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Steampunk...music? (Read 5453 times)
Captain Rackham
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Steampunk...music?
03. May 2005 at 02:35
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Is it possible?
Joy Electric comes to mind - hear clips at http://www.joyelectric.com/MANNEQUIN/working.html
'Works of Unknowns" is my favorite.
Also check out the Tick Tock Treasury eCard under Music.

So, yes or no? Any other suggestions?
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Jeff M.
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #1 - 06. May 2005 at 20:49
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I dunno...  to me, any music even remotely electronic simply isn't Steampunk. The very definition of Steampunk is, loosely, the idea that steam became the core of technology, rather than electricity. Perhaps if the band used some pipe organs...  Also, to truly have that Steampunk feeling the setting just has to have a Victorian theme to it, and electronic music just doesn't seem to go well with high tea.

It could just be me, however. I have a tough time associating music with any sort of literature because music of all sorts seems to become instantly and permanently associated with locations, movies, people, etc., that accompany it the first time I hear it.  I'm not sure I can think of a single thing, from the soundtrack to Conan the Destroyer to the new Beck CD that doesn't hold some sort of association for me.
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #2 - 06. May 2005 at 21:17
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Perhaps a combination of a calliope, a glass harmonica, and a clattering mechanical adding machine would be steampunkish?
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #3 - 11. May 2005 at 23:17
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Some time ago, I came across this music project called "Vernian Process", named after Jules Verne.  It is inspired by Gothic and Industrial music, and the guy behind the project describes it as Steampunk:

http://www.gothpunk.com/formaldihyde/vernianprocess.html

I like the music clips I heard for Vernian Process, but I don't know how it will fit everyone's notions of "Steampunk".  But, Gothic and Industrial music would be the likely precursors for any Steampunk subgenre.

Traditional Gothic music typically has somber sound, religious themes, and a mixture of old fashioned, classical instruments or ethnic instruments set into a rock music format. There's a subgroup of Gothic styles that concentrate on Victorian fashion, and classical or fairytale influence in music - the "Vicky-goths".

Purist Industrial music - that is, some of the earliest Industrial music - was made from the actual sounds of machinery.  Einstuerzende Neubauten were one of the earliest "pure" industrial groups, noted for using existing machinery or building machines that made noise that composed their music.

Classifications of Goth Rock and Industrial music are controversial, and not universally-agreed upon, so the Wikipedia entries are interesting and moderately accurate, but not necessarily to be considered 100% authoritative:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goth_rock

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_music

Goth and Industrial have a lot of overlap, so sometimes groups are not identifiably labelled as one or the other. With the definitions being very hazy, groups are identified as being "goth" or "industrial" by general concensus of the subculture members, as well as by how the groups refer to themselves.

Anyway, I'd suppose that Steampunk would have elements from both Goth and Industrial post-punk movements. The vintage/Victorian elements, classical instruments, and themes of power from Goth rock.  The sounds of machinery and hard rock music from the Industrial side.

So, Vernian Process might be a good exemplar of Steampunk music, just as they intend to be.

There are maybe some other Goth/Industrial groups or songs that I'd recommend along these lines as well.
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Swancrash
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #4 - 16. Nov 2012 at 06:06
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Just me, trying to resurrect another thread...
I agree that something termed Steampunk music might be interpreted as requiring a certain line-up of instruments to fit in with the era, but one of the things I've enjoyed about the Steampunk itself is the occasional mixing of time periods.  Blaylock and Powers have both done this, right?  Ashbless has inhabited more than one era, I believe.  
So I'm thinking, a mix could still fit: lyrical themes could go on the Steampunk pile (Alan Parsons Project's Edgar Allan Poe interpretations from Tales of Mystery and Imagination come to mind), as well as sheer attitude: I'm thinking Jethro Tull here, Ian Anderson bounding about with his flute, non-traditional rhythms, and songs like Jack in the Green and Ring Out, Solstice Bells from Songs from the Wood.
Thoughts?
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #5 - 16. Nov 2012 at 11:11
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They're definitely electronic, but (if only for the titles, such as "The Winkle Picker") check out the band "Squid Lid" and their album in progress "Crypto Zoo": http://squidlid.com/
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Swancrash
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #6 - 25. Nov 2012 at 01:06
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Great name, Squid Lid.  I like how they describe themselves on the website as a 'Dark pop electronic band.'  Dark pop.  Hmm.  So, the music's not exactly Steampunk, but the name is cool and the song names are interesting.  
I wonder if the work of PDQ Bach would fit the actual Steampunk model better: instruments of the period, and an assortment of off-mainstream musical themes.  With some comedy thrown in.
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Re: Steampunk...music?
Reply #7 - 25. Nov 2012 at 19:07
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Yes, a steam calliope playing PDQ Bach would be just about right.
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