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Cybernetic systems of music creation

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Simplicity of thought and operation can help to define complex end results, with cybernetic systems being a useful means of defining this within songwriting practices. This study outlines utilization of cybernetic practices by key popular music composers, including David Byrne and Brian Eno, who benefited from an art school education which supported these practices. As postmodern creation became more evident within art colleges, systemized processes of creation, where hierarchies were delineated, supported freedom and experimentation within the creative process. The non-musician was able to express their musical creativity due to the rise of new technologies and the reduction of hierarchies, as exposed from interviews with Eno, his art school tutor Roy Ascott, and experimental composer Gavin Bryars. These elements of art school education that they discussed, helped a new generation of musicians to develop original and dynamic work in the 1970s; the results of this research suggest that these are practices that should be introduced and acknowledged within HPME.
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Keywords: Eno; art schools; chance; cybernetics; flow; systems

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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