Experimental music is a broad term defining all forms of post-classical music and even non-music. Experimental music is characterized by the use of extended technique in playing of musical instruments, invention of new musical instruments, song structures and musical scales. Noise falls under the category of experimental music, even though it is not necessarily music by standard definitions.
History of Experimental Music
Many consider the most important experimental musician to be John Cage, although experimental music can be traced back much farther to Dada and Futurism. Some argue that experimental music became most popularized with several albums by late rock musicians. Often cited is the album Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed.
Is Experimental Music Dead?
Some feel that experimental music is "dead" since the techniques and styles developed by early experimental artists have become so common that they are no longer innovations. There have never been many experimental musicians because in order for them to be called such they must experiment and find new methods of creating sound. Many genres were once experimental, like Math Rock and Industrial but are now more widespread, thus losing, in the minds of some, the right to be called experimental. Despite this, "experimental" is a word that is still generally used as an umbrella term to describe anything non-traditional in art and music.
List of Experimental Music Netlabels