1. Post #1
    Oh no, what have I done!
    milkandcooki's Avatar
    November 2007
    21,341 Posts
    Please excuse any horrible mistakes in this thread, I'm typing this on my iPod.


    Yesterday, a friend in my math class had an interesting argument. He was saying that Deadmau5 and Skrillex shouldn't have been at the Grammies because their music wasn't, well, music. His main argument was that Skrillex turns a virtual knob on a mixer to change pre-existing sounds into bits of his songs, whereas a traditional musician would physically move his fingers up or down a fret to create a sound. He also said that electronic music took a lot less effort and wasn't considered the artist's work because the computer created the song.

    I, on the other hand, completely disagree with my friend. I believe that Electronic music doesn't take less effort, it's just made differently and sounds differently.

    So, mass debators, what do you think?

  2. Post #2
    Ask me about my Zimmerman fetish

    March 2005
    3,213 Posts
    it can be effortless, david guetta made a song on his laptop in half an hour while on a flight, which ended up being played by millions of course. but it seems pretty stupid of your friend to say that electronic music isn't music. Creating "sounds" for electronic music can be a way more complicated process than doing it with instruments.


  3. Post #3
    ItWasNiceToKnow's Avatar
    July 2009
    1,239 Posts
    Wow, your friend is an ignorant asshat, flaming away with no idea what the hell he's talking about.

    Yes, you can make some easy stuff, like David Guetta, who just makes the same over and over again IMHO.
    But you can also do that exact same thing on instruments.

  4. Post #4
    ThisGuy0's Avatar
    July 2009
    2,119 Posts
    wasn't considered the artist's work because the computer created the song.
    All music is made by notes from an instrument so by his logic nothing except singing is music since the instruments created it. Your friend doesn't understand what music means.

  5. Post #5
    ItWasNiceToKnow's Avatar
    July 2009
    1,239 Posts
    All music is made by notes from an instrument so by his logic nothing is music since the instruments created it. Your friend doesn't understand what music means.
    /agree

    /thread

  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Andokool12's Avatar
    November 2008
    12,104 Posts
    Well first of all please don't use Skrillex, David Guetta and Deadmau5 to represent electronic music just because they are popular. They in no way, shape or form can represent the full extent of electronic music.

  7. Post #7
    I can buy a title to replace to the one someone bought me
    UnknownDude's Avatar
    December 2007
    4,065 Posts
    You should never ever judge a genre by a few popular artists within the genre either.

    Electronic music is made differently than "traditional" music, but it does not take less effort to do it. Besides, you can still make a mediocre Rock song with little effort.

    Electronic music can also be composed and performed live, like Jean-Michel Jarre does it, using physical synths and samplers.

    At most, the process of composing electronic music with a DAW is comparable to composing orchestral music. You are basically writing a score for several different instruments, however, instead of an orchestra, a computer is playing the music for you. This does not mean it's "computer-generated", like many closed-minded Rock fans like to put it, and of course, it can still be performed live with other musicians.

  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Splarg!'s Avatar
    September 2005
    2,404 Posts
    Um, electronic music was pioneered by traditional western composers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro...tic_tape_music

  9. Post #9
    Frog Member
    C0linSSX's Avatar
    February 2008
    2,523 Posts
    As someone who's been trying to get into electronic music production, I can attest that the computer does not "create the song" at all. There are so many goddamn steps involved that you could make the case that it's much more difficult to make electronic music on a computer than it is to make "traditional music", at least when you're learning it. You have to program the synthesizers, which requires advanced knowledge of multiple unique pieces of software and/or hardware, you have to process the synthesizer sounds and samples individually using a variety of audio-processors, the methods of processing differing depending on the genre, and then you have to make sure it all fits together, which believe me is much harder than it sounds. Even after all of that, most professional tracks by signed artists are passed off to mastering engineers (with decades of experience and professional training) to get that final polish.

    With more traditional music played on physical instruments, the band is often only responsible for writing songs (if even that) and playing the instruments, and the actual work of creating the finished song is done by a mix engineer who is typically there only for that purpose. Anyone who thinks that creating electronic music is a trivial process has clearly never tried it themselves, the only reason why artists like David Guetta can do it in 30 minutes is because they're so familiar with the process that it's natural to them, a mastery like that does not come without years upon years of experience.

    I don't much like a lot of Skrillex's stuff, just to name an example, but I recognize him as a highly skilled producer based on what he's done. He's established himself an incredibly unique sound that is somehow both aggressively mechanical and polished at the same time. You can make ear-raping distorted sounds incredibly easily, but making such a sound decent is not an easy task at all.

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Virtanen's Avatar
    March 2006
    3,223 Posts
    Your friend seems to not have any idea or insight into the production of electronic music

    besides, producers in genres like trance are aesthetically closer to legendary classical composers like mozart and brahms than "mainstream" pop-music

  11. Post #11
    VeniVidiVici74's Avatar
    September 2010
    986 Posts
    I am an instrumentalist. I play guitar and bass, and dabble in drums. And I have also used Fruityloops occasionally to make music.

    Saying that, I can say from my experience that it isn't fun to create electronic in the same way it is to play guitar. I don't think that music be defined as what sounds nice or cool or whatever, but what is fun to play, what you can jam to, what you can play with friends. It makes music more human, and that is my favorite thing about music. It is that reason that I don't respect electronic artists as "musicians" by default, because I don't think they will ever know what it feels like to play music.

    As to whether is is comparable to traditional music, no, it isn't comparable at all. On one hand, you can synthesize Stairway To Heaven, but it won't have the same magic that Stairway has, it lacks everything that makes Stairway, Stairway. On the other side of the aisle, you can play Strobe with instruments, but it won't have the same motions or sounds, however similar it may be.

    So, I don't believe they are comparable.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Virtanen's Avatar
    March 2006
    3,223 Posts
    I am an instrumentalist. I play guitar and bass, and dabble in drums. And I have also used Fruityloops occasionally to make music.

    Saying that, I can say from my experience that it isn't fun to create electronic in the same way it is to play guitar. I don't think that music be defined as what sounds nice or cool or whatever, but what is fun to play, what you can jam to, what you can play with friends. It makes music more human, and that is my favorite thing about music. It is that reason that I don't respect electronic artists as "musicians" by default, because I don't think they will ever know what it feels like to play music.

    As to whether is is comparable to traditional music, no, it isn't comparable at all. On one hand, you can synthesize Stairway To Heaven, but it won't have the same magic that Stairway has, it lacks everything that makes Stairway, Stairway. On the other side of the aisle, you can play Strobe with instruments, but it won't have the same motions or sounds, however similar it may be.

    So, I don't believe they are comparable.
    So basically what your saying is that playing existing songs is everything music is as an artform?

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    FFStudios's Avatar
    August 2008
    10,145 Posts
    As someone who occasionally produces a few electronica tracks, I think it's fair to say that there are some elements of electronic music that require more skill than others. Take a group such as Boards of Canada, for example. A lot of their stuff is done by hand, whereas something like a dubstep bassline can be synthesized in a matter of 15 minutes.

  14. Post #14
    Ordigenius's Avatar
    January 2011
    1,169 Posts
    look how I try to counter your friends argument


    yes, this shit takes effort

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Nibwoddle's Avatar
    November 2008
    2,920 Posts
    OP, your friend is a fucking idiot. Any series of sounds arranged to occur in a particular order for artistic effect is music, whether you like it or not. I'm fucking sick of people saying electronic music is worthless, it takes just as much effort and musicality if not more than wanking around on an electric guitar.

    Edited:

    It's 2012 and people are still saying this? Jesus christ, grow up.

  16. Post #16
    VeniVidiVici74's Avatar
    September 2010
    986 Posts
    So basically what your saying is that playing existing songs is everything music is as an artform?
    I don't see how you got that, I was using pre-existing songs played in opposite manners to show the contrast.

  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    Stick it in her pooper's Avatar
    April 2009
    828 Posts
    All of these were written on a computer, please oh please try to tell me they don't qualify as music

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56D041B14CEC145E

  18. Post #18
    Rome's Avatar
    August 2011
    221 Posts
    Is email comparable to telegrams?

    I think this debate was over before it started. People like your friend make me hnnngggggg

  19. Post #19
    Hi Jo
    Jo The Shmo's Avatar
    February 2009
    22,848 Posts
    of course there are differences, but that doesn't mean one is worse than the other
    for one, I don't really particularly care for live performances of digital artists, I'd rather see a real musical instrument live
    but I still recognize the fact that it takes a ton of talent to make a good electronic track
    anyway, music shouldn't just be measured based on technical skill, there are plenty of factors to qualify what makes something "music" or not

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    NightmareXx's Avatar
    October 2008
    4,051 Posts
    doesnt deadmau5 manually synth every song?

  21. Post #21
    Hi Jo
    Jo The Shmo's Avatar
    February 2009
    22,848 Posts
    doesnt deadmau5 manually synth every song?
    no idea, but I assume the op is more talking about artists who don't do that.

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    NightmareXx's Avatar
    October 2008
    4,051 Posts
    jo deadmau5 is an example in the op

  23. Post #23
    Golden Egg
    3noneTwo's Avatar
    June 2010
    816 Posts
    As someone who has been making electronic music for 8+ years, your friend has no idea what he's talking about. The computer doesn't make music, it doesn't know how to make music. The computer is a tool, just like a guitar or a drum kit is a tool. The only differences are that the musician doesn't necessarily need to know how to play an instrument in order to produce music, and that it can be far cheaper in the long run to produce electronic music, and these are what makes it seem easier. The musician still needs to know basic music theory at the very least (much like a pianist ought to know basic scales, or a guitarist ought to know chords) in order to produce a song that is pleasing to the ear.

    Your friend needs to realize that there's far more to electronic music than Skrillex or Deadmau5. It's not all about sharp club beats and an abundance of synths. A lot of electronic music actually makes use of real live instruments, and other objects that were never intended to produce music (something that live bands have also done on occasion, or have even built entire acts around).

    That said, I find it hard to decide whether electronic and traditional music can be compared. I'd liken this to comparing canvas painting with digital painting, where the differences are again in tools and long-term costs.

  24. Post #24
    Hi Jo
    Jo The Shmo's Avatar
    February 2009
    22,848 Posts
    ok but his friend doesn't seem like a very well educated person when it comes to electronic music
    but for the sake of this thread, I'm pretty sure he meant people who just mix songs on computer programs

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2009
    3,687 Posts
    How about electronic music artists like Vangelis? I don't think a song like this could be make by turning a knob back in 1978:


    And even before him, there were music artist trying new ways to make music. Read up on Delia Derbyshire, she created music using nothing but tapes samples playing at different speeds to make different pitches, yet she made one of the most well known Si-fi themes (Doctor Who)

    I'll give it now that it might be too easy to make electronic music, leading to people not using their equipment to it's full potential, but I'm sure if you swade through the shit river that is modern music, you will find the golden turd among the rivers of dubstep and songs using samples from better songs.

  26. Post #26
    Golden Egg
    3noneTwo's Avatar
    June 2010
    816 Posts
    Man, I'd neglected to think about Vangelis. He's a perfect example of electronic music, Greek composer.

    ok but his friend doesn't seem like a very well educated person when it comes to electronic music
    but for the sake of this thread, I'm pretty sure he meant people who just mix songs on computer programs
    Even so, to say that Skrillex "turns a virtual knob on a mixer to change pre-existing sounds into bits of his songs" is laughable. Like C0linSSX, I don't fancy Skrillex's work, but he knows his production. It takes a lot more than a knob to repurpose pre-existing sounds into new works. Everyone knows a few songs that have used samples from other tracks to produce something new, the practice isn't limited to electronic music.

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    Stick it in her pooper's Avatar
    April 2009
    828 Posts
    I could relate to your friend if he's talking about how all mexican 16 year olds added "dj" in front of their name on all of their Myspace accounts back in the day. And they uploaded all of these horrible "mixes" or "beats" to their account and pretended they were actually making music.

  28. Post #28
    The Union Jack would look a shit ton better with a Hammer and Sickle in the middle of it
    Bobie's Avatar
    November 2007
    7,167 Posts
    does the amount of effort taken really matter if the end product is enjoyable

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    153x's Avatar
    May 2011
    1,314 Posts
    Frankly I don't think electronic music and traditional music are even remotely comparable. They're both entirely different styles of music. Whether or not some people think electronic music isn't real music, it technically is. The level of skill involved in each style of music varies wildly too. In traditional music, someone could put together a song with just as much work as someone who makes electronic music could.

  30. Post #30
    Awesome Member
    Dennab
    January 2006
    40,352 Posts
    you should have just left the room when your friend suggested that the grammies were actually relevant.

  31. Post #31
    Lazyboy0337's Avatar
    October 2010
    3,741 Posts
    Electronic music is indeed music. Now if it's good or not is in the eye of the beholder.

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    Eluveitie's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,422 Posts
    you should have just left the room when your friend suggested that the grammies were actually relevant.
    This.

    And I agree with the OP, electronic music is just as demanding to create as 'traditional' music, it's just made with a different method, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Edited:

    OP, your friend is a fucking idiot. Any series of sounds arranged to occur in a particular order for artistic effect is music, whether you like it or not. I'm fucking sick of people saying electronic music is worthless, it takes just as much effort and musicality if not more than wanking around on an electric guitar.

    Edited:

    It's 2012 and people are still saying this? Jesus christ, grow up.
    In 2020, people will either be still saying this or saying it about a completely new type of music.

  33. Post #33
    CoolKingKaso's Avatar
    March 2010
    5,093 Posts
    Having played traditional instruments like Piano, Trumpet, Recorder, Acoustic Guitar and using software like Ableton, I find it difficult and time consuming to replicate or create a song with software than with traditional instruments.

  34. Post #34
    ECrownofFire's Avatar
    January 2011
    1,971 Posts
    Here's the thing about "traditional" instruments.

    Look at a guitar. You see those strings? Believe it or not, they make the same sound. Adjusting the strings changes the pitch and length of the sounds.

    Same deal with electronic music.

    Music, simply put, is the process of arranging sounds into patterns that for some weird-ass reason are found enjoyable by people.

  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    Eluveitie's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,422 Posts
    Here's the thing about "traditional" instruments.

    Look at a guitar. You see those strings? Believe it or not, they make the same sound. Adjusting the strings changes the pitch and length of the sounds.

    Same deal with electronic music.

    Music, simply put, is the process of arranging sounds into patterns that for some weird-ass reason are found enjoyable by people.
    And a lot of those guitars are edited by electronic programs after they've been recorded.

  36. Post #36
    weed 420 - hi mom - games r 4 nerds - i own - $WAG - *tips fedora* - do u lift?
    Elexar's Avatar
    October 2007
    12,164 Posts
    For myself, I'd rather listen to (older) music like Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Zakk Wylde and such and occasionally something new-age electronic but then only stuff like Long Arm, Boards of Canada, etcetera and sometimes even classical music like Verdi and Vivaldi and some amazing opera plays

    Comparing 'traditional music' to the new age 'electronic' is bullcrap - they're two different genres with different people listening to different subgenres and ultimately it's all down to taste

    electronic music is in the uprising, and the mainstream shifts their focus to electronic because that's where the 'fashion' is going (the music you listen to is, in all seriousness, a fashion article nowadays - read facebook posts from spotify: people have wars against each other for listening to the 'wrong' artists) and it will keep going in that direction until something new pops up

    Folk and Country was replaced by Rock 'n' Roll and Soul. Both in turn were replaced by Rap, Metal and new-age rock and these genres are now being replaced by the electronic styled music, the sad love songs on a piano or guitar loop which wouldn't have made the top500 7 years ago and the electronic rock.

    Music shifts every decade, and just because it's so different, it doesn't mean that it's not 'music' like the rest before.

    If you want to get down to the core of music you'll end up in southern africa where they drum and clack their tongues like they did 50,000 years ago - today isn't much different

  37. Post #37
    27X
    Rantasaurus Rex
    27X's Avatar
    July 2010
    5,999 Posts
    Wow, your friend is an ignorant asshat, flaming away with no idea what the hell he's talking about.

    Yes, you can make some easy stuff, like David Guetta, who just makes the same over and over again IMHO.
    But you can also do that exact same thing on instruments.
    And a lot of traditional music in the eastern hemisphere used to be just as repetitive, especially for people doing manual labor. Ain't a thing changed, it seems.

  38. Post #38
    "We should allow child labor overseas ...the sweatshop is what is saving the 9 year old worker"
    Pepin's Avatar
    April 2007
    6,864 Posts
    I was in the process of a long post, but stopped myself. I think I can sum it up by stating that the more dissimilar two things are, the more difficult they are to contrast and compare. This is of course obvious and logical. Where people are mistaken is in believing it is rational to compare two very different types of music, like they are very similar. The idea that all music is sound and therefore all music is similar is quite faulty in thinking.

    As for the OP, your friend is playing a dumb game of semantics, and you're falling along with it. First establish a definition for music that you can both agree on. Better yet, use an already established definition. Best yet, stop having irrational conversations regarding these topics. They are never productive.

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    Eluveitie's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,422 Posts
    I was in the process of a long post, but stopped myself. I think I can sum it up by stating that the more dissimilar two things are, the more difficult they are to contrast and compare. This is of course obvious and logical. Where people are mistaken is in believing it is rational to compare two very different types of music, like they are very similar. The idea that all music is sound and therefore all music is similar is quite faulty in thinking.

    As for the OP, your friend is playing a dumb game of semantics, and you're falling along with it. First establish a definition for music that you can both agree on. Better yet, use an already established definition. Best yet, stop having irrational conversations regarding these topics. They are never productive.
    You see that's the problem, people like the OP's friend define music as something that isn't created with a computer program. It's reasoning that is completely flawed seeing as most traditional instruments nowadays are recorded then edited and improved via a computer program.

    I have a friend who is adamant about electronic music not being music. His reasoning is "you don't have to learn an instrument to play it and you can't play it live". I tell him this isn't the point of what music is about but he continues to be a stubborn fuckwit and say that his definition of music is something that can be played live in front of someone.

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2007
    13,126 Posts
    I tend to like songs without lyrics a lot, and I tend to like them for the same reason I like classical music. Because music without lyrics, is a lot more dependent on a good composer. Music isn't all about the message or creating it by hand, but also about how the music is composed.

    One of my absolute favorite types of music is the mood-setting music in videogames, and I think it has many resemblances to classical music for various reasons