Re: art not music

Subject: Re: art not music
From: Rick (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2005 - 20:17:36 EST

If you mean; is it a plastic art, like painting and sculpture, yes it
is. It is a time based, plastic art that uses sound. (IMO)

Does that exempt it from being music?

It probably depends upon the composer. The work I just finished is
definitely "music". The works I did last year may not have been. I
doubt the one I'm trying to finish now will be for sure. The
techniques and thinking used were very much the same, although the
sources had a lot to do with the outcome. I can only speak from the
experience in the act of creating them.

In the same way, most of the statements I see below are well thought
out indications of the author's personal intent in his own art,... umm
I mean music.

Does EA "exclude" rhythm and harmony? I don't think so. I think EA has
so many possibilities from which form can be derived that harmony and
rhythm are now just a subset of the composable sound world.

I'm not of the opinion that either music or art or EA are actually
languages, although I suspect that there's a lot of overlap with
artistic discourse and linguistic discourse.


PS of course, I'm really only talking about my own relationship to it.
You could take a thousand different stances, and still do
work(s). After forty years, Schaeffer decided that he hadn't found a
way through to music. He relegated musique concrète to the domain of
sculpture and painting. He continued to call it musique concrète


musique plastique! fantastique!
acousmatics; "musique concrète all grown up"

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 19:21:38 -0500, Kevin Austin
<> wrote:
> This is being cross-posted from <eamt> to both <eamt> and <cec-conference>.
> Best
> Kevin
> _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
> >Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 14:01:40 -0500
> >From:
> >Subject: Ea: art, not music
> >
> >This topic was broached, yet not actually discussed in any detail.
> Ok. Here's a golden opportunity.
> >Obviously this is divisive subject,
> Not necessarily.
> >we are in a music program (at Concordia) as it is and many will
> >simply take that as being the answer to whether or not
> >electroacoustics is music or art.
> It is art. Read on.
> >Some will also say that they are one and the same. THis I don't
> >believe to be true.
> They certainly aren't the same.
> >Music and Art are not the same (IMO) they follow different paths.
> One being temporal and one being based around (non-timebased) visual
> perception, with the exception of sculpture.
> >Music has at its core a language that is not translateable to ea.
> There may be some possibilities of borrowings, and electroacoustic
> music is the hybrid of music and electroacoustics.
> >Ea has at its core, no specific language (or one that is very limited).
> I think one can draw from the experience of a granite monument where
> the object can be understood as being that which it is not -- the
> parts excluded from inclusion.
> >The fact that ea is sound based is the link between the two, this
> >leads to the understanding of ea as music.
> Possibly not. Where the two intersect in sound would be considered
> electroacoustic music. (This term produced 80,700 hits on Google.)
> >... (IMO), the understanding of ea as music constrains it to
> >be time based, which while true does not allow it to function
> >completely as a seperate art form.
> There is no problem for me in having multiple time-based art forms.
> Theater, cinema, mobiles and sculpture are all time-based art forms
> and one would not be likely to confuse mobiles and music.
> >If the context of music is taken out of ea
> But ea is a language, not constrained by the historical
> considerations related to music.
> >then ea can function as a much greater entity, an entity that allows
> >for understanding not simply on a sonic level, it can in the end
> >function more closely to the visual art domain
> I feel that this is too broad a use of the term "visual art"s, but
> would propose that ea functions more closely to abstract visual art,
> one not dependent upon 'objects' and objectification of objects.
> The purest abstract art is like the purest electroacoustic art, not
> beholding to anyone or anything, except itself.
> Electroacoustics is a language that excludes music and sounds derived
> from musical traditions. Beats, notes, harmony and melody have no
> real place in electroacoustics. To find out how to work with beats
> and metric structures, notes (pitches and pitch classes), harmony and
> pitch simultaneities in equal temperament, the place to study this is
> in a music composition class.
> While it is not too easy to state the internal limits of ea, as noted
> above, it is pretty straightforward to denote those things that don't
> fit, and a re-prioritization of those that are common between music,
> electroacoustic music and electroacoustic art. Similarly, it is
> possible to delimit those areas that fall outside of ea-art into
> radiophonic art, soundscaping, audio and installation art.
> A central premise of ea-art is that of 'timbre and gesture'. Of these
> two, IMV, gesture is the more central. In general, the identity of a
> work will not be lost with shifts in timbre and spectral content.
> Proof of this is that a piece can be played through a wide range of
> sound systems and remain the same (identifiable) piece, but to flip a
> gesture (ie, play it backwards), or displace it in relation to other
> sounds may quickly lead to its loss of identity.
> Electroacoustic art is about the invention of sounds, sound objects
> and new, unrealized relationships. The musique concret school got it
> wrong when they failed to work towards the invention of new sounds
> rather than the collaging and re-contextualization of existing sounds.
> >thougths? arguements? anything.
> >
> >
> >--
> >Andrew McCallum
> >

Rick Nance
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

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