Rethinking the History of Technology-Based Music

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...


As Modernist thinking, evident in concrete, electronic and computer music from their inception, has been challenged by the post-acousmatic, neo-modern situation today, conceptual approaches and the use of sound to points to situations and events outside of itself have become more the rule than the exception in new musical practices, providing context, identity and often intent. These factors, alongside pluralistic, ecological, feminist and de-colonization agendas that question who determined the canon, who has been listening, to what and to whom make it timely for us to question, re-evaluate and rethink the history of technology-based music.

The continued expansion of digital technologies including machine learning and AI has radically changed the production, engagement, and dissemination of sound and music for composers, musicians, listeners, media content creators and casual music users. The constant everyday exposure to electronic or processed sounds has influenced listening skills and listening intentionality broadly, and ideas of what constitutes valuable sound experiences have expanded radically. Improvisation and participation have found ways into this new socio-acoustic space where the formal hierarchies of Kultur, virtuosity, and on preserving institutionalised accepted aesthetics have become less dominant. Much of this engaged art can arguably be seen as artistic responses to the increasingly noticeable consequences of the Anthropocene situation of rapid digitisation, technical development of communication, services, commerce, and organisational structures.

This stronger focus and inclusive awareness on the cultural and social aspects of music has also begun to find expression in new research and scholarship. In light of these developments, this conference seeks to revisit the development of technology-dependent music and investigate whether there have been practices, tendencies and elements that have previously been overlooked. It aims to question whether the biases embedded in the canon of technology-based music be revisited, can we expect to uncover hidden gems, can we hope to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of music's development and new role in this post-acousmatic period?
Period9 Jun 202211 Jun 2022
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational