2.3.3 Development and use of instruments within genres

 

The use of live electronics is not restricted to a special musical genre (as pointed out in Section 1.5) ‒ on the contrary, it is important in popular music (electronica, rock, hip hop and indie-pop, etc.), noise, jazz, improv and experimental, as well as in modern contemporary music, electroacoustic music and performance art, etc. In the development and use of devices, one could suggest (very roughly and polarised), a principal difference between the major developments in popular music, seen as part of the commercial music industry, and other genres:

-The digital devices are, in the commercial industry, often constructed to fulfil the genres’ conventions, on premises that are defined by the genres.

– The devices and instruments in other, more experimental genres are either constructed or used in new ways, in order to explore and create new musical possibilities. This use of technology, although experimental, can be seen as taking place within a genre (for instance: the genre of noise (Maja Ratkje), and the genre of interactive electroacoustic composition and improvisation (Victoria Johnson)). (It should be underlined here that there is also a long history of experimentation with technology in the history of popular music and rock, especially in connection with work in the recording studios, from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to Radiohead and Bjørk). Moreover, as pointed out earlier, the use of technology can also be seen as being more loosely connected to a genre, in individual expressions that are perhaps more closely connected to the technology involved, as in the case of Nowitz, for instance.

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