EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

‘Where next? New music, new musicology’

Simon Emmerson

Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre
De Montfort University, Leicester, UK


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Asymmetric exchange: the relationship of experimental electronica, glitch, noise art, lower case with the ‘art’ tradition of electroacoustic music is not always an easy one. There is Polystylism, involving quotation and reference, often with little attempt at integration. There is Eclecticism a more subtle and understanding crossover: not ‘alluding to’ but drawing on the experience of ‘other’ genres. These may have Oedipal undertones which reveal deep-rooted historical processes of change. These are not only grounded in sound material, but in Performance practices. No ‘new musicology’ can address material without practice. This helps define the genre (in perpetual evolution). To complete the circle there is a relationship with the act of Composition, a field of great complexity, misunderstanding and yet potential creativity. Ideally, material, performance practice, ‘forming’ of the work all reinforce. But this is challenged in practice, sometimes deliberately. The new musicology must be an empirical and humanistic science, examining what is, within a context of endless flux.