Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Russound
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:31 am

Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Russound » Thu May 01, 2014 9:47 pm

I get this a lot from some of my friends: "Well it's not really music, you just sit there behind a laptop and the thing plays it for you. It's basically cheating and gay."

The people who I hear this from usually have a very narrow taste of music (eg. metalheads and other genre fanbodys), their definition of music as a whole is based only on their preferences or what they are familiar with (not much), and they clearly don't know the first thing about the process of creating digital music.
Their snobbery stems from thinking they know everything about music because they don't listen to radio pop music and maybe know a few chords on a guitar.

When you try to explain to these people that 1) Music's only restriction is that it's an expression of creativity through sound, so the means of one's expression don't make it any less musical, 2) That creating music digitally does not take away any of the needed creativity and knowledge that is required to make regular music (unless you use sequencers or sample a lot) and that it only takes away the physical act of playing an instrument with your hands, these people look at you like you're talking in another language.

Anyway, has anybody had similar encounters with such morons?
Wtf do you even say to that (in terms they can understand) to make them see how stupid what they're saying is?

stringtapper
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by stringtapper » Thu May 01, 2014 10:08 pm

This debate was over at least 60 years ago.

That said, I am a strong advocate for people developing a certain level of competence on at least one traditional instrument.

The best way to show them is to play an instrument and create fixed media pieces on your computer and then say "See? I can do both. And they're both music. What are you doing?"
Unsound Designer

ilya.soloviev
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by ilya.soloviev » Thu May 01, 2014 10:09 pm

Russound wrote:Wtf do you even say to that (in terms they can understand) to make them see how stupid what they're saying is?
meh

infernal.machine
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by infernal.machine » Thu May 01, 2014 10:22 pm

Well, electronic music IS cheating, so...

oddstep
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Location: Plymouth the great

Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by oddstep » Thu May 01, 2014 10:47 pm

One response is to say no one expects a composer to play all of the instruments themselves. All instruments are designed to make it easier to make music... otherwise whats the point. Pianos have a single key for every note... anyone can play in tune! The only good thing about instruments is that the amount of effort needed to get beyond mediocre puts a lot of people off.

eyeknow
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by eyeknow » Thu May 01, 2014 10:51 pm

I make electronic music and I can play instruments. So the fuck what?

Do what you want, as long as you didn't steal the equipment it's yours to do as you please.

Oppenheimer
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Oppenheimer » Thu May 01, 2014 10:55 pm

Russound wrote:Their snobbery stems from thinking they know everything about music because they don't listen to radio pop music and maybe know a few chords on a guitar.
Description of nearly everyone on this forum including stringtapper who posted here LOL........

Russound
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Russound » Thu May 01, 2014 11:00 pm

I play four different instruments and I have found that this does not help you much in the argument.
Their issue isn't with my ability necessarily but with the actual act of making music non-physically.

One thing that sometimes works in this argument is saying that I use DAWs as a composing tool, similar to how classical composers would write music onto a sheet (or in today's case, MIDI track) and then an orchestra would perform the piece based on how the composer arranges and conducts it.
Digital music production is the same exact basic principle.

Machinesworking
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Location: Seattle

Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Machinesworking » Thu May 01, 2014 11:07 pm

Russound wrote:2) That creating music digitally does not take away any of the needed creativity and knowledge that is required to make regular music (unless you use sequencers or sample a lot) and that it only takes away the physical act of playing an instrument with your hands, these people look at you like you're talking in another language.
You kind of ran into a brick wall there. You agree with them that the generous use of samples and sequencers is not creative?
Honestly those are the parts of electronic music that make the most sense to have on the laptop. The parts you can play with our hands are IMO way more suspect.

The biggest problem with electronic music is that mostly people are just DJing their songs off a laptop in a live environment.
I don't mind this, but to a person that likes metal of the more complex variety this can seem like "cheating".

There is no easy answer to this, they have a point sort of but most of us aren't able to hire professional musicians to play all the parts of a song we wrote in a studio or bedroom set up. plus more than guitar bass drums, orchestras etc. electronic music generally uses a lot of studio trickery.

The real answer is who cares? I've known a lot of Metal heads that like electronic music, the purists are boring people usually.

Russound
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Russound » Thu May 01, 2014 11:16 pm

Machinesworking wrote: The real answer is who cares? I've known a lot of Metal heads that like electronic music, the purists are boring people usually.
I am a huge fan of metal music myself, from the early stuff all the way through now. When I say "Metalhead" I don't mean metal fan, I mean someone who is narrowminded about all other music outside of EXACTLY what they like from exactly one time period.
It's true that I probably shouldn't even bother debating with such people but I hear such arguments made from many more people.
Heavy use of sequencers and samplers is not inartistic, it's just that if that's all you really use then it's not entirely your composition, the device or the previous artist already did a lot of the work for you. Nothing wrong with that, just differentiating it from actual writing from scratch.

doghouse
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by doghouse » Thu May 01, 2014 11:32 pm

When someone says electronic music is not music, I just reply "OK". :mrgreen:

If you're being offended because people don't see composition (which is at the core of all sequenced music making) as musicianship then you just need to grow a thicker skin.
Russound wrote: Music's only restriction is that it's an expression of creativity through sound
Sadly that is a bullshit statement. If I get on stage and amplify my farts with a megaphone it might be creativity through sound, but it sure aint music. I have a very open mind and listen to a lot of weird stuff but some "music" is just noise. Hopefully that doesn't apply to anyone here 8O
Last edited by doghouse on Thu May 01, 2014 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eyeknow
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by eyeknow » Thu May 01, 2014 11:34 pm

Crap, I can't find the link to the viddy I want :mad:

If you look through the viddys here at ableton alone though, you'll find a plethora of fantastic "electronic" performances.

Russound
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Russound » Thu May 01, 2014 11:42 pm

doghouse wrote:
Russound wrote: Music's only restriction is that it's an expression of creativity through sound
Sadly that is a bullshit statement. If I get on stage and amplify my farts with a megaphone it might be creativity through sound, but it sure aint music. I have a very open mind and listen to a lot of weird stuff but some "music" is just noise. Hopefully that doesn't apply to anyone here 8O
I think you're mixing 'music' with 'entertainment'. If something like that really is you expressing your creativity then as weird as you are, that is music.
It's definitely not esthetically appealing music which makes it awful entertainment. I guess it just depends on how you define the word. That's my definition of it anyway.

Angstrom
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by Angstrom » Thu May 01, 2014 11:45 pm

It's a bit like when some girl says "I'm a dancer", that could mean anything from "I grind on horny dudes on Tuesday nights over at Dirty Angels" all the way up to "I'm the Prima Balleria with the Bolshoi"

"I make electronic music" is the same, you are in there with the AppleLoops brigade in people's minds. It really is that easy to get started in Electronic music, it takes 30 minutes from no experience to make "a tune". If you really want to differentiate yourself from those casual dilettantes then you need to do something which demonstrates that difference. If you really are a step up from the lazy loop-purchasers, then you need to prove it.

eyeknow
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Re: Electronic Music is "Cheating"???

Post by eyeknow » Fri May 02, 2014 12:30 am

You ever notice that cheat rhymes with beat?

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