Jump to content

Trying to Identify a Genre


Recommended Posts

I really like music that's made by non-musical instruments, like sound effects from Windows or Super Mario, or pots and blenders, doors closing, or what have you. You can check out this playlist I made for some examples:

My question is, does this fall under a certain genre? And if so, what's it called?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gates of hell is electronic.

in general, the use of non-traditional instruments to make sound is known as percussion. just kidding, doug! no, really, it's called found instrumentation. the vast majority are percussive instruments, since pretty much anything that makes regular pitches has been classified (like, there's five or six kinds of pitched instruments that consist solely of glasses with various amounts of different liquids in them).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

musique concrete, as originally described by pierre schaeffer, was originally supposed to describe aural ideas expressed through the manipulation of tapes. with the Nazis' invention of the magnetic tape recorder during the war, and the subsequent marketing of the technology in the few years following, schaeffer's ideas began playing sometime near 1948 on an egyptian radio station, if i remember correctly.

the nature of musique concrete is that while it was originally based on found instrumentation, the invention and subsequent exploration of synthesizers allowed for an incredible amount of sounds to play with. early composers attempted to utilize popular compositional techniques - particularly serialism - to allow for some form to their creations, but for the most part it really was just playing around with sound - similar to early composers playing with ideas outside the traditional bounds of tonality and the church modes.

if you want an example, there's a myriad of stuff out there that really fits this genre, but i'd recommend mario davidovsky's pulizter-winning synchronisms no. 6, for piano and tape. it's hard to listen to unless you've got a good explanation for what's going on, but it perfectly demonstrates these concepts. if you want something more 'found', schaeffer's early works would suffice, i'd think.

since this youtube example's got a lot of pitch-shifting and all that, i'd say it qualifies as musique concrete. the use of various effects, like tape delay, stuttering, and timeshifting, kind of give that away. if it's just banging on doors and stuff, though, it's not really musique concrete. there has to be that manipulation of timbre and time to really give it that name.

i did a lecture recital on the music of jacob ter veldhuis, and he was profoundly influenced by traditional musique concrete, particularly in his works Billie and Pitch Black (both of which are highly listenable, and really cool works for saxophone/sax quartet and tape). i also did a term paper on synchronisms no. 6 =)

did that help?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.


×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...