What is Electroacoustic music?
Electroacoustic is a name that could describe any electronic technology that works with sound.
The name ‘Electroacoustic’ is descriptive of the music and its technology.
- Electro- = refers to the use of electronic tools to work with and transform sounds.
- -acoustic = refers to sound itself, and the fact that this music is often made out of recorded sounds.
What does this music involve?
Composers of this music are fascinated by the beauty of sound and often want to create new sounds, or draw attention to sounds, that have never been heard before.
Compose With Sounds
New works are, today, almost always composed using computers and will combine both generated sounds and recorded sound.
What does it sound like?
In truth, there are many different styles of composition within the category of Electroacoustic Music.
Pieces will sound different depending on the tools and technology that the composer uses, and the extent to which they want to transform their recorded sounds.
Some composers want to create sounds that are different from anything heard before, while others like playing with sounds that are familiar to us.
This diversity of styles in electroacoustic music is very similar to those that exist within pop music.
There are many different styles of pop music from Rock, Metal and Folk to Hip Hop, RnB and Dance etc.
So while the term pop music can give us some idea, we often need more detailed terms to describe the work of specific artists.)
- Poème électronique (by Edgar Varèse)
- Concret PH (by Iannis Xenakis)
- Kits Beach Soundwalk (by Hildegard Westerkamp)
- … but the kitchen sink (by Duncan Chapman)
- C’est Wiizzz!!! (by Florian Sulpice)
- and many more…. Listening Room
Who makes this music?
We have interviewed the next generation of composers that are making works of Electroacoustic Music and have asked them questions about their practice. Check out what these young composers have to say about their work in the Composer Case Studies that we put together:
- Danny Saul – Electroacoustic Music, Electronic Music, Live Electronics.
- Manuella Blackburn – Electroacoustic, Musique Concrète
- Michael Gatt: Electroacoustic (Acousmatic) & Sound Installation
- Louise Rossiter – Electroacoustic, Gestural, Soundscape
- Nicola Monopoli: Electroacoustic Music
Works of electroacoustic music can be performed live, use a combination of traditional and electronic instruments, or can be entirely fixed. In all cases they will need loudspeakers to be fully played back.