Ergodynamics and a semiotics of instrumental composition

Magnusson, Thor (2018) Ergodynamics and a semiotics of instrumental composition. Tempo, 73 (287). pp. 41-51. ISSN 0040-2982

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This article examines the techno-philosophical aspects of how we create and understand musical systems in twenty-first century computational media. Arguing that processor-based media have exploded the compositional language of new music, the article proposes a set of concepts that might help us navigating this new space of musical possibilities. The term ‘ergodynamics’ – with related concepts – is presented as a helpful notion when describing the phenomenological, historical, and aesthetic aspects of musical instruments, as well as a lens for looking at new compositional practices that can be defined as being either ‘idiomatic’ or ‘supra-instrumental.’ The article explores the difference in composing for acoustic, electronic, and digital instruments, and suggests that new musical practice can be characterised by a move from composing work to inventing systems.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ergodynamics, ergomimesis, instruments, composition, music, performance, innovation
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music
Depositing User: Thor Magnusson
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2018 09:50
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:31

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Sonic Writing: Technologies of Musical Expression, Notation and EncodingG1769AHRC-ARTS & HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCILAH/N00194X/1