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Landy, Leigh

Reviewing the Musicology of Electroacoustic Music: A plea for greater triangulation


Organised Sound: Vol. 4, no. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 61-70.

Both electroacoustic music and its associated musicology are a half century old. Although the number of relevant technological developments during this time could be said to be extremely high, its music has known relatively few heroes, at least within contemporary art music, and written scholarship demonstrates a bias towards formalism and therefore much less of one towards the contextual, aesthetic, reception, etc. The previous sentence implies an imbalance worthy of addressing. This article is less a survey of what exists in the area of electroacoustic music scholarship than one looking into delineating the area and suggesting where the ‘holes in the market’ might be and how they might be filled. Are the fields of sonic art and its musicology intentionally avoiding coherence? And why do musicologists of the music of notes continue to avoid the musicology of the music of sounds? Finally, triangulation, i.e. the use of feedback and evaluation so rarely applied in electroacoustic music(ologogical) contexts, is promoted as a means to greater cohesion and understanding, avoiding what is called an ‘island mentality’ demonstrated by many individuals working in all areas of the sonic arts.

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Sunday 10 July 2005, by Leigh Landy