Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap
Date: Mon Jul 19 2004 - 16:14:30 EDT

Quoting "" <>:

> We (or, at least, I) care about this definition because definitions
> are
> important and music is important. More precise terms, not recondite,
> for
> the overlapping definitions are easy to propose:

...And entirely untenable to enforce. Binary definitions aren't
anywhere near as useful as they seem. They work most of the time and
most of the time is good enough, but trying to iron out the edge cases
into complete objective categorization is destined to be an exercise in
futility. You can't just quash secondary definitions, then manufacture
new definitions to fill the gaps and expect them to take hold.
Language--especially language about art--has to be flexible. For example:

> Acoustic music -- music played without electronics or amplifiction,
> e.g. a
> live Robert Johnson or J.S. Bach performance.

How about a solo folk guitarist singing with a microphone and an
acoustic guitar? Bach on an electric-pump organ instead of pedal-pump?

> Amplified music -- music played without electronics, except for
> amplification, e.g. early Bob Dylan on stage with a P.A.

Choirs with megaphones?

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

So the only difference between this and amplified music is, what, pickups?

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

Distinct from electric music? Are guitar pickups not electronics that
require amplification?

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

How about nonalgorithmic composition using computers? Or algorithmic
composition done using computers that could have been done manually
(with a lot of number crunching) and then notated for chamber ensemble,
like Xenakis or Ferneyhough?

The musical landscape is full of examples that would fit squarely within
your definitions, but there are certainly enough boundary cases to keep
things interesting.


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