Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

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Christoph Cox, Daniel Warner
A&C Black, Sep 1, 2004 - Social Science - 454 pages
20 Reviews
The groundbreaking Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music (Continuum; September 2004; paperback original) maps the aural and discursive terrain of vanguard music today. Rather than offering a history of contemporary music, Audio Culture traces the genealogy of current musical practices and theoretical concerns, drawing lines of connection between recent musical production and earlier moments of sonic experimentation. It aims to foreground the various rewirings of musical composition and performance that have taken place in the past few decades and to provide a critical and theoretical language for this new audio culture.

Via writings by philosophers, cultural theorists, and composers, Audio Culture explores the interconnections among such forms as minimalism, indeterminacy, musique concrète, free improvisation, experimental music, avant-rock, dub reggae, Ambient music, HipHop, and Techno. Instead of focusing on the putative "crossover" between "high art" and "popular culture," Audio Culture takes all of these musics as experimental practices on par with, and linked to, one another. While cultural studies has tended to look at music (primarily popular music) from a sociological perspective, the concern here is philosophical, musical, and historical.

Audio Culture includes writing by some of the most important musical thinkers of the past half-century, among them John Cage, Brian Eno, Glenn Gould, Umberto Eco, Ornette Coleman, Jacques Attali, Simon Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros, Paul D. Miller, David Toop, John Zorn, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and many others. The book is divided into nine thematically-organized sections, each with its own introduction. Section headings include topics such as "Modes of Listening," "Minimalisms," and "DJ Culture." In addition, each essay has its own short introduction, helping the reader to place the essay within musical, historical, and conceptual contexts. The book concludes with a glossary, a timeline, and an extensive discography.
  

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Review: Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

User Review  - Mikael Lind - Goodreads

A lovely collection of crucial essays on modern music. I use it sometimes like a dictionary, looking for names in the index and read the article they're in, or sometimes I just jump through the pages ... Read full review

Review: Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

User Review  - Charlotte - Goodreads

This is a collection of writings about modern music, music culture, electronic music and aesthetics (edited by one of my professors at Hampshire.) So far I've read only read the article by Pierre Schaeffer, which I translated! Read full review

Contents

Noise Sound Silence lntroduction
5
Jacques Attali Noise and Politics
7
Futurist Manifesto
10
Morton Feldman Sound Noise Varese Boulez
15
Edgard Varese The Liberation of Sound
17
Henry Cowell The Joys of Noise
22
Credo
25
R Murray Schafer The Music of the Environment
29
John Zorn The Game Pieces
196
Experimental Musics
207
John Cage lntroduction to Themes Variations
221
Draft Constitution
234
Improvised Musics
249
Derek Bailey Free lmprovisation
255
A Nihilist Theory of lmprovisation
266
Afrological
272

Notes on the Aural Life
40
Mary Russo and Daniel Warner Rough Music Futurism and Postpunk lndustrial Noise Bands
47
Contents
53
Simon Reynolds Noise
55
An lnterview with Masami Akita of Merzbow
59
Modes of Listening lntroduction
65
Marshall McLuhan Visual and Acoustic Space
67
Hanns Eisler Theodor Adorno The Politics of Hearing
73
Pierre Schaeffer Acousmatics
76
Francisco Lopez Profound Listening and Environmental Sound Matter
82
Ola Stockfelt Adequate Modes of Listening
88
Brian Eno Ambient Music
94
lain Chambers The Aural Walk
98
Pauline Oliveros Some Sound Observations
102
Ill Music in the Age of Electronic Reproduction
113
Brian Eno The Studio as Compositional Tool
127
Chris Cutler Plunderphonia
138
Kodwo Eshun Operating System for the Redesign of Sonic Reality
157
The Open Work
165
lndeterminacy
176
On Graphic Scores
187
Minimalisms
287
Kyle Gann Thankless Attempts at a Definition of Minimalism
299
Wim Mertens Basic Concepts of Minimal Music
307
On Four Violins
313
Minimalism in House
319
lntroduction
329
The esoteric origins of the phonograph
339
Christian Marclay Yasunao Tone Record CD Analog Digital
341
Erasures and the Art of Memory
348
On Dub
355
Electronic Music and Electronica
365
The Sonic Arts Union ONCE Group and MEVs live electronics
381
PostDigital Tendencies
392
Chronology
399
Glossary
409
Selected Discography
419
Selected Bibliography
427
Good vibrations ancient to future
438
Notes for Quotations
445
Harry Smith and his worlds
448
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Christoph Cox is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hampshire College, in Massachusetts. He writes regularly on contemporary art and music for Artforum, The Wire, Cabinet, and other magazines. Daniel Warner is a Professor of Music at Hampshire College, MA, where he teaches electronic and computer music

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