When we hear the word "composer" I'm sure most of us still call to mind an image of an intense looking, white-haired man wearing a frock coat bent over a desk scrawling away with a feather quill. For some reason the word just doesn't seem to quite fit into our world of computers and digitally created sound. Yet since the 1960s men and women have been creating pieces of music using electronic equipment, and I don't just mean the occasional pop song either. No, we're talking about pieces of the same complexity and length as anything any of those white-haired dudes might have come up with a few hundred years ago.
While many of us have some familiarity with the more famous of the classics from those earlier days, I'm sure most people can still hum the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and are able to recognize his "Ode To Joy," the reality is very few of us have the opportunity to experience any of those great works in their entirety. However inaccessible their music might seem though, it's nothing compared to the minuscule amount of exposure we have to those composing electronic music today. Can any of you name even one 21st century electronic composer who doesn't work in popular music? Don't get me wrong, I'm not much better than most, it's just an unfortunate fact of life that unless you happen to be working in the field the chances of you even having the opportunity to listen to any of their work is slim.
Ironically you'd think with our widespread acceptance of the use of electronic equipment in popular music these days we'd be much more open to electronic compositions. You go to any dance club now and I'd guess a good 90 percent of the music is going to have been produced digitally utilizing electronic instruments and processors. When was the last time you went into a club and could actually discern a guitar in the mix? Even what little vocals there might be have been fed through a variety of enhancers. Yet there still persists the idea modern electronic compositions are for a few people only, and most of us wouldn't enjoy them.