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Dronology

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Dronology

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Dronology, also known as drone music or drone-based music, drone ambient or ambient drone, and sometimes simply dronescape or drone is a music genre that has an emphasis on the use of sustained sounds, notes, or tones – called drones. It often features lengthy audio compositions with only slight variations in tone, pitch, or style throughout.

While not being considered as music per se by some, it has been explored at some point by pioneers as notable as La Monte Young and John Cale's Theater of Eternal Music (aka The Dream Syndicate), Charlemagne Palestine, Eliane Radigue, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Robert Fripp & Brian Eno, Coil, Aphex Twin, Autechre's side-project Gescom, or Biosphere.

Contents

Overview

Music which contain drones and are rhymically still or very slow can be found in many parts of the world, including the Japanese gagaku classical tradition, Scottish pibroch piping, didgeridoo music in Australia, Hindustani classical music (which is accompanied almost invariably by the tambura, a four-string instrument which is only capable of playing a drone) and pre-polyphonic orgamum vocal music of late medieval Europe. Stillness and long tones also occur in classical compositions during Adagio movements or slow airs, including, for instance, the third movement of Anton Webern's Five Small Pieces for Orchestra.

The modern genre term "dronology" is most often applied to artists who have allied themselves closely with underground music and the post-rock, experimental music, or post-classical genres.

Many of these musicians utilize instruments such as electric guitars, keyboards, and pianos, coupled with electronics to produce lengthy audio compositions with dense and unmoving harmonies and a stilled or "hovering" sense of time.

Music from dronology artists can also fit into the genres of new age, found sound, minimal music, dark ambient, and drone doom/drone metal, noise music. Thus, while the hallmarks of the dronology genre are easy to recognize, the backgrounds and goals of the artists are actually quite varied.

Examples

Some tracks or records from notable artists include, chronologically:

La Monte Young's 1960s drone-based pieces, solo and with John Cale in the Theater of Eternal Music (aka The Dream Syndicate)
Kraftwerk's experimental/drone self-titled first album Kraftwerk (1970): the 4-minute intro to "Stratovarius", the organ drone on most of "Megaherz", the first half of "Vom Himmel Hoch".
Klaus Schulze's early "organ drone" albums Irrlicht (1972), and Cyborg (1973).
Tangerine Dream's ambient drone albums Zeit (1972), and to a lesser degree Phaedra (1974).
Fripp and Eno: the 21-minute drone ambient of "The Heavenly Music Corporation" on No Pussyfooting (1973), the 28-minute drone ambient of "An Index of Metals" on Evening Star (1975).
On Miles Davis' Agharta (1975): the last 6 minutes of the last track, especially the last 2 minutes.
On Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (1975): the 4-minute intro of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pt.1"
Coil's drone music albums such as How to Destroy Angels EP (1984) and LP (1992), Time Machines (1998), or ANS (2003). Plus many tracks on non-drone albums, such as "Tenderness of Wolves" on Scatology (1984), "Wrim Wram Wrom" on Stolen and Contaminated Songs (1992), "Cold Dream Of An Earth Star" and "Die Wolfe Kommen Zuruck" on Black Light District: A Thousand Lights In A Darkened Room (1996), "North" on Moon's Milk (1998). (Plus many semi-drone tracks such as "Her Friends The Wolves...", "Moon's Milk Or Under An Unquiet Skull Part 1", "Bee Stings", "Refusal Of Leave To Land", "Magnetic North", etc.)
On Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994): especially "[spots]" and "[tassels]", and to a lesser degree tracks such as "[tree]", "[parallel stripes]", "[grey stripe]", and "[white blur 2]".
Gescom (a side-project of Autechre): the experimental album Minidisc (1998) is half drone ambient (tracks "Cranusberg [1-3]", "Fully [1-2]", "Shoegazer", "Polarized Beam Splitter [1-5]", "Dan Dan Dan [1-4]", "A Newer Beginning [1-2]", "Go On", and to a lesser degree "Interchangeable World [1-3]", "Yo! DMX Crew", "New Contact Lense", "1D Shapethrower", "Inter", "Of Our Time", or the drone techno of "Pricks [1-4]").
Biosphere : half of his ambient/drone album Shenzhou (2002), and his drone album Autour de la Lune (2004).
Boards of Canada : the drone ambient of "Corsair" on Geogaddi (2002).
modern drone composers Jliat, Ian Nagoski, Leif Elggren, Eliane Radigue, etc.

Modern bands representative of this genre include Maeror Tri, Stars of the Lid, Children of the Drone, Windy & Carl, Troum, House of Low Culture, Cisfinitum, Klood, Melek-Tha, Alp, Controlled Bleeding, and Laminar. Some important hearths for bands in the genre include Soleilmoon or Drone Records [1].

External links

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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