Acoustic vs Electronic Music: Pros and Cons You Need to Know
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. What is Acoustic Music?
  2. Pros of Acoustic Music
  3. Cons of Acoustic Music
  4. What is Electronic Music?
  5. Pros of Electronic Music
  6. Cons of Electronic Music
  7. How to Choose Between Acoustic and Electronic Music

Let's take a journey into the world of music, specifically focusing on the merits and demerits of acoustic vs electronic music. In this blog, we'll be exploring the unique characteristics of both acoustic and electronic music, their upsides and downsides, and how to decide which one suits your taste the best. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of these two distinct music genres.

What is Acoustic Music?

First off, let's talk about acoustic music. When we mention acoustic music, we're referring to music that solely or primarily uses instruments that produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means. This includes a vast array of instruments, from the guitar and piano to the violin and even the human voice. Let's look at some specific aspects of acoustic music:

  • Natural sound: Acoustic music is notable for its natural sound. The music you hear is the result of physical vibrations—whether it be the pluck of a guitar string, the hit of a drum skin, or the buzz of a human voice.
  • Simplicity: The simplicity of acoustic music is one of its major merits. It's all about the raw, unfiltered sound of the instrument. There's no need for any fancy technology—just the instrument and the musician.
  • Unplugged: One of the defining features of acoustic music is that it is 'unplugged'. This means that the music is created without the use of any electronic amplification or effects. It's just the pure, raw sound of the instruments.
  • Variety of genres: Acoustic music isn't confined to one genre. From folk and country to rock and pop, you can find acoustic music across a whole spectrum of musical styles.

Acoustic music offers a close, intimate connection between the musician, the instrument, and the listener—a key merit that sets it apart from electronic music. But it also has its own set of demerits, which we'll explore in the next section.

Pros of Acoustic Music

Now that we've defined acoustic music, let's uncover the merits that make it so special and loved. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Authenticity: Acoustic music is often associated with authenticity. It's all about the pure, raw sound of the instrument, without any electronic enhancement or modification. This gives the music a certain realness that many listeners appreciate.
  • Portability: Acoustic instruments are generally portable and can be played almost anywhere. Whether you're at a campfire, in a park, or in a cozy living room, you can always strike a chord and create a musical moment.
  • Easy to Learn: Acoustic instruments, like the guitar or ukulele, are often considered easier to learn compared to electronic music production. This makes acoustic music a great starting point for music beginners.
  • Connectivity: There's a certain intimacy that comes with acoustic music. It's just you, the instrument, and the listeners—creating a deep, emotional connection that can be truly moving.

Despite these merits, acoustic music also has its demerits. It's not always the perfect fit for every situation or every listener. But before we discuss the cons of acoustic music, let's first understand what electronic music is.

Cons of Acoustic Music

While acoustic music holds a charm of its own, it also comes with a few demerits that you should be aware of. Here are some of them:

  • Limited Sound Variety: With acoustic instruments, you're pretty much confined to the instrument's natural sound. This can limit your ability to explore different sound textures and create diverse musical effects.
  • Physical Challenges: Playing an acoustic instrument often requires physical effort and dexterity. For instance, strumming a guitar for hours can lead to sore fingers. This might be off-putting for some, especially beginners.
  • Cost and Maintenance: Acoustic instruments can be pricey, particularly high-quality ones. Additionally, they require regular maintenance like tuning, cleaning, and sometimes even repairs, which can add up over time.
  • Volume Control: Controlling the volume of an acoustic instrument can be tricky. Unlike electronic music, where you can adjust the volume with a simple knob, acoustic music volume depends on how hard or soft you play the instrument.

Acoustic music, with its merits and demerits, offers a unique experience that's different from what electronic music brings to the table. So, what exactly is electronic music? Let's find out in the next section.

What is Electronic Music?

Now that we've talked about acoustic music, let's dive into the world of electronic music. Unlike acoustic music, which relies heavily on traditional instruments, electronic music is produced primarily with electronic devices. It's like painting with a different set of colors and brushes.

Electronic music takes root in the use of synthesizers, drum machines, and computer software. These tools enable musicians to generate a wide variety of sounds and effects that aren't possible with acoustic instruments. So, if you've heard a song with futuristic, robotic, or surreal soundscapes, chances are it's a piece of electronic music.

This genre took off in the mid-twentieth century and has since grown into multiple sub-genres, including techno, house, dubstep, and many more. If you've ever been to a dance club or music festival, you've likely experienced the powerful beats and captivating rhythms of electronic music.

But just like acoustic music, electronic music has its merits and demerits. Let's discuss them in the following sections.

Pros of Electronic Music

So, what are the merits of electronic music? Well, let's start with its flexibility. Unlike acoustic music, where you're tied to the sounds an instrument can produce, electronic music lets you create any sound you can imagine. You can make a beat that resembles a drum kit or design a sonic landscape that's completely out of this world.

Another merit of electronic music is the ease of production. With the right software, you can produce an entire track from your bedroom. This means that anyone with a computer and an idea can start composing their own music, making the genre incredibly accessible and democratic.

Additionally, electronic music is perfect for dancing. The steady beats and repetitive patterns can get your feet moving. It has a way of connecting with people on a primal level, making it a favorite for nightclubs and festivals around the world.

Lastly, electronic music is a testament to human innovation. It represents our quest to explore new frontiers and push the boundaries of what's possible in music. This spirit of exploration and innovation is one of the biggest merits of electronic music.

Cons of Electronic Music

Moving on, let's discuss the demerits of electronic music. One of the main criticisms is that it can feel impersonal. Whereas acoustic music has an organic quality that's directly tied to the musician's physical performance, electronic music is often produced in a studio with computer software. This can sometimes result in music that feels less personal or emotionally resonant to some listeners.

Another demerit is that electronic music can be repetitive. The use of looping patterns and regular beats, while great for dancing, can lead to music that lacks variety and complexity. This can make some electronic music tracks feel static and unchanging, leading to listener fatigue.

Furthermore, the ease of producing electronic music can also be seen as a detriment. Because anyone with a computer can make a track, the market is often flooded with low-quality music. This can make it harder for talented producers to stand out and for listeners to find quality music amidst the noise.

Lastly, the heavy reliance on technology can be a hurdle. Not everyone has access to the expensive equipment and software needed to make electronic music. This can limit the diversity of voices in the genre, making it less accessible to those from less privileged backgrounds.

How to Choose Between Acoustic and Electronic Music

Now that you're familiar with the merits and demerits of acoustic vs electronic music, you might be wondering: "Which one should I choose?" Well, it's not a one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some pointers to help you decide.

First, think about what you're looking for in music. Do you prefer music that feels raw and authentic? Then you might lean more towards acoustic music. On the other hand, if you love exploring new sounds and appreciate the limitless possibilities of technology, then electronic music could be your thing.

Second, consider the context. Acoustic music often shines in intimate settings, like a quiet evening at home, a small gathering of friends, or a live performance in a cozy venue. Electronic music, however, tends to be the go-to choice for larger, energetic events like parties or clubbing.

Third, think about the skills you already have or want to develop. If you're a musician, do you enjoy the physicality of playing an instrument, or are you more drawn to the technical side of music production?

In the end, remember that you don't have to pick just one. Many musicians and listeners enjoy both acoustic and electronic music. It's all about exploring and finding what resonates with you. After all, music is a personal journey, isn't it?

If you're curious about diving into the world of electronic music after reading about the pros and cons of acoustic and electronic music, check out Leslie Wai's workshop, 'Making Electronic Music: An Introduction.' This workshop offers a comprehensive guide to help you explore the exciting possibilities of electronic music production and find your unique sound.