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MANIFESTO FOR ELECTRONIC MUSIC

I
Fundamentation

a) Music is and has always been a human activity, a manifestation of beings endowed with free choice, self-awareness, creative impulse, and the ability to judge and adopt criteria.

b) From its beginnings until today, electronic music has been primarily based on technology. From circuit behaviour, synthesis techniques or computation to manipulation of recordings or studio composition strategies, the majority of its past and current practices holds its basic technological configuration as being of primary value. The human (physical, mental, spiritual) aspects of performance have thus been regarded as being of secondary value, especially those which result from free decisions. The expression "electronic music" itself reveals these values.

c) Musical creation, being a human activity, should not be based on technology but, naturally, on the musician. Artistically relevant art forms tend not to have their own technology as subject. Music, regardless of its form (except generative), genre or creative process, is based on the musician's free decisions.


II
Designation

a) Electronic music is about one hundred years old, and has developed substantial maturity as an artistic practice. However, it has not reached cultural emancipation as a musical genre. Cultural emancipation is understood in this context as the appreciation of a genre by its formal, aesthetic and spiritual characteristics, regardless of the type of instrumental resources used.

b) The term "electronic music" refers to the type of technology used in its creation. It is a cultural anomaly for a musical genre to be defined by the instruments that are used in it (one does not use the term "saxophone music," for instance), and this demonstrates its lack of cultural emancipation.

c) In its early decades, an innovative and revolutionary kind of artistic expression was generically named "electronic music". Today, however, the instrumental resources of electronic music are commonly used by multiple musical genres (techno, academic, glitch, ambient, experimental, noise, minimalism, etc.), yet all these are still indiscriminately known by the term "electronic music". It is no longer justified to apply the same designation to musical practices whose sole commonality is the use of the same electronic tools.


III
Conclusion

a) Music as a human achievement (physical, mental, spiritual) is a primary cultural value.

b) Music as a technological achievement is a secondary cultural value.

c) The term "electronic music", which encompasses musical expressions that have little in common, is no longer useful and is becoming void of meaning. Cultural emancipation of music creation using electronic means requires that the term "electronic music" is no longer used as a reference, referring instead to its actual or closest musical genre, or establishing a new one.


Rafael Toral
Europe, June 21, 2012

Subject

Electronic Music, Cultural Emancipation

Description

In hisĀ "Manifesto for Electronic Music," Rafael Toral argues for electronic music's cultural emancipation, characterized by "the appreciation of a genre by its formal, aesthetic and spiritual characteristics, regardless of the type of instrumental resources used."

Creator

Rafael Toral

Source

http://rafaeltoral.net/manifesto_EN

Rights

None

Date

June 21, 2012

Language

EN

Collections

Digital Aesthetics

,

Digital Sound

Tags

Cultural Emancipation, Electronic Music