Experimental Rock and Experimental Music
After the main foray of Pop music in the fifties and sixties, towards the end of the sixties and even in cases before, music was getting some endeavors in the experimental side of music.
Maybe, to the main populace it was not completely accepted but there were some and some cases a majority that gave the musicians who would experiment in their music with ample credit and fanfare.
There were many instances in artists experimenting in their music within the bounds of their genre sometimes in subtle ways, a tweak here a tweak there, an unusual instrument here and there and in many cases it was sort of the norm to at least experiment in sound and in notes to keep the tracks interesting and try an catch the ear of the listener.
There were then also other bands and artists who would experiment a lot more often in the instruments and notes hence created the term which is still ambiguous as experimental music.
A lot of the music which could be termed as experimental music is found in part but not completely in the terms of Experimental Rock, Progressive Rock, Ambient Rock, Ambient Instrumental music to name a few but there a lot of other kinds of experimental music including Classical, New Age and sound experiments that are designed to make the listener think outside the normal so called boxes of main contemporary music which as at term is also experimental.
Truly most of the great bands who are known in Rock music have at least experimented in their sound or sounds and in their songwriting more than what is noticeable at least when we are just casually listening.
Part of the trick in songwriting in general as well as for the best known bands is experimenting with whatever it would be within a tried and true songwriting formula such as the 1-4-5 chord progression in Blues and Rock , the 2-5-1 progression in Jazz just for examples and creating new notes, sounds, chords and other places to experiment within the song. Sometimes this will come easier than others.
Another kind of experimenting in music involves semitones. Notes that are within the range of a normal scale but rarely used. In Avante Garde and other experimental music and in music since the sixties in particular, semitones are used more than what is noticed. Probably it’s use is in some way for dramatic reasons to raise tension and awareness like the notes you hear often on some of the Thrillers and in scenes when tension is raised, or tried to be raised. An ascending major scale without the semitones just might not do for that effect.
One of the main kinds of experimental music involves the instrument. There are more instruments than noticed that are from all over the world. What a delight it is therefor to have a studio and place to record with the instruments that are hardly ever heard. Playing them once or twice can be an interesting experience but having them recorded especially with the recording capabilities of modern times can provide many hours of entertainment before the song or track is done.
Though you can go to far and also waste a lot of time trying to find a way to bring that sound or timbre into experimental music. At times the more experimental it is means the less commercially viable it will be. However, those who have pushed the limits of their craft and usually combined it with good and decent songwriting can in the end have more fans and credibility among the music critic elite.