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
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".
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
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,
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.
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
an invention then new and intriguing. This new, clean music combining Black
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
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
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,
A DJ from New York
created this style in the late 1970's, based on scratching old records
and sharp cuts.
first of all Hip-Hop is a general name for the subculture within which
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The Acid-House developed as several drum
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
A mix of Jazzy
elements with Funky,
music. The term was invented by a famous London DJ in response to the popular
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.
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
Its typical speed is 160-180 BPM.