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Experimental Music Since 1970

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What is experimental music today? This book offers an up to date survey of this field for anyone with an interest, from seasoned practitioners to curious readers. This book takes the stance that experimental music is not a limited historical event, but is a proliferation of approaches to sound that reveals much about present-day experience. An experimental work is not iden What is experimental music today? This book offers an up to date survey of this field for anyone with an interest, from seasoned practitioners to curious readers. This book takes the stance that experimental music is not a limited historical event, but is a proliferation of approaches to sound that reveals much about present-day experience. An experimental work is not identifiable by its sound alone, but by the nature of the questions it poses and its openness to the sounding event. Experimentation is a way of working. It pushes past that which is known to discover what lies beyond it, finding new knowledge, forms, and relationships, or accepting a state of uncertainty. For each of these composers and sound artists, craft is developed and transformed in response to the questions they bring to their work. Scientific, perceptual, or social phenomena become catalysts in the operation of the work. These practices are not presented according to a chronology, a set of techniques, or social groupings. Instead, they are organized according to the content areas that are their subjects, including resonance, harmony, objects, shapes, perception, language, interaction, sites, and histories. Musical materials may be subject, among other treatments, to systemization, observation, examination, magnification, fragmentation, translation, or destabilization. These restless and exploratory modes of engagement have continued to develop over recent decades, expanding the scope of both musical practice and listening.


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What is experimental music today? This book offers an up to date survey of this field for anyone with an interest, from seasoned practitioners to curious readers. This book takes the stance that experimental music is not a limited historical event, but is a proliferation of approaches to sound that reveals much about present-day experience. An experimental work is not iden What is experimental music today? This book offers an up to date survey of this field for anyone with an interest, from seasoned practitioners to curious readers. This book takes the stance that experimental music is not a limited historical event, but is a proliferation of approaches to sound that reveals much about present-day experience. An experimental work is not identifiable by its sound alone, but by the nature of the questions it poses and its openness to the sounding event. Experimentation is a way of working. It pushes past that which is known to discover what lies beyond it, finding new knowledge, forms, and relationships, or accepting a state of uncertainty. For each of these composers and sound artists, craft is developed and transformed in response to the questions they bring to their work. Scientific, perceptual, or social phenomena become catalysts in the operation of the work. These practices are not presented according to a chronology, a set of techniques, or social groupings. Instead, they are organized according to the content areas that are their subjects, including resonance, harmony, objects, shapes, perception, language, interaction, sites, and histories. Musical materials may be subject, among other treatments, to systemization, observation, examination, magnification, fragmentation, translation, or destabilization. These restless and exploratory modes of engagement have continued to develop over recent decades, expanding the scope of both musical practice and listening.

30 review for Experimental Music Since 1970

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jürgen De blonde

    Excellent review of experimental music with lots of interesting names to check. The book is clearly written by a writer who is also a composer yet it's hardly ever talking over the reader's head. There's lots of descriptions of interesting pieces and approaches that are often underbuilt by quotes by the respective composers. Another good thing is that the book also goes beyond purely academic music, demonstrating an openmindedness and insight into the addressed matter. A slight point of criticism Excellent review of experimental music with lots of interesting names to check. The book is clearly written by a writer who is also a composer yet it's hardly ever talking over the reader's head. There's lots of descriptions of interesting pieces and approaches that are often underbuilt by quotes by the respective composers. Another good thing is that the book also goes beyond purely academic music, demonstrating an openmindedness and insight into the addressed matter. A slight point of criticism might be that nevertheless the focus is still largely on the anglo-american music world, just like in the predecessing book by Michael Nyman. Nevertheless, this is very worthwile reading and a very solid overview of works and composers that work from a focus on listening and silence (or time and space).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    thorough and thoughtful survey of, well, not all experimental music but plenty of it. the focus is on areas of music balanced between the dual axes of john cage and morton feldman, but still quite broad and deep. i appreciate so many primary sources consulted, in particular.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    As a long-time fan of the book "Experimental Music" by Michael Nyman (which covered music from 1950 - 1970), I looked forward to Gottschalk's book as a continuation of that work. And in many significant ways, this is a continuation, showing how music and "sound art" have continued to expand and explore new concepts and new horizons of sonic experience. However, while there is some very good information in Gottschalk's book, and a couple of chapters in particular are good, she falls into the dang As a long-time fan of the book "Experimental Music" by Michael Nyman (which covered music from 1950 - 1970), I looked forward to Gottschalk's book as a continuation of that work. And in many significant ways, this is a continuation, showing how music and "sound art" have continued to expand and explore new concepts and new horizons of sonic experience. However, while there is some very good information in Gottschalk's book, and a couple of chapters in particular are good, she falls into the danger of any academic writer faced with an evolving field, namely, she strives to be too inclusive. Rather than consider broad trends, and focus into some of these, her book often feels like lists of current artists and composers, each given a couple of paragraphs of information, before moving on to the next name. In chapter 2, for example, I noted 25 composers who were discussed in the first 20 pages. As a result, it is impossible to delve deeper into any one composer's work. A number of composers appear in multiple chapters, so if I want to learn more about Philip Corner, or David Behrman, or Tom Johnson, I need to skip about. It makes the book a rather frustrating read, for me at least. While Nyman's 1974 book used scores and photos to enliven the text, in many cases the works Gottschalk is discussing don't have scores, and might not yield visual images easily. So it felt like I was reading pages and pages of names, discussing works I couldn't experience, even tangentially. So a useful reference book, but if you want something to fire your imagination and interest in music of the last 40+ years, this may not be the book to do it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    FL

    I'll start with the positive: the author clearly knows a lot of music, and this book is genuinely encyclopedic in its coverage. If you want to find a piece of experimental music that you're trying to remember, this book might help. That said, it's hard to say that this book is anything more than, well, a classification of a lot of examples. Each chapter has a subsection that basically goes through a bunch of pieces of experimental music and spends a paragraph or two talking about what the piece d I'll start with the positive: the author clearly knows a lot of music, and this book is genuinely encyclopedic in its coverage. If you want to find a piece of experimental music that you're trying to remember, this book might help. That said, it's hard to say that this book is anything more than, well, a classification of a lot of examples. Each chapter has a subsection that basically goes through a bunch of pieces of experimental music and spends a paragraph or two talking about what the piece does and how it relates to, say, harmonic perception, or time and place, or some other such category. If you're lucky you might get one sentence of compare and contrast. But there's no discussion of what these categorizations mean, common trends among or beyond these examples, historical or ideological connections between categories, or so forth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    dimwig

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. as, essentially, an encyclopedia of musical works only roughly organized into themes and with no apparent narrative or argument guiding through the catalogue, it's exhausting. & yet each small section taken individually is interesting & illuminating. probably that duality represents an honest overview of the topic—no direction, no philosophy, just a potentially infinite range of approaches, projects, whatever, with a few ideas in common (space, time, indeterminacy, etc.). that vagueness is both as, essentially, an encyclopedia of musical works only roughly organized into themes and with no apparent narrative or argument guiding through the catalogue, it's exhausting. & yet each small section taken individually is interesting & illuminating. probably that duality represents an honest overview of the topic—no direction, no philosophy, just a potentially infinite range of approaches, projects, whatever, with a few ideas in common (space, time, indeterminacy, etc.). that vagueness is both the music's (and book's) strength & weakness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pete Nagle

    It's impossible for one book to cover such a topic comprehensively, of course, and to some extent this book's tendency to devolve into a series of lists of composers and pieces only emphasises that. Nevertheless, as a first attempt to map out a bewilderingly wide ranging world which has received too little attention in print, it represents a significant achievement. It is an impressive piece of research and an invaluable starting point for further exploration. It's impossible for one book to cover such a topic comprehensively, of course, and to some extent this book's tendency to devolve into a series of lists of composers and pieces only emphasises that. Nevertheless, as a first attempt to map out a bewilderingly wide ranging world which has received too little attention in print, it represents a significant achievement. It is an impressive piece of research and an invaluable starting point for further exploration.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark Taylor

    Excellent and inspiring overview of contemporary experimental music. Works are grouped by concept and approach rather than chronology. I found tin to be an intriguing way of digging deep into the conceptual nature of certain musical ideas across time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maja Lazic

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Mumford

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mr. King

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josten

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jozef

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ichiro Suzuki

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erika Bell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  21. 4 out of 5

    Oles

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kris Latoir

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Doell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul Margree

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexandre Sperandéo Fenerich

  26. 5 out of 5

    Surgesg

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Vorjohan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie Phan Stattman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

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