What's the Matter with Today's Experimental Music ? Organized sound too rarely heard

Leigh Landy

Harwood Academic Publishers (Chur, etc.), 1991
xiv, 308pp ISBN: 3-7186-5168-8

What's the Matter with Today's Experimental Music ? is based on the premise that contemporary music is suffering from a distinct lack of attention. It inspects and evaluates what is happening to musical experimentation, where things might have gone wrong and what can be done to resolve the problem. Today a composer's newest creation is not always eagerly anticipated and the composer is lucky to have his or her work performed at all. The book is concerned, therefore, with the dispersion of today's experimental music. It was conceived to incite more composers, musicians and musicologists to get this music out into the world and to stimulate the creation of new experimental works.

 

Table of Contents

PART 1 - INTRODUCTION

  1. What it's all about Definition, delineation of the area: also the "parameter" question and Cage's double role (composer/philosopher)
  2. PART 2 - FOUR EXTRA-MUSICAL SUBJECTS OF RELEVANCE

  3. The media/1 Including a double failure: the media's relative lack of support, the musicians' lack of application and the "perfect" recording
  4. Technology - Increased knowledge and utilities in our society How are these used/translated in today's music?
  5. Local music - Have we forgotten regional values? And an overflow of "exotic" goods (recordings) in the supermarket
  6. Music and politics - Including Henze's salon, Cage's anarchism
  7. PART 3 - STATUS REPORT: ADVANCES WITHIN EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC

  8. New Notation and instrument practice - Avant-gardism is alive and well - it's the musician who's still suffering/music education and two of Cage's pages
  9. Form and structure, (a)tonality and rhythm and our perception's fuse box - The questions of the lost melody, the lot of Xenakis' (dis)order, energy; minimalism's twentieth birthday
  10. Sound sources, colour - Organised sounds, notes and silences or not?
  11. The "parameter" space - Quadraphonics, the podium, the street, etc.
  12. The media/2: How often have you seen your compositions performed? - An often ignored potential
  13. PART 4 - CONTEMPORARY MUSIC TODAY

  14. Survey: One step forwards, two steps backwards? - Including neo ≠ new
  15. The maestros of the 50s and 60s in 1989 - Cage, Stockhausen and Xenakis plus Ligeti, Kagel, and others. Also the parameters, "compositional bearing" and "Formel"
  16. Today's music of sounds: Electroacoustic Music and extended vocal techniques - e.g. the MIDI influence and computer music is number one
  17. Fusion Music - Fortunately the borders with pop music and jazz are becoming more and more vague
  18. PART 5 - CONCLUSION

  19. A possible future for experimental music - Among other subjects: the influence of our economy, our schools, today's perspectives in experimentation
  20. PART 6 - WORK DESCRIPTIONS AND CUES FOR THE LISTENER

    XVIa Melodylessness and beatlessness - Ligeti's Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet
    XVIb Extended vocal techniques, new instrumental techniques and new virtuosity - Berio's Sequenza III
    XVIc Dealing with highly complex music - for example Carter's Concerto for Orchestra
    XVId Sophisticated formel structures in experimental music which you can hear if you try - Xenakis' Nomos
    XVIe Music as process - Reich's Piano Phase
    XVIf Available (open) forms - Brown's Available Forms I
    XVIg Politically influenced music-making - Wolff's In Between Pieces
    XVIh Music as organised notes and sound - de Leeuw's Mountains
    XVIi Recent electroacoustic music - Risset's Sud
    XVIj An analysis of Shinohara's Tayutai for koto (1972) - a three-dimensional approach of assimilation in experimental music

    Bibliography + Index

     


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