Not Tropeworthy: Cyber Punk Is Techno

Deadlock Clock: 26th Oct 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [24]
I've complained about this page several years ago in the discussion page but there was no reply, so I'll try the repair shop.

This trope is misguided to the core. First, in both the description and the examples, Techno is used as a catch-all term for electronic music (especially the "dark" kind) when it's only the name of a certain kind of it. Trance, Breakbeat, Synth-pop and Ambient are entirely different genres.

Even if we change the name to "Cyberpunk is Electronic Music", the trope still wouldn't make sense. Metal and orchestral music are present in cyberpunk films just as often as electronic music, if not more. Also, electronic soundtracks (whether ambient or upbeat) aren't limited to Cyberpunk, or even to Sci-Fi in general. You can hear electronic beats and soundscapes in many action movies and TV series made in or after the 80's, especially in productions not fancy enough to incorporate an orchestra. And I'm not even starting on video games. Ironically, this page has quite a few examples of non-cyberpunk works with electronic soundtracks.
2 Madrugada11th Jun 2013 01:50:51 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Wow. I'd have to agree. The description says "a cyberpunk work will use Techno music heavily or exclusively" and the examples are full of "This work uses some Techno, but there's also a bunch of other types" or "This work doesn't use Techno at all".

It might be salvageable with a different name and a complete rewrite that is less didactic, less universally phrased. Might be.
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3 SeptimusHeap11th Jun 2013 02:09:50 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Hmm, this has only 44 inbounds. It basically claims to be a Trope In Aggregate, but judging by the example list, it's not really - I would cut this.
4 Spark911th Jun 2013 02:22:24 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
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I fail to see how this is a trope. Some cyber punk movies include some techno music, and some People Sit on Chairs too.
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5 AnotherDuck11th Jun 2013 10:54:55 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Well, electronic music does give a more futuristic feel than instrumental music. It's sort of like having a dystopian future look dark, like Gotham, and a brighter future bright, like Metropolis. But none of those are always true. It's definitely a pattern that exists, but not a clear cut one.

A stronger pattern is probably the absence of electronical music in historical or fantasty settings.

edited 11th Jun '13 10:56:28 PM by AnotherDuck

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7 StarSword16th Jun 2013 11:11:46 PM from somewhere in deep space , Relationship Status: In denial
You are of Bajor.
[up]I wondered what happened to that one.
8 SeptimusHeap16th Jun 2013 11:47:31 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Died to lack of interest?
and lack of technical terms. we'd need music major / composer / sound editor to take that one up

edited 18th Jun '13 3:02:00 PM by acrobox

10 SeptimusHeap23rd Jun 2013 05:06:27 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I wonder if we can merge this into that YKTTW.
maybe. I think its tropeworthy, it just needs a lot of Wiki Magic, and I am not the one to give it.
12 StarSword2nd Jul 2013 08:08:02 PM from somewhere in deep space , Relationship Status: In denial
You are of Bajor.
Maybe put a request into the Music forum to see if anyone wants to help with Sound Coded Settings.

edited 2nd Jul '13 8:08:31 PM by StarSword

13 Noaqiyeum2nd Jul 2013 08:12:20 PM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
I think this is trying to be a soundtrack-centric version of Post Apocalypse Punk.

EDIT: Oh, whatever the name of that trope is.

edited 2nd Jul '13 8:12:48 PM by Noaqiyeum

14 Cameoflage24th Jul 2013 06:24:59 PM from Metro Vancouver
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I think there's definitely a link between a work having a futuristic setting (not necessarily Cyber Punk) and the soundtrack being heavily electronic, but it isn't universal on either end. And I'd say the current trope name has it the wrong way round: electronic music enhances the futuristic feel of a setting, but futuristic settings often use other types of music.
Here's a list of some non-sci-fi movies with predominantly electronic soundtracks that I have watched:

  • Midnight Express
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Commando
  • Insomnia
  • The Saint
  • Spawn
  • Pi
  • The Jackal
  • Run Lola Run
  • Fight Club
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The Beach
  • Gone in 60 Seconds
  • The Virgin Suicides
  • Memento
  • Millennium Actress
  • The Social Network
  • Drive

The soundtrack of these films can be divided into three categories: loud and fast tunes for action scenes, downtempo/ambient pieces for eerie/tense/romantic atmosphere, and misc. pop music. If you look at the way electronic music is used in sci-fi films, the only difference is that the third category is much rarer; other than that, it's used exactly in the same way. "Futurism" has nothing to do with it.

I think the idea that this trope exists comes from confirmation bias - people still think of electronic music as "futuristic" (which is odd to me, considering how long it has existed by now and that very few electronic works have a futuristic theme), so whenever they watch a sci-fi show and hear electronic music they figure this must be the reason it's there.
16 AnotherDuck27th Jul 2013 07:56:16 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
[up]I basically read that post as confirmation bias. A rather narrow sample of films that confirms what you believe.

If you divide all films into sci-fi and non-sci-fi, and then divide those two groups into music styles, I'd believe you'd find a larger percentage of electronic music in the sci-fi group.
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I don't see how this is a trope either. A broader trope on how genres or settings are associated with music would make a useful trope, especially a video game trope.
18 SeptimusHeap22nd Aug 2013 12:06:17 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I am not familiar enough about music usage in fiction to gauge its tropeworthiness. Also, if we keep/remake this in any way, it will have to follow the Tropes In Aggregate format - it's not a trope in a single work, it's a multi-work trend.
19 AnotherDuck22nd Aug 2013 01:39:33 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I think it's definitely a trope, but I don't think the troper base is capable of handling it.
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20 MorningStar133724th Aug 2013 07:03:34 PM from The pacific timezone , Relationship Status: Brony
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@Mikurufan I think I can make a YKTTW for that, but I need help with a description.
@Another Duck: The point of my list was to refute Cameoflage's argument that electronic music necessarily gives a futuristic feel. I agree with your statistical assessment, but correlation does not imply causation. The setting is only one of the factors that determine a show's soundtrack. Other factors like the genre (action/thriller/etc), the budget and the year in which it was made are just as influential, if not more.

Anyway, there is already a trope for electronic music that really is futuristic: Future Music.
I don't know much about this subject, but given the arguments in this thread so far, I'd be fine with a cut.
23 Willbyr23rd Oct 2013 04:18:39 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
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Total posts: 24