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Electronic Music and Jazz

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Electronic music has had an interesting development over time that has lead it in many different directions. However, there is still a favoring of loop-based composition in electronic music that can sometimes lead to stagnant pieces. One of the latest additions to the many electronic influenced styles is jazz, creating a genre known as electronic jazz. This recent style may offer great opportunities to expand the structure and form or electronic music in a beneficial manner that creates music of increased engagement and appeal to a wider audience.

Since it's beginning, electronic music has lent itself to loops and compositions based on loops. While this has been material enough for many artists to create high quality music, it has left others in uninspiring and repetitious limbo, never to get their songs beyond an initial looping phrase.

The basic technique used in effective electronic music is to have more than just an A section. This means adding another similar loop in as a B or C section or maybe even changing it up completely between sections. While the sections are underway, new musical elements are usually added in to keep things fresh, such as adding a hi-hat at a faster rhythm. Electronic jazz allows more development and melodic material to be implemented in electronic music.

The melodic point is an important one. Electronic music on its own is usually devoid of strong melody besides what already came as part of the loop. Melody is what can really make a song memorable and enjoyable, and the ability of jazz to create strong melodies and then improvise them into constantly changing lines adds a whole new dimension to electronic music.

At the same time, electronic music has a lot of favorable elements that may improve on traditional jazz and expose the genre to more people. Straight ahead beats and rhythms are something that jazz needs to accept. There is no reason other than blind adherence to tradition to stay locked into swing grooves, and electronic music usually produces the catchiest beats. If jazz artists can take this base and add improvisation to it you would have the best of both worlds.

This is not to say that swing has to be abandoned, just the allegiance to it. Electronic jazz produces the opportunity for both electronic music and jazz to take the elements that larger groups of people can get into and combine them. Theoretically it can create some great music, and so far in practice, it has.

Many jazz artists are adding electronic elements to their recordings and many electronic artists are adding jazz elements. This trend should continue and produce all sorts of interesting combinations, which will get people from both genre more interested in one another.


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