By Max Paddison
The hindrance of latest tune this day and the philosophical and theoretical questions with regards to it are the point of interest of this quantity of essays via best foreign musicologists and philosophers.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives
Twentieth-century music strives to differentiate its structures while thematizing operational generalities. A difficult problem of aesthetics arises here – and, indeed, of the history of civilization. The twentieth century is characterized by a way of considering the relation of a totality and its parts that starts from the parts and proceeds to work its way to the totality. The analytical method and the possibility of conceiving of discontinuity seem to be the starting point. The music of the twentieth century is linked to structures that are constantly branching out and that express a theoretical ambivalence regarding global and analytical processes.
It is not just an updating of an organized set of operations. It reveals a new framework for classification. Computerized sound synthesis has made it possible to identify and understand the properties of musical sound which had never been clarified nor even sensed. Without method, observation and research lead nowhere. Digital sound synthesis has led to new criteria for discrimination in the search for the constituent relations of sound. Its main contribution is the discovery of new ways of defining sound.
To produce a synthetic sound is to manufacture the components of an excitory mechanism; physicists and psychoacousticians can digitize the characteristic multiplicity of its vibrations. In the Renaissance, and above all in the seventeenth century, instrument making became a real science. Physicists, musicians and instrument makers all worked together. Sebastian Virdung in 1511, Martin Agricola in 1528, Michael Praetorius in 1614 and 1620, and Marin Mersenne in 1636 and 1637 laid the foundations of musical-instrument technology.