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English definition

Simply stated, musicology is the study of music. Electroacoustic musicology is, therefore, the study of electroacoustic music. It can be subdivided into three overlapping areas: historical, systematic and ethno-electroacoustic music studies.

The historical area is one that looks at the music diachronically and synchronically, taking various aspects of systematic musicology and technology into account where pertinent. Its key corpus of research is the music itself from the most esoteric to its more popular forms.

Ethno-electroacoustic music studies is involved with the impact of this music on our listening, our aural culture as well as on our relationship with all sounds that surround us.

Finally, the systematic area consists of an assortment of sub-areas, many focusing on theoretical issues, but not exclusively. The following list covers a large number of relevant subjects:

- new theories concerning sonic art
- categorisation of sounds (micro- and macro-levels)
- families of approaches/works
- sound (re)synthesis
- sound manipulation
- spectral analysis
- spectromorphology
- new instruments
- interactivity/performance interfaces
- new protocols for digital control of sound
- new approaches to performance (contexts)
- multimedia
- sound and space/acoustics
- new notations/representations
- new approaches to analysis
- ordering of sounds (micro-level)
- ordering of larger electroacoustic musical entities (macro-level)
- artificial intelligence
- modes of listening/perception
- psychoacoustics/cognition/semiotics
- archiving information
- aesthetics/philosophy/criticism

(Source: Leigh Landy (1999). Reviewing the Musicology of Electroacoustic Music. Organised Sound Vol. 4, No. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 61-70.)

Monday 18 October 2004, by Pierre Couprie