Van Buuren have helped to make EDM a driving force in today’s popular culture.
Anyone can become an EDM artist with the right equipment and knowledge. Thanks to the internet and streaming services like Spotify, it’s never been easier to get your music out there and heard by millions worldwide. According to a 2021 survey, there are now 130,000 core EDM artists, not including the 11 million casual artists who dabble in the genre.
Who is famous for electronic music?
Many artists play electronic music, from established names to up-and-coming producers. However, some stand-outs have made an impact and are widely recognized as the all-time greatest electronic music artists.
By knowing these names, you’ll be able to better understand the history of electronic music and appreciate the genre in a whole new way.
Pierre Schaeffer is widely regarded as an influencer of electronic music. He is credited with pioneering musique concrète, a genre of experimental music that utilizes recorded sounds to create a composition.
This technique was then used by many of today’s top electronic music producers. The influence of Schaeffer’s work has been felt by generations of musicians and is notably seen in the works of notable artists such as Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and Björk.
One of the earliest pioneers of electronic music is Halim El-Dabh. Born in 1921, El-Dabh was an Egyptian composer and ethnomusicologist. He began experimenting with electronic tape music as early as 1944 when he created a composition entitled “The Expression of Zaar” using sounds from traditional instruments and recorded his voice. This was an outstanding work that pushed the boundaries of music.
El-Dabh’s work has been circulating for years and has been sampled by many famous artists.
Werner Meyer-Eppler, Herbert Eimert, and Robert Beyer
These three individuals were crucial figures in the development of the Studio for Electronic Music, which was founded in Cologne, Germany, in 1951. It is known as a famous electronic music studio.
Here, they experimented with electronic sounds and composed works regarded as some of the most influential pieces of electronic music ever created.
Notable works include Meyer-Eppler’s “Elektronische Musik und Synthetische Sprache,” released in 1953, and has differentiated sounds that shaped the modern electronic music landscape.
Minao Shibata and Toru Takemitsu
The Yamaha Magna Organ was invented in 1935 and is Japan’s earliest electronic music instrument. But shortly after World War II, Japanese composers began experimenting more with electronic music. These two men were among the most prominent of these composers.
Minao Shibata foresaw the potential of electronic music early on and focused his works on manipulating sounds to create abstract noise. Toru Takemitsu created some of the most influential works in Japanese electronic music, such as “Imprisoned Woman,” which combines traditional Japanese instruments with tape-manipulated sounds.
John Cage is considered a significant figure in the evolution of electronic music. He was an American composer, music theorist, and philosopher who explored various aspects of sound, including silence.
His works often featured everyday sounds such as birdsong and street noise.
Cage’s compositions ranged from traditional to experimental, focusing on electronic music. Cage completed Williams Mix in 1953, which used an audio tape recorder and splicing techniques to create five distinct pieces of music. This was an essential milestone in the development of electronic music.
Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening
The first tape music concert was held by Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening in New York City in 1952. This marked a crucial moment in the development of electronic music and is considered one of the most important concerts of its kind.
Ussachevsky and Luening used synthesizers, tape recorders, microphones, and loudspeakers to create their works. They helped shape electronic music’s sound and gave it a new direction. The concert features compositions such as “Low Speed” and “Fantasy in Space.”
The two were also the first to broadcast electroacoustic music through NBC’s Today Show. It featured an interview demonstration of a synthesizer, which was revolutionary for its time.
Another one of the most influential British electronic artists is Delia Derbyshire. She is credited with creating the Doctor Who theme song in 1963 and was a crucial figure in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Derbyshire’s work blended traditional instrumentation, tape manipulation, and electronic sounds to create music unlike anything else at the time. Numerous artists have sampled her works, including M.I.A., Aphex Twin, and the Prodigy.
The development of the novel musical notation system called Talmark was pioneered by Israeli composer Josef Tal. He wanted to break away from traditional musical rules and allow for unconventional compositions.
Tal composed music using tape recorders and early synthesizers, as well as his unique method of graphic notation, which he used to create innovative works. He also established the Center for Electronic Music in Israel.
A pioneer in computer composition, Grossi spent time in computer music research. He experimented with electronic techniques and founded the S 2F M studio.
This paved the way for the creation of CSIRAC, one of the earliest computers used to produce and analyze musical sounds.
The Beach Boys and The Beatles
Pop and rock music bands such as The Beach Boys and The Beatles have also made significant contributions to the field of electronic music.
They experimented with different techniques that combined traditional instrumentation with electronic sounds, resulting in a new sound of pop music.
Basic electronic rock emerged in the early to mid-1960s after The Beach Boys pushed boundaries with the hit single “Good Vibrations” and The Beatles released their album, Revolver. Their works revolutionized how people thought about and made music, and they continue to influence contemporary musicians today.
Who is the most popular EDM artist right now?
The electronic sound is constantly evolving, and more EDM artists are emerging daily. However, some stay in the spotlight longer than others, thanks to their groundbreaking releases. Right now, American DJ and producer Marshmello is one of the most popular EDM artists in the world.
Marshmello’s music has topped global charts with hit singles such as “Friends” and “Happier”. He has also collaborated with several high-profile artists, including Selena Gomez and Bastille. With his unique take on EDM, Marshmello has become the face of modern electronic music and is constantly pushing to create something new.
Another artist making waves in the EDM world is Skrillex, an American producer and DJ. He has released four studio albums that have received critical acclaim and topped the charts in more than a dozen countries.
Skrillex is one of the most influential electronic music producers of our time, thanks to his signature blend of genres like EDM, dubstep, trap, and drum & bass. His fame and success have led to collaborations with many renowned artists and producers, propelling the genre forward.
Electronic music is an ever-evolving sound, and it’s clear that these all-time greatest electronic artists have impacted millions of people worldwide. Their influence paved the way for future musicians to explore new possibilities and create something uniquely their own.
Thanks to these creative minds, electronic music will continue to be seen as a genre of discovery, innovation, and experimentation for years to come.
So, if you’re wondering how music can make your life better, why not start by getting to know the all-time greatest electronic music artists? You never know what kind of exciting journey you’ll embark on.