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Compositional Considerations in Electronic Music

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The most important musical result of the revolution of the electronic method of sound generation has been a reevaluation of the fundamental ways in which music has been thought about. The composer is faced not only with being his own performer, he must also quantify all of the elements of his music with the precision required of conventional instruments. The greatest technical limitation of the medium is not in the equipment but in the compositional procedure which the composer must master to produce his music. The extents and limitations of electronic music synthesizers as performing instruments will be discussed in detail including an analysis of problems of frequency control, timbral relationships, and control of rhythm. Finally, tapes of composition illustrating new ways of thinking about music will be played.

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