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Friend or foe?

Electronic music is not the enemy of classical music

Floating above the crowd: pianist and DJ Francesco Tristano

When Dave Taylor, aka DJ Switch, made his way onto the Royal Albert Hall stage for a Proms concert last summer, it wasn’t just his T-shirt and stubble that set him apart. This was the first time that Taylor’s instrument—the turntables—had featured in the world’s largest classical music festival. Decades after electronic music first conquered dance-floors, it has infiltrated the heart of the classical establishment.

Computer music; electro-acoustic music; stochastic music; tape music: the terminology of electronic music is as forbidding as some of the sounds themselves. Encompassing everything from the…

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