Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts


Music - Recording Technology Concentration

First Advisor

Lanier Sammons


As electronic dance music (EDM) culture has risen from the underground to the mainstream, the term “DJ” is often used colloquially to describe anyone performing any kind of electronic dance music. However, distinctions can be made between the mix-DJ who performs with turntables and software and the live performance artist (live P.A.) who performs electronic music via hardware or a combination of hardware, software and traditional acoustic/electric instruments. The use of analog electronic instruments, DJ Controllers, MIDI controllers, and software used in live performances and DJ sets will be examined critically, along with how the tools and techniques used in these live acts can make the distinctions between them more or less transparent. Opinions from within the EDM community about the authenticity of performances will be discussed within the paper. Interviews conducted with EDM artists and DJs, articles written by journalists who follow EDM culture, and a firsthand account of a DJing experience with respect to the discussion in the paper will also be used to discuss and analyze performance in electronic dance music.