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do you think electronic music is the most refined form?

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by deep, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    for whatever implications and connotations the word refined holds for you , do you think it's comparatively more refined than any other genre of music? including classical, genres that employ analog noises (i.e. from instruments), etc.

    I'm leaning towards yes. I can't quite yet characterize it, but for some reason even great classic works or anything up until this point was archaic and primitive in construction by contrast
  2. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    In terms of the instruments: yes. In terms of production: not a chance.


  3. patio-d

    patio-d TRIBE Member


    hard to put it into words, but i always use classical music as a reference for thinking about rave music (i'm sick of using the term "electronic music")..... it can have the richness and texture of a symphony, but it isn't limited by instrument. and with electronically generated sounds, the music can be tweaked and pushed to trigger really specific emotional responses. music theory isn't something i've studied but i know what you mean for sure.
    hey deep, what's your real name?
  4. SlipperyPete

    SlipperyPete TRIBE Member

    Re: yup.

    like Santa Claus, deep doesn't really exist

    he IS the matrix
  5. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    Depends what you mean.

    The only way I can see it being more refined, is that you no longer actually need a skilled human to play the instrument. This means that some extremely technical or difficult (or previously impossible) physical manoevers can now be 'played'. ie. the stoccattoes in some of the rhythms are too fast to be played by any human with fingers. Likewise, the rhythm is always in perfect sync because you aren't relying on a human.

    Now, while this improves the 'technical' perection of the music, I think it inherently totally degrades it from music at all. Anyone who goes through musical training knows that technical performance is second to musicality, which relies on artistically inflected variations to tempo and 'refinement' which infuses deeper emotion.

    As for refined stylistically, not a chance in hell. Classical music has had hundreds of years to refine itself and millions of people have made careers and built educations out of the study. Anyone can (and anyone does) compile electronic music out of a few preprogrammed beeps and doodads. In this sense electronic music is not refined at all.

    Real music is still way ahead of electronic music. The facility of electronic music puts it in another category altogether. Frankly I don't think it takes much skill to compose electronic music and no one 'plays' it so... It really has nothing against a good violin solo or pipe organ toccatta.

  6. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    And for the most part, there really is only one genre at which electronic music excels.

    fast (ish).

    I have yet to hear anything remotely close to an interesting Largo done electronically. Even the worst approximations just come off as shitty new-age crap. Basically, once you remove the one thing that electronic music excels at (perfectly syncopated and fast rhythms), there is nothing about electronic music that cannot be done conventionally and there are plenty of shortcomings.

  7. matty

    matty TRIBE Member

    I think electronic music has one thing that is inherently different from almost every music that has preceeded it, the focus on timbre. Electronic musicians have focused so much more on the timbre of the sounds that are present in the music they make than any other music that preceeded the advent of electronic production equipment. Sometimes electronic music, especially when you look at it's more academic forms, appears to be nothing more than a vehicle for the display/showcasing of extremely artistic sound design. You've got the jungle guys creating some of the craziest bass sounds ever heard, and pairing them with polyrhythms from another dimension. You've got techno producers creating far out, glitched-up sounds that they present to the listener in an psyco-acoustic space that holds almost nothing in common with the rules of acoustics that govern our every day lives. In these sorts of ways electronic music has provide an opportunity to truely explore some of the previously neglected componets that comprize any musical piece.

    That being said, I also think that electronic music is far less refined in some aspects that other genres of music have taken the time to focus on. There is the story-telling aspect of rock & folk musics, the melodic underpinnings and motifs of eurocentric classical music (please don't tell me that trance compositions are as complex or emotional as classical peices, a lot of the apparent complexity and emotion you are hearing is a function of the sounds in the composition and not the composition itself), the rhythms of world musics in time signatues that aren't 4/4 or in signatures that evolve thourghout the course of a track. There are many other genre's of music each with their own focuses, strengths, and weaknesses.

    It's music just like all other sorts of music. It's not better or worse, it just is.
  8. cdp

    cdp TRIBE Member

    With all the programming and tweaking available to synthesists - all the sound design and sequencing possibilities - electronic instruments really don't compare to the vast sound possibilities you can get from, let's say, a cello (and a great player). And although you can produce some very complex arrangments in electronic, a classical piece of music (as an example) can be just as complex... plus it also counts with each players distinctive contribution in terms of feel and technique.

    (makes electronic music)
  9. shylock_one

    shylock_one TRIBE Member

    That's odd, I always thought of electronic music as some of the most primal music of recent times. Especially with jungle and breaks with its pounding rhythms and driving bass.
    A lot of electronic music, seems to have more in common with the tribal rhythms of africa than it does with the counter-points of Bach.

    Just an opinion.......
  10. orange richie

    orange richie TRIBE Member

    Did anyone ever hear a peice of electronic music that has only the kick drum as the constant 'on time' sequenced beat but all the rest of the components (i.e. rhythyms, percussions, instruments, samples) of the track are sampled 'live' and sequenced into the track. This gives the track the imperfections and emotion of a live instrument performance.

    I agree that nothing beats a skilled musician doing their thing on an instrument live. It's got so much more feel to it. Now incorporate this into a peice of electronic music and you got a really 'organic', fuller, emotional sounding track.

    Mix it up! Sometimes strictly electronic sounds get dull fast...

    Rickardo Belmiro de la Cruz...
  11. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Well-Known TRIBEr

    the one problem with that is that if you have ever played with a live drummer you know that the time is NEVER perfect like that. but i will agree that it does sound more organic with live instruments.

    also, i consider jazz a refined form of music yet a lot of jazz is played in flexible time. is electronic music mechanical and perfect...yes, is it more refined than jazz or classical...don't think so.
  12. kennyboy

    kennyboy TRIBE Member


    If you honestly think electronic music is that refined you have to be high.

    I love my electronic music, but as far as talent, difficulty, ability goes, if you can play jazz, you can play anything. Ask any accomplished jazz musician (and I'm not talkin' some clown that played trumpet in the high school band)
  13. Cheer Bear

    Cheer Bear TRIBE Member

  14. kennyboy

    kennyboy TRIBE Member

    Electronic music has nothing to do with the tribal rythyms of Africa, try as it might.

    Sitting at a keyboard is not quite the same as a choir of zulu warriors singing in the african plains. Try as you may, the sound may be replicated but the feeling never will. This is why live music will always outlive electronic.
  15. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Well-Known TRIBEr

    i see no reason for live music to outlive electronic, computers and syths are simply tools to do things that are either too complicated or too boring for an actual musician to do. there is abaolutly no reason why the two shouldn't be mixed(when appropriate), a true musician uses all the tools available in order to create his/her vision.
  16. kennyboy

    kennyboy TRIBE Member


    But obviously you have never seen a true(in my words) musician/vocalist perform. The word electronic does not even enter the equation.

    It's a sound that no computer can ever re-produce. Live music is what it is. A record is a record, a human voice carries it's own weight.
  17. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Well-Known TRIBEr

    i think that my arguement needs some clearing up. i agree that live music can never be replaced. since i am a live musician and a lover of classical and jazz, my heart will always lie with live instruments. however i still see no reason why they can't be used together once in a while. when it comes to experiecncing a symphony or a dj, i'll go with the symphony. but computers are still an amazing composing tool. not all of us have the money to hire live musicians to play our music. computers give me the chance to hear my peices without having to hire musicians or give them directions as to how it should be played.

    there are musicians and there are composers. a musician simply plays what he/she is told. a composer creates music. if a musician improvises a part in a piece, they have for that moment become composers. most people do both. but i believe that they are two separate things. as a musician i despise computers! as a composer i use them for my own purposes when i see fit.

    can't we all just get along?
  18. shylock_one

    shylock_one TRIBE Member

    I'm just saying that, electronic musics' roots are derived more from african music much like jazz and hip hop if you will [rather than classical music (which apparently people have designated as the most refined music there is)].
  19. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    I agree with m...m. Electronic music is about sounds. Timbre is everything. You can make a house beat, with a house drum kit, and then apply it to a trance kit, and the beats will resamble that of a trance track.

    Way back when analog synthesizers were developed, they were developed to mimic the sounds of real instruments. People tried to recreat a violin sound by applying physics to a simple oscillator. This didn't always produce the results they wanted, and sometimes they ended up with crazy crazy mad sounds that have never been heard before. Electronic music is a heaven for these sounds. What else are these useless filtered sounds going to be used...

    Electronic music is more of an art of creating unique sounds that have never been heard before, and using the music equipment in ways that have never been used before.

    When you go to a classical symphony, you know what sounds to expect, but if you go to an electronic music concert, most of the sounds you hear will be new to you.
  20. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    It does sound very similar though. The process of making it is not the same, but if you've ever heard african drumming, or just african dances, they are similar to the 4/4 pattern that most electronic genres use. I just watched a documentary on the Randille tribe in Kenya today, and was amazed by how similar the dancing and the beats where.
  21. Zer0G

    Zer0G TRIBE Member

    The global chatter of electricity, the vibrations of infinite stereoscopic synapses and a smile.
  22. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known TRIBEr

    Let's also not forget that we are at the beginning... and electronic music has no boundaries. Classical has very defined boundaries: it's just a fact of having to use certain instruments, and being limited by "talent" (which makes it specialized).

    Anybody can learn to make electronic music, even if only in a rudimentary sense (1 hour after getting Acid a few years back, I had a listenable tune). Ultimately, the very ease of use of the whole electronic symphony is what drives creativity. Look at it this way: We can all write.... but how many of us write well? We may all be able to make electronic music.... but how many of us make something worth listening to?

    Refined? Yes, very much so, and not necessarily derived from a past, unlike classical. Tabula rasa every single time, if you want it.
  23. matty

    matty TRIBE Member

    Who exactly made up the rule that the 'best' music is only that which is difficult to play? Jazz may be tougher to perform live but sit a jazz player down infront of an arsenal of gear and challange them to make a credible electronic track. It's apples and oranges. Virtuoso insturmant playing ability isn't the same this as being an excellent producer. Jazz musicians are good at what they do, as are classical composers, as are electronic musicins. Think chopain was a virtuoso on every insturment in his orchestra? His skill lay in composition which is a completely different art than that of Miles Davis, The Beatles, or Orbital.

    This is all sort of like saying that impressionist artists are better than realists or the abstract artists. whatever. it's all just art.

    Don Juan taught that there really was nothing better or worse than anything else, and what we think is better or worse is just our perceptions colouring reality. This might be a good explanation for why their are so many different perspective on what is good music and what isn't. You like apples better I like oranges. I'm not going to convince you that oranges are better no matter how much I argue and vica versa.

    I think that something LL Cool J said to Quincy Jones when they were speaking about hi-hop as an aftform might be fitting here. "I wonder, what do all the musicians and singers think of us?" Maybe electronic music makers aren't muscians at all and we need to shed all the baggage tying us to the musics of the past.
  24. orange richie

    orange richie TRIBE Member

    Like I said, the kick drum is constant (acts like a metronome) so it is in exact time. All the other components of the track are fairly close with slight imperfections in time but it's still very mixable.

    My thoughts exactly, there is limits with live music as there are limits with electronic music. Who's to say one can't utilize the two to achieve a particular sound?

    A lot of 'soundtrack' music for movies these days use both an orchestra and electronic sounds (i.e. synths, various sound effects, electric harp, etc.) to create a fuller sounding peice that is more fitted to the situation(s) on the screne. It also re-defines classical and takes it to a new level. A good example of this kind of composing is Brad Fidel <--- the guy who wrote the soundtrack for Terminator, True Lies and others. His sound really hightens the movie going experience, hell I just like to sit back and just listen to the soundtrack alone.

    Rickardo Belmiro de la Cruz...
  25. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Nope it uses simple constructs and its all 4/4. even by the most simple definitions its about as ground breaking as pop garbage.

    No offence but really its more formulated than disco ever was. The production levels on most cd's is on par with rock but its far easier to engineer an electronic album then to level anything done by a sympthony orchestra.

    Theres more ground breaking work being done musicaly in the Lion King and most old Phil Colins tracks than half the tripe being released.

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