Are there a concept of electronic music?

Are there a definition or concept of electronic music? When oneself think in electronic music there are a lot of groups so different in mind: from Daft Punk, to Giorgio Moroder, from Jean Michel Jarre to CHVRCHES, from Jamie xx to Deadmau5, from Dan Deacon to Kraftwerk, from Martin Solveig to Jon Hopkins, from Skrillex to Aphex Twin… What have in common this different artists? They have in common that all of them are part of the electronic music. 

But the electronic music is a genre? Is a market sector of the industry? Is a description of the instruments they use and not an style of music? 

In one interview with NPR, Dan Deacon (American composer and electronic musician, based in Baltimore, Maryland) said:

“I think it’s insane that people still call electronic music, “electronic music.” It’s like calling guitar music, “guitar music.” It just doesn’t make any sense. Electronic music has been in the musical vocabulary for 60, 70 years now. The majority of pop music is made almost exclusively electronic[ally]. People talk about how it’s permeating the mainstream but it’s been in the mainstream forever.

When people think about electronic music, I think they mainly think about music without vocals that’s beat-driven that you’re made to dance to. I don’t think they’re thinking about Britney Spears or the majority of hip-hop or Devo or Talking Heads or anything like that. All of those bands use heavy elements of electronics; they also have guitars and vocals, and people associate those sounds before they associate the electronic instruments.” (You can check it out the complete interview in this link: http://www.npr.org/2012/08/28/160169376/dan-deacon-it-s-insane-that-people-still-call-electronic-music-electronic-music )

In the other hand, the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, widely acknowledged as one of the most important and also controversial composers of the 20th century, with groundbreaking work in electronic music, noted in the text “The Concept of Unity in Electronic Music”, four characteristics that seems important for him for electronic composition as distinguished from the composition of instrumental music:

– The correlation of the coloristic, harmonic melodic, and metric rhythmic aspects of composition.
– The composition and de-composition of timbres.
– The characteristic differentiation among degrees of intensity.
– The ordered relationships between sound and noise. 

According to this order of ideas, only there are questions, but not at all answers:

1. We can say the concept of electronic music is not applicable to all the music groups/artists? Or only is a term overrated?

2. We can say the concept of electronic music not define a music genre but put attention to the devises and instruments to generate it (mostly synths and drum machines) than to the music itself? 

3. The characteristics of this kind/genre of music is focused to “coloristic, harmonic melodic, and metric rhythmic aspects of composition”, as Stockhausen said? And “ordered relationships between sound and noise” are the blueprint of this kind of music, as also said Stockhausen? 

4. Are there a pure genre of this kind of music? Or is part of all the genres (pop music and also classic music) which include synths and electronic devises?

5. Are there a musical theory of this kind of genre?

Advertisements