20th Century Electronic

Electronic music in the 20th century brought in new musical styles and forms that challenged music of the earlier period. One of the pivotal genres that was newly introduced at that time was electronic music, which was a major aspect of the advancement of music as a whole throughout the twentieth century.

The birth of electronic music was brought about by Leon Theremin, who invented the first electronic musical instrument called the Theremin in 1920. Musicians would move their hands around the Theremin to create a high warbling sound and the instrument was used mostly in the 1950s as background music in horror and sci-fi movies.

The 1940s to 1950s were the developmental stages of the electronic music genre. Great composers from different parts of the world would experiment on electronic music, thanks to French composer Pierre Schaeffer, who created the musique concrete in 1949. This experimentation later paved the way for different styles of electronic music that evolved in later years.

Development of Electronic Music
In the mid-late twentieth century, the development of various electronic instruments brought in a new era of musical freedom and experimentation. The birth of new styles of music from this era revolutionised established rules of music from earlier times. Eastern, Latin, and Western music began to mix with the help of the synthesiser. The use of amplification technology gave concert-goers the ability to hear music even at a distance, and through the technology of broadcasting, both the rich and the poor were given the opportunities to enjoy music at the comfort of their homes.

Start of an Era
The 1970s, composers like Isao Tomita and Kitaro, and musicians like Suzanne Ciani, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Kraftwerk popularised electronic music. The electronic music from this era would later be recognised by the film industry, when the use of electronic soundtracks in films started.

In the years that followed, synthetic-pop music was now being developed with the use of synthesisers. Groups like New Order and Heaven 17 were one of the first to use this type of method. While in the early to late 1980s, techno sounds were being developed in Detroit and house music in Chicago. This later paved the way for the beat and acid house music movement in the early 1990s, fueling the acceptance and popularity of electronic music into the mainstream media and helping to bring electronic dance music into a worldwide success.