Electronic music started with the invention of the synthesizer.Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instrument and electronic music technology in its production.Purely electronic sound production can be achieved using devices such as the Theremin, sound synthesizer and computer.
Some subcategories of electronic music include
- electronic dance music
- new age
- the catch-all “electronica“
which can sometimes include all of the above electronic sub-genres.
One of the first people to popularize the synthesizer was Wendy Carlos who performed classical music on the synthesizer on the recording Switched-On Bach. Space music was popularized by the group Tangerine Dream, among others, as a precursor to new age music. New age music served to support and perpetuate the values of the new age movement. Though there is some overlap between the various sub-genres of electronic music, Brian Eno, the creator of ambient music, claimed that ambient had a bit of “evil” in it, whereas new age music did not. Eno’s creation was less values-driven than new age; his goal was to create music like wallpaper, insofar as the listener could listen to or easily ignore the music. Naturally, many people have met electronic music also in the form of video game music.
In recent years, as computer technology has become more accessible and music software has advanced, interacting with music production technology is now possible using means that bear no relationship to traditional musical performance practices: for instance, laptop performance (laptronica) and live coding.In general, the term Live PA refers to any live performance of electronic music, whether with laptops, synthesizers, or other devices.
In the last decade, a number of software-based virtual studio environments have emerged, with products such as Propellerhead’s Reason and Ableton Live finding popular appeal.