Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to frap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to frap
Date: Fri Aug 06 2004 - 17:17:20 EDT

The computer can never be in a finished phase. The computer, by definition,
is a machine that can simulate any other machine. Its possibilities are
literally infinite. The same cannot be said for the piano. At some point,
someone will write a convincing physical model program for the piano, but
nobody will ever be able to play computer music on a piano (though it would
be amusing and instructive to see just how close you could get with a
player piano.)

The minute one thing is "finished" on the computer, that simply makes it
available to investigate as yet unthought possibilities.

Humanity is not yet used to the computer, and does not yet understand the
phenomenal power of this instrument. It is not an instrument like other
instruments, it is a meta-instrument.

Original Message:
From: lawrence casserley
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 21:05:09 +0100
Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to frap

On 6 Aug, 2004, at 22:47, Eliot Handelman wrote:

> computer music has got to constantly ask itself about things only
> possible through computation. By
> definition it must have a developing edge. Ultimately that means
> doing astonishing things in music,
> because the computer, besides its lowly status as "tool," is also a
> machine for creating astonishment.
> That gives a qualitative assessment -- something is computer music not
> because someone wrote an algorithm,
> but because it persues the implications of astonshment through means
> offered by the computer. These means
> are constantly growing and I don't see why they should be typed at the
> lowest possible level of
> abstraction, the algorithm.

In the 19th century, the development of the modern piano opened up an
enormous range of possibilities for composers, so the development of
"piano music" became a significant force in new music of the time.
Since then, the piano has become simply a standard instrument in
western music, implying no particular style or genre, just a routine
workhorse. Is the computer, which created startling new possibilities,
already into this transition phase?



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