Acoustic Music

Acoustic music

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A classical guitar

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Acoustic music comprises music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means. The retronym “acoustic music” appeared after the advent of electric instruments, such as the electric guitar, electric violin, electric organ and synthesizer.

Performers of acoustic music often increase the volume of their output using electronic amplifiers. However, these amplification devices remain separate from the amplified instrument and reproduce its natural sound accurately. Often a microphone is placed in front of an acoustic instrument which is then wired up to an amplifier.

Following the increasing popularity of the television show MTV Unplugged during the 1990s, acoustic (though in most cases still electrically amplified) performances by musical artists who do not usually rely on electronic instruments became colloquially referred to as “unplugged” performances.

Writing for Splendid, music reviewer Craig Conley suggests, “When music is labeled acoustic, unplugged, or unwired, the assumption seems to be that other types of music are cluttered by technology and overproduction and therefore aren’t as pure.”[2]

For myself the realy important thing is the way in which the acoustic voices colours and tones vibrate together in sympathy. That kind of acoustic Gestalt thing?

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