25 October 2012

  • Hegarty, P. (2006). Noise/music. Continuum.

    Looks at the phenomenon of noise in music, from experimental music of the early 20th century to the Japanese noise music and glitch electronica. This work situates different musics in their cultural and historical context, and analyses them in terms of cultural aesthetics.

  • Lerner, N. and Straus, J. N., editors (2006). Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music. Routledge.

    Disability, understood as culturally stigmatized bodily difference (including physical and mental impairments of all kinds), is a pervasive and permanent aspect of the human condition. While the biology of bodily difference is the proper study for science and medicine, the meaning that we attach to bodily difference is the proper study of humanists. The interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies has recently emerged to theorize social and cultural constructions of the meaning of disability.

    Although there has been an astonishing outpouring of humanistic work in Disability Studies in the past ten years, there has been virtually no echo in musicology or music theory. Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music is the first book-length work to focus on the historical and theoretical issues of music as it relates to disability. It shows that music, like literature and the other arts, simultaneously reflects and constructs cultural attitudes toward disability.

    Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music promises to be a landmark study for scholars and students of music, disability, and culture.

  • Straus, J. (2011). Extraordinary measures: disability in music. OUP USA.

    Approaching disability as a cultural construction rather than a medical pathology, this book studies the impact of disability and concepts of disability on composers, performers, and listeners with disabilities, as well as on discourse about music and works of music themselves. For composers with disabilities — like Beethoven, Delius, and Schumann — awareness of the disability sharply inflects critical reception. For performers with disabilities — such as Itzhak Perlman and Evelyn Glennie — the performance of disability and the performance of music are deeply intertwined. For listeners with disabilities, extraordinary bodies and minds may give rise to new ways of making sense of music. In the stories that people tell about music, and in the stories that music itself tells, disability has long played a central but unrecognized role. Some of these stories are narratives of overcoming-the triumph of the human spirit over adversity-but others are more nuanced tales of accommodation and acceptance of life with a non-normative body or mind. In all of these ways, music both reflects and constructs disability.</p>

  • Wilson, S., Cottle, D., and Collins, N., editors (2011). The SuperCollider Book. MIT Press, Cambridge.

    SuperCollider is the most important domain-specific audio programming language of the last decade, with potential applications that include real-time interaction, installations, electroacoustic pieces, generative music, and audiovisuals. The SuperCollider Book is the essential reference to this powerful and flexible language, offering students and professionals a collection of tutorials, essays, and projects. [With contributions from top academics, artists, and technologists that cover topics at levels from the introductory to the specialized, it will be a valuable sourcebook both for beginners and for advanced users.]

    SuperCollider, first developed by James McCartney, is an accessible blend of Smalltalk, C, and further ideas from a number of programming languages. Free, open-source, cross-platform, and with a diverse and supportive developer community, it is often the first programming language sound artists and computer musicians learn. The SuperCollider Book is the long-awaited guide to the design, syntax, and use of the SuperCollider language. The first chapters offer an introduction to the basics, including a friendly tutorial for absolute beginners, providing the reader with skills that can serve as a foundation for further learning. Later chapters cover more advanced topics and particular topics in computer music, including programming, sonification, spatialization, microsound, GUIs, machine listening, alternative tunings, and non-real-time synthesis; practical applications and philosophical insights from the composer’s and artist’s perspectives; and “under the hood,” developer’s-eye views of SuperCollider’s inner workings. A Web site accompanying the book offers code, download links to the application itself and its source code, and a variety of third-party extras, extensions, libraries, and examples.

  • Wishart, T. (1994). Audible Design: A plain and easy introduction to practical sound composition. Orpheus the Pantomime Ltd.