COOL CLASSES: “Electronic Music Evolution: From Foundational Basics to Sonic Horizons”

Electronic music is an ever-changing genre. This course covers its history and theory while offering students opportunities to use cutting-edge production tools and technologies.

Class name: “Electronic Music Evolution: From Foundational Basics to Sonic Horizons”

Taught by: Assistant Professor of Music Mei-ling Lee

Says Lee about her class:
What defines electronic music? Is it a genre, a style, or something altogether unique? Electronic music, an ever-evolving and dynamic entity, has not only significantly influenced the contemporary sonic landscape but has also ushered in a revolution in how we create and experience music.

This course was designed to provide students with an in-depth introduction to the history, theory, and practical application of electronic music. We will embark on a journey from electronic music’s inception with the telharmonium to its present-day manifestations featuring interactive live performances driven by cutting-edge technologies. Students will cultivate essential critical listening skills, vital for both music creation and analysis.

Lee on why she wanted to teach this class:
Many people associate electronic music solely with electronic dance music (EDM), characterized by synthesized sounds and fast-paced drum beats or serene ambient compositions. However, electronic music encompasses much more.

The realm of electronic music extends from the physics of sound and recording to sampling, audio effects, sound synthesis, interactive music, and beyond. My goal is to create a class that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse landscape of electronic music.

While studying traditional music remains crucial, delving into our musical past allows us to understand our identity, our progression, and the evolution of music-making to its present state. Having gained insights from our historical journey, it’s essential to look forward. What defines contemporary music? What constitutes “our” music today? This course explores those questions.

Lee on what makes this class unique:
This class stands out in several ways. First, it is designed for anyone interested in exploring new ways of making music, regardless of their musical background. Second, it extends its appeal beyond traditional music enthusiasts, engaging a diverse range of musical tastes. Moreover, it acknowledges the impact of the digital age on creative processes, emphasizing the importance of understanding technology’s role in music-making.

An essential aspect of this course involves the hands-on use of state-of-the-art electronic music production tools, software, and technologies. Students enrolled in the class will have access to the electronic music studio where they can explore the practice of electronic composition and performance while gaining insights into the theories and emerging directions of electronic music.