September 09, 2003

Quantity of Detail in Realization as a Deterrent to Electronic Music Acceptance

I"ve been thinking about why many classical music lovers have a problem with the basic textures and sounds of electronic music. Obviously there are huge changes in how the music is produced, resulting in potential perceptual enigma, such as the lack of personality in the performance itself.

But I recently remembered an editorial in Computer Music Journal where the writer (sorry can't remember the reference) was theorizing that more synthesizers, much more, and a doubling or tripling of the textures would produce an effect that would be more compelling to more listeners.

In other words, most electronic music relies upon a 'chamber music' performance space while removing the most exciting part of chamber music performance, the individual musicality of the small ensemble.

Its possible that with larger virtual ensembles, some of the well known problems in electronic music, the lack of personality in the offset characteristics and the overuse of hard attacks because of this problem might be obviated. I'll be writing more about this as I begin exploring generative methods that might be able to simulate these massed virtual performers.

Posted by jeff at September 9, 2003 02:22 PM

Hmm.. I remember these same issues being discussed in the early 1970's.

Posted by: anon. at October 25, 2003 08:07 PM