Phonographic work: Reading and writing sound

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Designing musical artifacts has changed since the use of traditional music notation has been extendend and partly substituted by electronic media based composing, producing and performing. This process is essentially driven by two technocultural innovations of the 20th century: the phonographic notation of sound and the algorithmic notation of programmed sound production. If we consider that the only written and writable medium for working with musical structure has been the score (the medium of a 'tone universe') for many centuries the impact of such a fundamental change (to the medium of a 'sound universe') is evident. The consequences range from new forms and objectives of composition, from everyday practice of media production to the rise of new musical media-instruments like turntables, grooveboxes and laptops. The contribution draws an outline of a theoretical framework that focusses the new strategies and qualities of machine-processable sound notation. The term "phonographic work" points out the common ground with the established 'contrapunctic work' or 'motivic-thematic work' as an aesthetic paradigm that is based on written material, but emphasizes at the same time the "secondary orality" (Walter Ong) of phonographic media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSound as popular culture : a research companion
EditorsJens Gerrit Papenburg, Holger Schulze
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherThe MIT Press
Publication date03.2016
ISBN (Print)9780262033909
ISBN (Electronic)9780262334266, 9780262334273
Publication statusPublished - 03.2016