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Welcome to the sound portion of VVC's Trans-Disciplinary Internet Course of History, Music, Art, Math & Technology. This page will introduce you to the many styles of commercial and art music of the modern and postmodern age. Throughout this section you will be guided on an extensive survey through musical history from the 1970's to the present. The emphasis will be on comparisons and contrasts in commercial and art music along with media and technology's influence in the world of music.
We will explore the influence of commodity economics, the effects of technology on music, as well as the expanding roll of media in the progression and development of all musical forms. The commercial and technology portion of this page delves into such subjects as the emergence of the electric guitar, magnetic tape and the compact disk. Recording and MIDI software, computers and the accessibility of garage studios will also be examined. Media's influence will also be examined as we look at the use of radio, television, MTV, personal stereos and the computer pirating of music.
The intangible elements of sound make critical observations a challenge. The first segment will establish a limited musical vocabulary so that we may converse and touch upon certain identifiable elements of music. With a shared vocabulary we will be able to highlight the major points of each example.
With art music, we will examine atonal, serialism, aleatoric, electronic sounds, minimalism and movie music. The area of commercial music is so vast in scope that it has been narrowed to genres that reflect our society's economically driven tastes. By including society's influence on music, we will explore a variety of alternative issues.
Photographs, short text and musical examples will be your tour guide through this page and its links. Compare and contrast exercises, along with discussion topics will be mixed in among them. Because of prohibitive length, many musical examples will be presented in excerpt form.
This brief tour of music will provide you with an informative journey through the modern to the post-modern ages. An economic approach was used in presenting the text, allowing insights and conclusions to be formed primarily through the music examples. Keep an open mind as you explore less familiar aural territory and expand the limits of your musical repertoire! I look forward to hearing from you through the discussion topics and e-mail.
Milton Babbitt
Electronic Music
John Cage
Morton Subotnick
Wendy Carlos