Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to frap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to frap
From: John Nowak (
Date: Thu Aug 05 2004 - 20:20:17 EDT

On Aug 5, 2004, at 9:22 AM, wrote:

> I think Nowak's point, with which I agree, is that if the musician has
> responsibility for the algorithms, it is computer music. A digital
> algorithm burned into a PROM is no longer the responsibility of the
> musician. A csound instrument implementing exactly the same algorithm
> is
> the responsibility of the musician - he or she has the ability to
> change
> it, even if that choice is not taken.
> A better term would be "software music" or "programmable music."

I agree with your better term. I would not consider music made solely
with Reason to be computer music, even though it undoubtedly runs on a
computer. In my mind, computer music = programmed music (on a computer
of course, I'm not talking dice rolling). There is a similar thing with
algorithmic music... all software more of less uses algorithms.
However, we do not call music made with Reason algorithmic music, as
you're not making any algorithms yourself in it, and most of the
user/programmer input is done manually. Algorithmic music makes
exceptional use of algorithms, and computer music makes exceptional use
of computers. If the artist can also be considered a programmer, I'd
suggest that it can be considered computer music. On a side note,
patching a modular synth and programming cellular automata in C are not
the same thing for those who might try that argument. ;-)

- John Nowak

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