Writing about Electroacoustic Music

What is EA?
Writing about music?
How writing has changed to cope with the music/technology
The problems of writing about EA are tightly bound with the problems of EA.


In an artform that uses the computer, it comes as no surprise that computer aided publication (text-dominant or not), is the primary means of dissemination.

Subject areas
Even when we restrict ourselves to subject areas related to the composition and performance of electroacoustic music, the subject domain is huge. Topics around electroacoustic music often concentrate upon:

Luckily Wikipedia and Grove look after a considerable number of the 'still living'.

Writing upon firm foundations: Writing about technology/technological application:

Writing upon less firm foundations: composition/compositional context

Possible Solutions: A Multiple perspetive approach
The Portraits Polychromes from the GRM.
Gayou, E. 2006. Analysing and Transcribing Electroacoustic Music: the experience of the Portraits polychromes of the GRM Organised Sound 11(2): 125-129.

Milestone texts along the way
Denis Smalley: spectromorphology (1986/97) - the listening imagination (1996) - and in 2007, some 30 pages of tight A4 on 'space-form and the acousmatic image' (organised sound). Smalley comes from the Schaefferian tradition of TOM / acousmatique. See also the writings of John Dack for context.

Key Authors

Access: Should be open and freely available over the internet.

The case at Sheffield: The electroacoustic music portfolio and documentation
Normally split in two sections: 1) General context 2) Individual works
Example Nikos Stavropoulos: Notes for the work Atropos

Link to selected bibliography
Page 17: item 35 - MPhil/Phd Music regulations