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Microsound

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Overview

Below the level of the musical note lies the realm of microsound, of sound particles lasting less than one-tenth of a second. Recent technological advances allow us to probe and manipulate these pinpoints of sound, dissolving the traditional building blocks of music — notes and their intervals — into a more fluid and supple medium. The sensations of point, pulse (series of points), line (tone), and surface (texture) emerge as particle density increases. Sounds coalesce,evaporate, and mutate into other sounds. Composers have used theories of microsound in computer music since the 1950s. Distinguished practitioners include Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. Today, with the increased interest in computer and electronic music, many young composers and software synthesis developers are exploring its advantages. Covering all aspects of composition with sound particles,Microsound offers composition theory, historical accounts,technical overviews, acoustical experiments, descriptions of musical works, and aesthetic reflections. The book is accompanied by an audio CD of examples.

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Editorial Reviews

Electronic Musician - Douglas Geers
Microsound is packed with insight and stimulating ideas.
From the Publisher
" Microsound is packed with insight and stimulating ideas."Douglas Geers Electronic Musician
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262681544
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Curtis Roads is Associate Professor of Media Arts and Technology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Music, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgments
Overview
1 Time Scales of Music 1
2 The History of Microsound from Antiquity to the Analog Era 43
3 Granular Synthesis 85
4 Varieties of Particle Synthesis 119
5 Transformation of Microsound 179
6 Windowed Analysis and Transformation 235
7 Microsound in Composition 301
8 Aesthetics of Composing with Microsound 325
9 Conclusion 349
References 353
App. A The Cloud Generator Program 383
App. B Sound Examples on the CD 389
Name Index 399
Subject Index 403
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