The Digital Musician / Edition 2

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The Digital Musician is a textbook for creative music technology and electronic music courses. It provides an overview of sound properties, acoustics, digital music, and sound design as a basis for understanding the compositional possibilities that new music technologies allow. Creative projects allow students to apply key concepts covered in each chapter. Topics covered include hardware hacking, live coding, interactive music, sound manipulation and transformation, software instruments, networked performance, as well as critical listening and analysis.


  • Readers Guides outline the major topics in each chapter
  • Project boxes for both individuals and groups throughout each chapter
  • Annotated Listening Lists for each chapter, with accompanying playlists on the companion website
  • Recommended Further Reading and Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter
  • Case studies of actual composers, with contributed projects
  • Companion website includes reading lists, links to audio and video, and slides for use in the classroom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415806602
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/20/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,455,801
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Hugill is Director of the Institute Of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, where he founded the Music Technology programme.

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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables     xi
Preface     xiii
Acknowledgements     xix
New technologies, new musicians     1
What are digital musicians?     2
Where do they come from?     5
Where are they going?     11
Aural awareness     15
Listening     16
Listening situations     16
The soundscape     17
Listening modes     19
Active listening     21
Hearing     22
The ear-brain connection     24
The musician's ear     30
Understanding sound     33
Properties of sound     35
Loudness     36
Silence     38
Pitch     39
Tuning     39
Noise     44
Timbre     45
Recording sound     47
Microphone choice     47
Microphone placement     51
Mixing     53
Representing sound     56
Wave forms     56
Spectrograms     59
Pictograms     61
Digitising sound     63
Digital audio     63
File formats     66
Organising sound     68
Sound-art, sonic art and sound design     68
Sound in space     70
Behaviour of sound in space     71
Spatialisation     75
Sound through time     80
Open form/closed form     81
Duration     82
Synchronisation     84
Sound manipulation     85
Fourier transforms     86
Granular synthesis     89
Effects and filters     90
Sound transformations     92
Form and structure     93
Spectromorphology     96
Creating music     98
The composer     98
Why compose?     100
Aural imagination     103
Intention and result     104
Structuring principles     106
Constraint     106
Modalities     108
Non-linear music     109
Originality and style     110
Performing     113
The performer     114
Sound diffusion     114
Networked performance     117
Being live      119
'Musicianship'     120
Technological understanding     121
Transliteracy     122
Interactivity     124
Reflective practice     127
Virtuosity     128
Instruments     128
Sound sources     128
Organology     130
Voice and percussion     131
Extended instruments     131
Software instruments     134
Improvisation     136
Free improvisation     136
Live coding     137
Cultural context     140
Digital culture     141
Consuming music     142
The thinking musician     143
Emergence     144
Cultural diversity     145
Gamelan     147
Indian classical music     149
West African drumming     151
Cultural translations     154
Digital music     155
Audience or user-controlled music     156
Computer-controlled music     157
Composer/performer-controlled music     158
Genre     159
Selected listenings in digital music     161
Critical engagement      163
Popular music-art music     164
Listening across the divide     165
Critical theory     166
Modernism and postmodernism     167
Structuralism and deconstruction     170
Critical judgement     172
Analysis     174
Some notes about semiotics     175
Analytical approaches     176
Analytical listening     178
The digital musician     187
The changing workplace     188
Careers     191
Social networking     192
Business     194
Production     195
Education     197
Case studies     198
Oswald Berthold     199
Nick Collins     201
Julio d'Escrivan     203
Chris Joseph     205
Thor Magnusson     207
Kaffe Matthews     209
Randall Packer     213
Quantazelle     214
John Richards     217
Sophy Smith     222
Atau Tanaka     225
Martyn Ware     227
Projects and performance repertoire     232
Listen, listen      232
Soundwalk     233
Soundscape composition     234
Hearing fast     235
Inner world, outer world     236
Speech patterns     236
Masking experiment     237
Sound types     238
Extreme quiet     238
Exploring harmonics     239
Spectral study     239
Singing bowls     240
Reverse EQ     241
Analysis-synthesis     241
Visual score     242
File formats     242
FFT processing     243
Brassage stew     244
Hearing hearing     245
Diffraction experiment     245
Composed space     246
Extended duration     246
Sonic morph     247
Inspiration box     248
Sunset     248
Types of space     249
Narrative     250
Sonic collage     251
Sudoku     251
Night piece     253
Pastiche     253
ping-hack-rom-seed     254
Mobile phone piece     255
... from scratch     255
Sonic wiki      256
Infra-instrument     258
Sound byte for voice or percussion     259
Restricted instruments     259
Improvisation ensemble     260
I hate...     260
Hydroponics 1 for laptop orchestra (2007)   Ambrose Field     261
Mood music     262
music-is-life (2006)   Rob Godman     263
Random play     264
Digital minimalism     264
'Balloon debate'     266
Evocative transcription     266
Pecha kucha     267
Sonic branding     268
Notes     269
Index     280
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