Electric and electronic instruments are prevalent in popular music, but despite their existence for over 80 years, the mainstream classical world has remained firmly acoustic. Paul Ballam-Crosslooks at classical works that incorporate electric instruments and suggests it’s time that a greater proportion of the classical repertoire did the same.

Carolina Eyck
Carolina Eyck playing the theremin with the Brussels Philharmonic at ARS Musica 2018. Photo: Aetherwaves, Wikimedia Commons

Across the many styles and subgenres of classical music, one element that still remains somewhat surprisingly outside of the mainstream is the use of electric or electronic instruments. While Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reichhas suggested that “we’re living at a time when the worlds of concert music and popular music have resumed...