Sometime after the era of playing music traditionally (with intruments) amplified electronically to the crowd, many people around the world simultaneously realized that you don’t need the intruments themselves to transfer these sounds. Because of the technological advancement, the electronic input recieved from the intrument can simply be generated from scratch. The groundbreaking thing was there were so many other kinds of sounds out there that we did not have instruments of. It was kind of a hidden musical world that had been discovered.
The earliest experiences I remember having of electronica was actually from the 80’s. I’m talking about depeche mode, pet shop boys, new order, and the like. And the most fascinating thing to me about electronica at the time (and still is) was the uniqueness of sounds. What instrument made such a sound? Well, there was no such instrument that you can blow into or pluck to get *that* sound. It was electronic, and they were called samples. Some of them sounded very close to sounds we had instruments for, and another infinite number of them were sounds from instruments that did not exist!
So we can say: Techno involves sounds of which real intruments may or may not exist…
Hence our intrigue and interest in electronica. Allow me to elaborate: If you think about it, every intrument that exists carries a set of thoughts and feelings associated with it – perhaps a harp is played in a beautiful setting by a pretty woman and stirs a sense of peace, A saxophone by a lonely man in the night and evokes sadness, etc. There may be different thoughts and different feelings associated with an intrument for different people, but there is a subtle real world mental association for all of us with each instrument. So what thoughts and feelings do we associate with these sounds that have no real world instruments that produce them? It’s left completely to our FANTASY and IMAGINATION. If you think these sounds are played thousands of miles beneath the surface of the earth, or somewhere in space, or somewhere dark, or whatever setting you imagined, society doesn’t dictate otherwise. This phenomenon has been the source of inspiration and imagination for most of us. It helps me personally think of a setting where I have tons of energy and an unparalleled imagination. I listened to it through my schooling, while I work, while I think, I’m listening to techno right now! This is what I mean by “hence our intrigue and interest in electronica.”
So we can add to our definition: …provoke wholly unique thoughts and feelings….
Technology has aided our evolution in musical appreciation not just by the different sounds, but how these sounds come together. We are no longer limited to playing a certain number of notes at a time, or limited to a certain speed. One of the unique styles of techno is jumping whole octaves up or down at every half beat at 140-160 BPM. I can’t imagine someone playing the piano like that. With techno you are able to do these things.
Again adding to our definition:…can be played at physically impossible speeds or note combinations…
Of course it is not enough to have only a unique sound played with nothing musical; no tempo or no melody behind it. There still must be music behind the sounds. And it is this last point that techno fans and haters will disagree on.
Completing my definition
Techno involves sounds of which real intruments may or may not exist, and because of this provokes wholly unique thoughts and feelings, which can be played at speeds or note combinations possible only with aid of electronics, and still maintain artistic, musical quality.