Electronic Music
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Electronic Music
The world of music is flooded these days by music produced with the massive or exclusive assistance of electronic means. This music is mainly meant for dancing and listening at young people's social events. It is a combination of influences, from European electronic music to the Funky and Jazz styles, and to the protest culture of black people in America - the Hip-Hop.
The arena of musical activity of "Dance" music is usually called "the Scene".
Photograph courtesy of www.techno.czHere, a new vocabulary emerged for terms and elements that did not exist before the age of electronic music:
Sample - this is the auditory material of electronic music. Each section is taken from a record or any other sound source, can now be used as a musical component, modified and integrated in a new song.
Electronica - this is how they call the entire range of electronic styles, which keeps growing. Others simply call it "Techno" music.
Rave - the term used for new music. It refers to the enthusiasm generated by electronic music and the big parties.
Rap - rhythmical speech, usually including text of protest and anger of a young generation in the margins of the mainstream, with musical rhythms in the background.

The world of Rave
In this new musical culture, the Disc Jockey replaces the performing musician as the center of the show. The DJ's orchestra includes, instead of players and instruments, a pair of turntables, and electronic-musical devices such as the sampler, drum machine and more. The DJ must be familiar with the records with which he works - each song's key, tempo, breaks (rests) and so on. Only a DJ who masters the musical material perfectly can reach the level of synchronization needed for connecting the different musical materials. The best of DJs are real superstars and fill out Rave parties with huge crowds, who come to dance and hear the "Sets" they lay out.
Photograph courtesy of www.techno.czBeyond the term's literal meaning, nowadays it is customary to use the word "Rave" to describe open parties that last all night long, and in which the music played is all kinds of Techno. In Rave music, the DJ serves as the party's high priest (the "shaman") and he uses the music he or she had selected, adding mixes of samples and original recordings, in order to elevate participants to a high sphere of sensation. Assisted by lighting means and visual effects, they enhance the impression and intensify the pseudo-ritual experience of the Rave. Rave fans, or Ravers, explain that this tradition of ancient celebrations, preceded by tribal festivities of Indians, Eskimos and tribes around the world, break the barriers between participants. The techno music only augments the strong feelings created by the joint experience. The visual effects are not necessary, but they are definitely a significant part of the scene. From parties with a single spot light to gigantic screens with dazzling visual displays, lasers dancing to the rhythm of music, amazing lighting balls and computer graphics based on fractal shapes, random functions and programmes using the capacities of computer display referring to music - all these enhance the hypnotic experience of music and strengthen the effect of electronic music.

Electronic music Styles
A style of music meant for dancing. Usually, light, catchy music played in Discos and clubs for dancing purposes. Dance is particularly popular, and many pop hits use Dance rhythms as a basis.

This style is the one that began, as early as the mid 1980's, the revolution of electronic music, when DJs in Chicago started playing music based on soul music records combined with drum machines, an invention then new and intriguing. This new, clean music combining Black Soul singing with modern digital rhythms, took the place of 1970's Disco music and brought amazing energies to the "House" parties (hence the name "House"). This music incorporates, usually, piano sounds and "happier" sounds - more than in any other style in the world of Techno.

A completely electronic musical style, that focuses on the strong beat and makes use of rhythm as a hypnotic means. Usually, there is no singing in Techno music, and the tempo varies in the range of 115-160 beats per minute (BPM). Although there are some exceptions, these conventions rule the genre. In Techno music extensive use is made of samples taken from other songs' recordings, from different musical sounds such as world music and even non-musical sounds, that integrates perfectly here. Thus, an industrial manufactured machine becomes a full partner in making a Techno rhythm and this, with resources such as quotes from a TV series or a movie, may become part of a single Techno track. Being the ancestor of many different styles, as the Ambient and Jungle, which emerged from it, Techno became a general name for music produced by electronic means.

This is a slow, sample-based style, based on rap (spoken rhyming vocals), and characterized by Lo-Fi, referring to a low quality of sound recording. It samples and is influenced by styles such as Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funky and Reggae. A DJ from New York created this style in the late 1970's, based on scratching old records and sharp cuts.
Urban NYC view - courtesy of Dr. Jacob DafniBut first of all Hip-Hop is a general name for the subculture within which rap evolved. It has four main elements, and those are graffiti art, break-dancing, DJ art (cutting and scratching), and rap. Hip-hop is a lifestyle with its own jargon, outfit and music. Since Breakdance and graffiti are quite rare, almost disappeared, nowadays people tend to confuse rap and Hip-Hop. However it is important to mention Hip-Hop lives on even today, including all of its components, though altered and transformed. Hip-Hop was born as a black reaction to the commercialized Disco of European characteristics. Many of the break-dancers and rappers were gang-members who found themselves a new activity. The music that accompanied the dance was barely heard on the radio, with artists such as "Sly and the Family Stone" band and the legendary James Brown. Later on, rappers began integrating into break-beat parties, and rap became the main voice of those events.

RapActivities on the web
Rap is a recitation of words to the sound of rhythmical music. It is a form of artistic expression whose origins are derived in ancient African music and the verbal tradition of human beings everywhere. In America, this tradition of verbal acrobatics or a rhymed duel, has always existed in the African-American community. Rap was born when a DJ from Jamaica named Kool Herc moved to New York in the early 1970's, and settled in the Bronx. He brought the Jamaican style to the "Big Apple", where he dressed up improvised rhyming on Reggae background music. Later on, at parties, loud calls of the DJs and participants became popular, and Herc founded a rap band, where, for the first time in the US, two of his friends took the microphone, whereas he kept handling the music.
Rap gained more and more popularity among New Yorker young people, especially the black youth, since it did not require buying musical instruments, studying, or any other kind of investment. Most of them possessed talent, capability and limitless time to practice and memorize. Rap had no boundaries of style, subject or otherwise. It was enough that you adjusted the lyrics to the beat and timing, in order to perform clean rap. On the other hand, rap was very individual and reflected the rapper's personality. Many saw rap as a stepping stone to success that would pull them out of poverty and misery and into commercial and financial prosperity.

Acid House
The Acid-House developed as several drum machines, such as the TB-303 model of "Roland" company, developed a "warm Funky" sound, that sounds a bit "liquid". The word "Acid" is one of the sources for the antagonism against this style, which allegedly encourages drug abuse, but some actually argue that the origin of the term is in fact "acid burn", a technique used in sampling from other records.

Acid Jazz
A mix of Jazzy elements with Funky, Hip-Hop and Latin music. The term was invented by a famous London DJ in response to the popular Acid House.

The Breakbeat is identified with Hip-Hop samples played faster. Often, Reggae songs are played here, and influences from this style are evident in the Breakbeat, while doubling the tempo (tempo in Reggae is 65-80 beats per minute, whereas the Breakbeat is usually played at a tempo twice as fast). The Breakbeat is excellent for dancing, though less hypnotizing than other styles of Techno.

Evolved from the experimental electronic music of the 70's, Ambient music aims mainly to relax the listener, rather than make him dance. Ambient music includes soothing rhythms and samplings, and it generates sensations of serenity and rest, a characteristic that leads many to view it as a healing instrument. The term was set by one of the first ambient musicians, Brian Eno.

Photograph courtesy of www.techno.czTrance
Trance music originated in the Techno scene in Germany of the early 1990's. Trance music is also identified with the Goa beaches in India, and it is pleasant and gentler than most kinds of Techno. It emphasizes short, repeated synthesizer movements and occasionally shifting rhythms. However, unlike Ambient, Trance does allow you to dance to it. Trance music tries to take the dancing crowd to another world and into a trance of music and motion. Trance is a mixture of European Energy music (Dance at 140 BPM), and a layer of industrial music. The outcome is intensive Techno, a bridging over between technology and spirituality.

Jungle (Drum N' Bass)
The Jungle or Drum N' Bass, is a style created in England at the beginning of the 1990's. A style of Techno with complex rhythms based on fast music loops, it is affected by Rhythm & Blues and Reggae. Its typical speed is 160-180 BPM.


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