Joel Chadabe: Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music (1997)

6 July 2019, dusan

A classic of electronic music history based on 150 interviews by an active participant in the northeast American scene.

Publisher Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997
ISBN 0133032310, 9780133032314
xiv+370 pages
via x

Reviews: Marc Battiq Ircam (Leonardo Music Journal, 1997), Anna Laura Arpel (Computer Music Journal, 1997), Warren Burt (Computer Music Journal, 1998), Rebecca Coyle (Convergence, 1999), Darwin Grosse (Cycling74, 2018), Jay Williston (Synthmuseum, n.d.).


PDF (44 MB)

Frode Weium, Tim Boon (eds.): Material Culture and Electronic Sound (2013)

5 June 2019, dusan

“This eighth volume of the Artefacts series explores how material culture has affected music and sound. Technological innovations in music that were originally created to solve existing problems have ended up expanding the range of what can be done musically and changing the landscape of music. Boon and Weium present a collection of essays exploring technological innovations and their effects on musical culture. Contributors include composers, performers, musicologists, and scientists, providing diverse insights into the nature of music.”

Foreword by Brian Eno
Publisher Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC, 2013
Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology series, 8
ISBN 1944466088, 9781944466084
xvii+293 pages


PDF (30 MB)

Curtis Roads: Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic (2015)

8 July 2018, dusan

“Electronic music evokes new sensations, feelings, and thoughts in both composers and listeners. Opening the door to an unlimited universe of sound, it engages spatialization as an integral aspect of composition and focuses on sound transformation as a core structural strategy. In this new domain, pitch occurs as a flowing and ephemeral substance that can be bent, modulated, or dissolved into noise. Similarly, time occurs not merely as a fixed duration subdivided by ratios, but as a plastic medium that can be generated, modulated, reversed, warped, scrambled, and granulated. Envelope and waveform undulations on all time scales interweave to generate form. The power of algorithmic methods amplify the capabilities of music technology. Taken together, these constitute game-changing possibilities.

This convergence of technical and aesthetic trends prompts the need for a new text focused on the opportunities of a sound oriented, multiscale approach to composition of electronic music. Sound oriented means a practice that takes place in the presence of sound. Multiscale means an approach that takes into account the perceptual and physical reality of multiple, interacting time scales-each of which can be composed. After more than a century of research and development, now is an appropriate moment to step back and reevaluate all that has changed under the ground of artistic practice.

Composing Electronic Music outlines a new theory of composition based on the toolkit of electronic music techniques. The theory consists of a framework of concepts and a vocabulary of terms describing musical materials, their transformation, and their organization. Central to this discourse is the notion of narrative structure in composition-how sounds are born, interact, transform, and die. It presents a guidebook: a tour of facts, history, commentary, opinions, and pointers to interesting ideas and new possibilities to consider and explore.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2015
ISBN 9780195373233, 0195373235
xxvii+480 pages

Reviews: Nick Collins (Music and Letters, 2016), Gregory Taylor (Cycling74, 2016), Warren Burt (SoundBytes, 2016).


PDF (24 MB)
Companion website