Article

Early Hardware and Early Ideas in Computer Music: Their Development and Their Current Forms

Paul Doornbusch

in The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199792030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199792030.013.0003

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Early Hardware and Early Ideas in Computer Music: Their Development and Their Current Forms

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The great adventure of music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is the use of computers. There have been enormous challenges to overcome for the pioneers of computer music, from original and unique technical requirements to new aesthetics. The result of these developments is now a dominant musical activity. There is no linear trajectory or chronology to the history of computer music; it consists of a disparate conglomerate of discrete events. However, it is this milieu of events that makes computer music possible. Whatever the case, it was mostly a trail of small and uncoordinated steps that led to this use of computers in music. Ideas relating to complex compositional techniques, sound synthesis, musical instrument design, microtonality, and the enthralling power of the computation machine all contributed to a climate in which “computer music” emerged.

Keywords: music; computers; sound synthesis; musical instrument design; microtonality

Article.  19643 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music

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