Electronic is a broad designation that could be construed to cover many different styles of music -- after all, electronic instrumentation has become commonplace, and much dance-oriented music from the late '80s on is primarily, often exclusively, electronic. However, in this case, it refers mostly to electronic music as it took shape early on, when artists were still exploring the unique possibilities of electronically generated sound, as well as more recent music strongly indebted to those initial experiments. Avant-garde composers had long been fascinated with the ways technology could be used to produce previously unheard textures and combinations of sounds. French composer Edgard Varèse was a pioneer in this field, building his own electronic instruments as early as the 1920s and experimenting with tape loops during the '50s. Varèse's work was hugely influential on American avant-gardist John Cage and German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, both of whom greatly expanded the compositional structures in which electronic devices could be incorporated. But electronic music didn't really begin to enter the wider consciousness until around the 1970s, when sequencers and synthesizers became more affordable and easier to obtain. Wendy Carlos' 1968 Switched-On Bach album, a selection of Bach pieces performed on the Moog synthesizer, had ignited tremendous public attention, and Stockhausen's teachings had begun to inspire a burgeoning experimental music scene in Germany. Krautrock groups such as Can and Neu! integrated synthesizers and tape manipulations into their rabid experimentalism, but the two most important electronic artists to emerge from the scene were Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Kraftwerk pioneered the concept of pop music performed exclusively on synthesizers, and their robotic, mechanical, hypnotic style had a tremendous impact on nearly all electronic pop produced in the remainder of the 20th century. Tangerine Dream, meanwhile, was indebted to minimalist classical composition, crafting an atmospheric, slowly shifting, trance-inducing sound that helped invent the genre known as space music. Other crucial figures included Klaus Schulze, who explored a droning variation on space music that was even more trancelike than Tangerine Dream, and Brian Eno, whose inventive production and experiments with electronics in a pop context eventually gave way to his creation of ambient music, which aimed to blend thoroughly into its environment and often relied heavily on synthesizers. Ambient and space music helped give rise to new age, which emphasized the peaceful, soothing, and meditative qualities of those influences while adding greater melodicism; the progressive electronic branch of new age crafted a more dramatic, lushly orchestrated style that broke with electronic music's roots in minimalism. Synth-pop, techno, and its artier companion electronica all owed a great deal to the basic innovations of early electronic artists as well.