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What is symphonic electronic music?

The idea to write an article under that title did not arise from idleness and not by chance at all, but as an urgent need for a precise and clear definition of the extremely important in my opinion musicological term, due to the lack of which serious problems and difficulties are already beginning to arise in modern cultural discourse communicative and semantic in nature …

SO WHAT IS THIS SUCH – “SIMPO-ELECTRONIC MUSIC”?

Electronic music is music, the creation of which uses electronic musical instruments and technologies. Electronic music consists of sounds that are formed using electronic technologies and electromechanical musical instruments. Examples of electromechanical musical instruments include tellarmonium, a Hammond organ, and an electric guitar. Pure electronic sound is obtained using instruments such as theremin, synthesizer and computer.

Electronic music was previously associated only with Western academic music, but in the late 60s, affordable electronic synthesizers appeared. Due to their moderate cost, they are now available to the general public, and not only to large recording studios, as it was before. This event dramatically changed the image of popular music – synthesizers began to use many rock and pop artists. Today, electronic music includes a wide variety of styles, from experimental academic music to popular electronic dance music.

Symphonic music – musical works intended for performance by a symphony orchestra.
Includes large monumental works and small plays. Main genres: symphony, suite, overture, symphonic poem.

Since the beginning of the 90s, in the broadcast of M. Landers “Back to the Univers” on the radio “Rocks”, radio “Station”, “Open Radio”, and when I was my music. the editor of TV – also on RTR quite often sounded my Opus No. 379 “Spirit Lap-I” [19], the large conceptual form of which I then defined by the name “symphonic-electronic music”.

Further, when I was the head of the Khimki Center for Electronic Music and Multimedia Technologies [9] [12], in one of the Internet discussions [14] with the Director of the Theremin Center, the head of the electronic music sector of MGK im. Tchaikovsky Andrei Smirnov, wanting to clarify the meaning of the term I use, Andrei asked me:

– By the way, Aram, and what is it, “symphonic-electronic music”, “symphonic-electronic school”, if not a secret?

My answer was this:

– It’s no secret, of course, Andrei … Moreover, here everyone who “hears” these names from me for the first time from me is constantly “catching” me …))

I admit honestly, as a matter of fact – I myself came up with this terminology, and a very long time ago – already in the 70s, because even then it seemed to me that such concepts for a serious electronic composer should seem to be “lying on the surface.” And only after years I realized that, strangely enough, in reality this turned out to be completely wrong, because at every mention of these concepts in conversation or in correspondence with friends of musicians, these strange concepts almost always aroused among my interlocutors and correspondents sincere surprise and a mountain of questions …

In short, by the term “Symphonic Electronic Music” (SEM) I mean music that is electronic in form and symphonic in content, which, of course, does not mean at all that SEM is a kind of “electronic interpretation”, or “imitation” music written for BSO, because, along with the traditional academic apparatus of composer techniques and methods of shaping, the aesthetics of EMS also use the compositional principles of a completely different, “deeply-present” level and quality that are simply impossible to achieve with BSO.

I rely in this interpretation of the concept of SEM (different from other possible ones, obviously profane) on the artistic and semantic content of the term “symphony”, which its universally recognized author Academician Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev put into this fundamental musicological concept … (end of quote).

And just a few months after the above discussion, I demonstrated my symphonic-electronic work “Spirit Lap-I” at the Moscow International Festival of Electroacoustic Music “ALTERMEDIUM-03” [8], whose representativeness and authority can be estimated even if only by the fact that among its other participants was also one of the pioneers and luminaries of world electro-acoustic music, chairman of the Austrian composers’ union Dieter Kaufmann.

Two parts of “Spirit Lap-I”, shown in a stage-theatrical version, with the participation of performers improvising on theremin, aroused great interest and lively response from many spectators and listeners present at the Festival.

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