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Sounds, agents, works and listeners; A model of computer music performance

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This article places computer music directly into Stan Godlovitch's Model of Musical Performance; an idealized conception of musical performance based on four fundamental constituents: sounds, agents, works and listeners. Godlovitch's model was originally intended to promote the unique value (Godlovitch 1998: 4) of scored instrumental music; as a result, one is not surprised to find computer music excluded on the grounds that it is not performed; it is played back (Godlovitch 1998: 100). Following a brief introduction to the Godlovitch model, this claim is rejected; performance is central to the computer music tradition and aesthetic, a fact that is frequently overlooked by those unfamiliar with the genre. In order to prove this point, a model of computer music performance is presented and defended; this may be seen as a direct challenge to Godlovitch's central thesis. However, it also represents a genuine attempt to align computer music with the performing arts and, in doing so, provide a framework through which the performance of such music can be accurately located and discussed.
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Keywords: Godlovitch; computer music; ontology; performance; phenomenology; plasticity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leeds Metropolitan University.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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