Exploration: A Look into the Relationship Between Electronic Music and Science Fiction

Donovan Valle
ENG 2420- Science Fiction
Prof. Jill Belli
Project 2

Exploration: A Look into the Relationship Between Electronic Music and Science Fiction

Abstract

There is no denying the lasting power and influence that electronic music has had on popular culture. It is evident today in hip hop and dance music. However, many do not know that the early roots of electronic music can be traced back to science fiction film. It is because of sci-fi films that early experimentalists of music and technology were able to push the boundaries of machines that could create and perform music. Electronic instruments that were developed in the early to mid 1900’s like the theremin and the modular synthesizer created the music and sounds that have since been directly associated with early science fiction film. These new instruments were able to enhance the themes and concepts that were present in the films like robots, aliens, and flying saucers.

Throughout this essay, the impact of science fiction on electronic music will be clear through film examples such as “Forbidden Planet” and “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” The exploration and implementation of electronic instruments into musical film scores paved the way for musicians to do it in their own work. It will also be shown that there is a clear bilateral relationship between sci-fi and electronic music. Not only was the music able to enhance the settings, characters, themes, and ideas present in the films, but the genre gave commercial artists like David Bowie and Pink Floyd new ways to record and present their record and present music to their fans.

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