What's the Matter with Today's Experimental Music ? Organized sound too rarely heard
Harwood Academic Publishers (Chur, etc.), 1991
xiv, 308pp ISBN: 3-7186-5168-8
What's the Matter with Today's Experimental Music? is based on the premise that contemporary music is suffering from a distinct lack of attention. It inspects and evaluates what is happening to musical experimentation, where things might have gone wrong and what can be done to resolve the problem. Today a composer's newest creation is not always eagerly anticipated and the composer is lucky to have his or her work performed at all. The book is concerned, therefore, with the dispersion of today's experimental music. It was conceived to incite more composers, musicians and musicologists to get this music out into the world and to stimulate the creation of new experimental works.
Table of Contents
PART 1 - INTRODUCTION
- What it's all about Definition, delineation of the area: also the "parameter" question and Cage's double role (composer/philosopher)
PART 2 - FOUR EXTRA-MUSICAL SUBJECTS OF RELEVANCE
- The media/1 Including a double failure: the media's relative lack of support, the musicians' lack of application and the "perfect" recording
- Technology - Increased knowledge and utilities in our society ... How are these used/translated in today's music?
- Local music - Have we forgotten regional values? And an overflow of "exotic" goods (recordings) in the supermarket
- Music and politics - Including Henze's salon, Cage's anarchism
PART 3 - STATUS REPORT: ADVANCES WITHIN EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC
- New Notation and instrument practice - Avant-gardism is alive and well - it's the musician who's still suffering/music education and two of Cage's pages
- Form and structure, (a)tonality and rhythm and our perception's fuse box - The questions of the lost melody, the lot of Xenakis' (dis)order, energy; minimalism's twentieth birthday
- Sound sources, colour - Organised sounds, notes and silences or not?
- The "parameter" space - Quadraphonics, the podium, the street, etc.
- The media/2: How often have you seen your compositions performed? - An often ignored potential
PART 4 - CONTEMPORARY MUSIC TODAY
- Survey: One step forwards, two steps backwards? - Including neo ≠ new
- The maestros of the 50s and 60s in 1989 - Cage, Stockhausen and Xenakis plus Ligeti, Kagel, and others. Also the parameters, "compositional bearing" and "Formel"
- Today's music of sounds: Electroacoustic Music and extended vocal techniques - e.g. the MIDI influence and computer music is number one
- Fusion Music - Fortunately the borders with pop music and jazz are becoming more and more vague
PART 5 - CONCLUSION
- A possible future for experimental music - Among other subjects: the influence of our economy, our schools, today's perspectives in experimentation
PART 6 - WORK DESCRIPTIONS AND CUES FOR THE LISTENER
XVIa Melodylessness and beatlessness - Ligeti's Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet
XVIb Extended vocal techniques, new instrumental techniques and new virtuosity - Berio's Sequenza III
XVIc Dealing with highly complex music - for example Carter's Concerto for Orchestra
XVId Sophisticated formel structures in experimental music which you can hear if you try - Xenakis' Nomos
XVIe Music as process - Reich's Piano Phase
XVIf Available (open) forms - Brown's Available Forms I
XVIg Politically influenced music-making - Wolff's In Between Pieces
XVIh Music as organised notes and sound - de Leeuw's Mountains
XVIi Recent electroacoustic music - Risset's Sud
XVIj An analysis of Shinohara's Tayutai for koto (1972) - a three-dimensional approach of assimilation in experimental music
Bibliography + Index
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