Experimentation in Music

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Experimentation in Music

For thousands of years, music has been a part of people’s lives and has evolved through many different forms over time. Music is the art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre (American Heritage). One important component of analyzing music is whether it has musical value. In other words, music does not have to be organized sound or produced by instruments. This is what composers and artists of experimental music discover. Experimental music is an art form, makes use of instruments or other items that can produce sound, and can alter or expand the basic foundations of music and musicality. These are the key elements that define experimental music.

The genre that is experimental music essentially consists of music and sound that is different than any conventional music written before it. Though nearly all new types of music begin with experimentation of some kind, experimental music has become a specific category of its own in music. In this type of music, sounds and music are redefined and organized in a new way. There is sometimes a visual aspect to experimental music as well. The audience and performance are vital parts of the musical experience to these composers. Methods of sound production, time, and notation are also important aspects of experimental music. These are some of the essential qualities of this type of music as many musical ideas and theories are changed and altered.

Experimental music is an art form. Because music is an art form, it can be open to interpretation and creativity. Composers write the music that they want to write because of the way they perceive mus...

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...and changes or alters the concepts and perceptions of music. This genre seeks to experiment with sounds in a completely different way than conventional music does. Everything from the audience to musical notation is reconsidered and presented in a new, original manner. It is an important part of the perception and development of music. As musical concepts and technology change, experimental music will continue to modify and broaden the definition of music.

Works Cited

“Music.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth ed. 2000.

Davies, John Booth. The Psychology of Music. Stanford , CA : Stanford University Press, 1978.

Ewen, David. Composers of Tomorrow’s Music. Cornwall , NY : The Cornwall Press, Inc., 1971.

Nyman, Michael. Experimental Music: Cage and beyond. Hampshire , Great Britain : BAS Printers Limited, 1974.
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