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Timbre, Envelope and Variation in Electroacoustic Music

A table with a variety of electroacoustic music gear. Image courtesy Blake Zidell & Associates for NYCEMF and the New York Philharmonic Biennial)

Timbre and envelope are intricately related and are major determinants of how effective a sound event in music will be, whether in acoustic music or electroacoustic music. Since the sound events used in electroacoustic music often have little or no distinct pitch characteristics, traditional contrapuntal sequencing devices often may not generate identifiable or interesting variations, but other techniques, including models borrowed from rhetoric, can be used effectively.

Structural and Playback Issues in Current Electroacoustic Music

A table with a variety of electroacoustic music gear. Image courtesy Blake Zidell & Associates for NYCEMF and the New York Philharmonic Biennial)

I’ve composed works using electroacoustic technologies since 1963, and I want to share with you over the next several weeks some of my thoughts about the current state of the medium. Since I am trained as a Western classical composer, my comments will be from that perspective. 1. Structural Issues in Current Electroacoustic Music The […]