Music in the Electronic Age
The electronic and digital revolutions have had a profound effect on music and, by extension, society at large. In this seminar we will explore those effects from a variety of perspectives. We will listen to and even make music, learn about key figures, and examine important developments in the application of music technology in the creation and evolution of styles ranging from musique concrète of the 1940s to current “sampling” and “loop-based” practices. Mechanical recording technology will serve as our point of departure. Writing assignments will probe a variety of aesthetic and socio-historical questions, including: How do new technologies affect the way we define musical art and artists? What and who furthered the development of new arts technologies? Has technology democratized music making? How have digitization, multimedia, and the Internet affected music, musicians, and the presence of the arts in our everyday lives? Lab visits will provide a hands-on opportunity to creatively experience synthesizers and samplers. No music or technology background is required.
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