Welcome to the new year, we hope that you will enjoy your journey into music with us. Its going to be a new and exciting year with lots of content from us coming through, so lets get stuck in.
In today’s segment of breaking down the music, I wish to look at music from its original composition, and how the origin of morden day music has influenced the music of the day, and to see where we are headed with our music.
It is pretty obvious that the first musical production was made using live instruments, and with the discovery of electronic musical instruments, producers and dj’s alike have taken to the production scene using electronic equipment, since the late 70’s. It is as such that music of today has almost entirely relied on some sort of electronic equipment for its production. The question though is why..? and has this influenced the way we listen to music today…and could we call that true music?
Well what is true music? is it the product of its instrument or the product of its sound. Well to start off here, music is created from different sounds, all of which depend on different instruments, each instrument producing a different sound to the structure of the music. The basic beat of a song (also known as the loop) is made from instruments that would normally comprise of a drum kit, sounds such as kicks, snares and hi-hats. Now this is not convenient for the new aspiring producer that wishes to get into music production, but has not got the start up capital to do so. Therefore the loop production has been taken over by music producing software that uses either pre-recorded drumkit souunds or electronic versions of them.
Well whats the difference, obviously it is in the way they sound. No electronic sound can ever sound the same as its live counter part, there is a depth and whole other harmonics (sounds from other sounds) that come out of a live instrument. So it can be said that live instruments have a life of their own. Digital sounds however use a defined sound and so will awlays sound the same, a kick will be a kick and a snare will be a snare, there is no variation in the way they will sound, whereas with a live instrument the player of the instrument can produce the same sound but give it a slightly different flavour which is what makes the sound more organic.
As the times have progresses more and more elements of a song have been taken over by more and more electronic sounds, this isnt to say that modern day music sounds bad, but rather more refined because the sounds are more refined electronically. How has this affected music over the years? Well music producers are pretty intelligent people and they have managed to become more innovative with the way they produce their music, giving rise to new sounds and melodies that were not able to be achieved with live instruments. This has brought about a great new diversity in music and musical sounds giving rise to cutting edge genres such as dubstep and drum n bass. As people we have entitlements to our own opinions and this is usaully the result of our experiences, with this divisions are bound to happen, where there will be those that think purely that music should be produced with live instruments, and those that embrace new technologies and those that do not care about the origins of things and just dive straight into the new stuff with very little understanding of where it comes from. This is where the problem comes in.
New producers that have very little clue about what they are doing just jump straight into the software side of things and start beating away at drum kits and synthesizers, often using instruments that do not blend well with the overall sound of the music, what happens is that one would call themselves a hip hop producer but use techno sound kits to make songs for a rapper that says their song is hip hop, this breeds much confusion about the genre and eventually as more and more people do the same the genre is lost all together which is why it seems genres are changing when really they are not. This is happening all across the board and many purists are fighting to have their genres restored to the way they sound originally, and that may be to explore music from a live instrument production perspective with that will come with understanding of how sounds fit together to make a good song of a particular genre.
Next we shall look at singers, and the influence of the instrumental on the way the singer hears and reacts to a song they wish to produce. Stayed tuned for more posts and our musical influences at Four4Beats.