Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Mon Jul 19 2004 - 16:09:04 EDT

What is notably interesting about your approach is that it is based
upon practice rather than theory. Another good place to start
(although the reference is computer music) is ...

which starts ...

Vol. 18 Issue 1 Editor's Notes
CMJ Library >

A Taxonomy of Computer Music

Stephen Travis Pope
Computer Music Journal

I have prepared a series of reference documents for the field of
computer music, including a bibliography, a diskography, a taxonomy,
and a list or electronic network resources. ... The note
below is a "rough cut" at a comprehensive taxonomy of the field. It
appeared in Computer Music Journal 18:1 (Spring, 1994) along with
several of the responses printed below. All four of these reference
documents are to be viewed as "works in progress" or--more
correctly--as on-going community discussions taking place in letters to
the editor of Computer Music Journal. The documents are also available
in electronic form by Internet ftp file transfer from the server
computer in the directory pub/computer-music-journal.

(continued at the end)

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Definitions, by definition are incomplete, eg

At 15:34 -0400 2004/07/19, wrote:
>Amplified music -- music played without electronics, except for
>amplification, e.g. early Bob Dylan on stage with a P.A.

This is a major oversimplification of what an amplifier is, not to
mention the transducers. One could consider this an example of
'mixed' as there is both an electronic and an acoustical signal --
the electronic signal being a distorted version of an acoustical
signal in this case. (And you don't want to enter the zone of how the
mic response changes in relation to the distance of the voice, or the
dispersion pattern of the speakers ... along with delay and pre-echo
... but you won't want to go there.)

>Electric music -- music played with electrically augmented instruments,
>typically electric guitars, e.g. late Bob Dylan on stage with an
>electric band.

With or without processing? (eq, compression, limiting, reverb,
balancing of various instruments) ... and what about the drums ...
and, the voice? (and without an organ?)

The term "electric music" has meant that the signal was produced by
'electrical' (sic) rather than "electronic" means.

>Electronic music -- music played with electronics but without software,
>necessarily including amplification, e.g. a Theremin recital.

Or like a Hammond B-3? oooops!

>Computer music -- music played and/or composed with software:
>algorithmic synthesis, algorithmic composition, usually a mixture of
>algorithmic and manual composition with algorithmic synthesis.

... and Hybrid, eg the Synthi AKS with its 256 x 7 bit memory



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continued from the CMJ article ...

four authors' lists. Its "weighting" or "focus" reflects the average of
four current views of the most important facets of the computer music

         1. Music theory, composition, and performance
                 1.1. Music theory, sociology, and aesthetics
                         1.1.1. Music theory and analysis
                         1.1.2. Temperament and tuning systems
                         1.1.3. New musical aesthetics and sociologies
                 1.2. Composition of electroacoustic music
                         1.2.1. Sound and composition models and notations
                         1.2.2. Models of the composition and
performance processes
                         1.2.3. Sound design and processing
                         1.2.4. Realization and production techniques
                         1.2.5. "Aural rendering" or "sonification" of
scientific data
                 1.3. Algorithmic and computer-aided composition
                         1.3.1. Compositional algorithms and languages
                         1.3.2. Composition systems for score or sound synthesis
                         1.3.3. Artificial Intelligence and composition
                 1.4. Performance situations and interfaces
                         1.4.1. Performing and conducting
                         1.4.2. Gesture recognition and interfaces
                         1.4.3. Score following in performance
                         1.4.4. Expression representation and analysis
         2. Musical acoustics, psychoacoustics, perception, and cognition
                 2.1. Musical acoustics and psychoacoustics
                         2.1.1. Acoustics of musical instruments and voice
                         2.1.2. Psychoacoustics
                         2.1.3. Room and spatial acoustics
                 2.2. Music perception
                         2.2.1. Physiology of hearing
                         2.2.2. Pitch identification
                         2.2.3. Rhythm identification
                         2.2.4. Timbre perception
                 2.3. Music understanding and cognition
                         2.3.1. Rhythm understanding
                         2.3.2. Key and scale recognition
                         2.3.3. Higher-level structures
         3. Musical signal and event representation and notation
                 3.1. Models of signals and events
                         3.1.1. Language systems
                         3.1.2. Encodings and file formats
                         3.1.3. Graphical notation systems
                 3.2. Musical event description languages
                         3.2.1. Note-list formats
                         3.2.2. Music input languages
                         3.2.3. Music programming languages
                 3.3. Musical signal description languages
                         3.3.1. Signal models and descriptions
                         3.3.2. Software synthesis languages
                 3.4. Music notation and printing tools
                         3.4.1. Transcription or performance
                         3.4.2. Optical recognition of scores
         4. Digital control and sound signal synthesis and processing
                 4.1. Sound synthesis methods
                         4.1.1. Additive sound synthesis methods
                         4.1.2. Subtractive sound synthesis methods
                         4.1.3. Nonlinear sound synthesis methods
                         4.1.4. Physical models of acoustical systems
                                 4.1.4.X. Various types of physical models
                         4.1.5. Other synthesis methods
                         4.1.6. Analysis and resynthesis systems
                 4.2. Time- and frequency-domain signal processing
                         4.2.1. Software architecture
                         4.2.2. Time domain model synthesis
                         4.2.3. Frequency domain model synthesis
                         4.2.4. Ad hoc synthesis techniques
                         4.2.5. Effects and filters
                 4.3. Sound spatialization and localization
                 4.4. Machine recognition of signals and events
                 4.5. Real-time processing and scheduling
                         4.5.1. Real-time scheduling
                         4.5.2. Real-time languages
                         4.5.3. Hardware architectures
                 4.6. MIDI and control processing
         5. Hardware support for computer music
                 5.1. Hardware for DSP and digital audio
                 5.2. Computer music workstations
                 5.2. Input/Output devices for music
         6. Computers in music education and computer music education
                 6.1. Computers in music education
                 6.2. Computer music education
         7. Computer music literature and sources
                 7.1. Bibliographies/diskographies
                 7.2. Studio reports
                 7.3. Descriptions of compositions
                 7.4. History of electroacoustic music

         Figure 7: A taxonomy that encompasses all of the keywords
presented in the discussion

The note above was circulated via electronic networks In December
1993; several of the responses are included below.

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