deutsche elektronische musik is a blog that talks about musical styles and its cultural contribution to our society.
What Makes Music?
What is music?
Music is a universal language that transcends differences in culture, race, and gender. It is the soul of art and society. Music is a vital part of our lives – whether we realize it or not.
Music can be found everywhere; from the sounds of nature to the buzzing of city life, from hummed nursery rhymes to concert halls and cathedrals, and even in your kitchen appliances! Whenever sound is present, so is music.
Music has no language barrier. It reaches out to people in every corner of the earth and conveys emotion, feeling and thought in ways that words cannot match. You don’t have to understand what an artist or composer is saying or singing to feel or appreciate the music.
The idea that the evolution of music parallels the evolution of society is nothing new. The Romantic era gave birth to a new form of music that was more expressive, rather than being based on rules and conventions as in previous eras. Does this mean that society had also changed? Or, is it simply because we have become so accustomed to the romantic style that we now recognize it as a “romantic” piece?
Postmodernism (1920-present) is an art movement that rejects classifications or categories. It resists classification and definition because it is always changing and evolving. In postmodernist society, people are faced with so many choices for everything from music to politics, to careers. Today’s artists often borrow from styles and ideas from previous artists and create something new out of them which adds to this complicated web of influence and originality.
German electronic music is a very diverse genre with many subgenres. The main artists in this genre were Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Music from Germany will often be associated with the cold war.
Kraftwerk is probably the most famous German band of all time, and they are responsible for the success of the musical style known as Krautrock. The music is often known for its repetitive rhythms, long melodies, and no lyrics. Artists like Neu! (Neu) and Can (Ege Bamyasi) made some of the most influential albums in history and have influenced many later artists.
Although Krautrock was very popular in Germany, it never became mainstream in America or England. One reason for that was probably that it was very difficult to understand what the singers were saying; they spoke German and sang in a language that sounded more like a computer than English or German, which gave it a very robotic sound.
Kraftwerk also had another style called “Deutsche Elektronische Musik” (DEM), which means German electronic music. It’s sometimes referred to as “Krautrock”, but there are differences between these two styles: DEM is often more melodic than Krautrock, and it’s
I’ve been thinking about composing a piece of music using only sine tones. The idea of using sine tones to create music is not new (see this post) but I think it would be interesting to create a piece of music where the only instrument used was a sine tone oscillator.
This is still an idea in its infancy and I don’t want to give away too many details at this stage. But I thought it would be fun to see if anyone could guess how long it would take a listener to notice that all the sounds were just coming from one oscillator.
To kick things off, here is a short piece made from two sine tones, slowly fading in and out of each other over 90 seconds:
Deutsche Elektronische Musik (DEM) is the music produced in Germany from approximately 1968 until the present by young composers using electronic technology. It is often referred to as Berlin School because most of its practitioners were based in, or strongly associated with, Berlin.
For listeners, DEM is defined less by its technology than by its style and culture. Its purpose is to create a new type of music that represents an alternative to the Western art music tradition. DEM’s key concepts are futurism, modernity and authenticity. Its key themes are space, time, urban life and nature. Its key instrument is the synthesizer.
DEM is also important as a cultural phenomenon that reflects Germany’s relationship with technology. Specifically, it demonstrates how Germans adopted, adapted and resisted American technologies during the Cold War.