Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Hear! Hear!

By Ian Nance - posted Thursday, 21 December 2017

I believe that I walk a very wide musical path - from Mozart to Madonna - and can be as moved by a solemn requiem as by a soulful or bright country music number.

I enjoy thoroughly what is often referred to as 'electronic music' a style in which notes are generated and treated for effect electronically, or else sampled digitally from live instruments and human voices.

It is recent listening to examples of this style on FM radio which raised my awareness of certain shortcomings in what I was hearing, hence prompted my writing this essay..


The idea of music is extremely broad and difficult to limit.

Wikipedia, in a statement of the word's meaning, endeavors to give an accurate and concise explanation of music's basic attributes or essential nature. "Explications of the concept of music usually begin with the idea that music is organised sound. They go on to note that this characterisation is too broad, since there are many examples of organised sound that are not music, such as human speech, and the sounds which non-human animals and machines make" .

There have been many suggested definitions, but defining music turns out to be more difficult than might first be imagined, leading to ongoing controversy about how to define music.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as "the art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds, or both, to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion."

However, the music genres known as noise music and musique concrète, for instance, challenge these ideas about what constitutes music's essential attributes by using sounds not widely considered as musical, like randomly produced electronic distortion, feedback, static, cacophony, and compositional processes using indeterminacy.

A thing which I realised is that so much of the music which we can access these days from our plethora of recording and playback systems, both broadcast as well as individually selected, is poorly produced, especially some 'electronic' music.


Too much of it is a boring repetition of micro-second-precise tempo resulting in a mechanical performance style, whilst the total absence of live individualistic human renditioning with its tiny flaws in tempo, note playing, loudness or softness or effect, often results in an uninteresting playout.

So often in music performance by artists of high merit, it is these minor irregularities which lead to the charm and enjoyment of such talent.

As well, the minor ambiences of room noise and natural reverberation in the staging of many 'live' performances lend a feeling of authenticity which many producers of 'electronic' music find exceptionally hard, if not impossible to incorporate in their compilation.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. Page 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Ian Nance

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Ian Nance
Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy