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Contemporary Composers panel info

rubikscube's picture

Because I missed the panel, here is the information on the group I had planned to represent:

The field of music has changed drastically during the twenty-first century, and this is being driven by the group of contemporary composers. Current technologies have enabled composers to go far beyond what was once possible with music through incorporating new instruments and sounds. A typical piano can play a wide range of pitches with different volumes and articulations, but it is limited with its individual timbre. However through the technology of a synthesizer, one can control the actual quality of different pitches. This gives contemporary composers the advantage of having more musical options. These composers also have a part in inventing new electronic instruments, which can be considered composing in itself. Whether they are creating the software or hardware (or both), the composers have essentially no limits in creativity when it comes to composing new music. Aside from the creation of new instruments, some composers are using technology to actually compose music itself. Through music writing software, composers can give a computer a certain number of musical specifications, and this technology will produce a music score. This process has been referred to as "genetically engineering" music. There are also cases of composers writing code to produce computer generated music on-the-fly during a live performance. Technology can be incorporated into contemporary music in other ways as well. Maurice Wright's "A Lyric's Tale" is a new piece for chamber orchestra and voice which includes a video projection as part of the performance. Including various types of technology that do not directly relate to the music is becoming more common in contemporary music.

The group of contemporary composers should be of interest to GIST because through this intersection between the science of music and technology, music as a whole is changing. Especially through computer generated musical scores, the need for a human at all to compose music is now in question. Through these various types of musical technologies, very little has been left to explore, as it seems composers have nearly created all music that is possible. With these composers pushing to use new technologies in their music, they are running out of fixed musical rules to break. They have pushed the field of music to its limit, so there is a need for composers to find a balance between rules and innovation.

I noticed that MSA322 also represented a group involving music, with Arabic youth using music through revolutions. What I would ask of her is during a revolution, how do restrictions on certain technologies affect music? I know that if there was a restriction on synthesizers for example, this would affect the instrumentation that composers would use for their music.

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Comments

rubikscube's picture

limits

What I meant was that composers have already broken the earlier rules of music by incorporating technology into their compositions. Since there are so many different technologies, composers feel they can use any combination of these, essentially leading to unlimited musical creativity. Although the individual compositions will be different, they are still hitting the same limit of this musical genre. I feel like incorporating different technologies into music doesn't make it new or unique because this type of "rule-breaking" music already exists.

Anne Dalke's picture

confusion about limits

I'm confused. First you say "composers have essentially no limits in creativity when it comes to composing new music." But then you say, "it seems composers have nearly created all music that is possible. With these composers pushing to use new technologies in their music, they are running out of fixed musical rules to break." No limits, or hitting the limits? I'm confused.

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