Computer Music Analysis and Review
Contributed by Professor Howard Fredrics
Department of Music
- Sound Materials - how are the sounds made? Electronic? Concrete?
- Techniques -- what specific techniques are used in the piece? These may include: types of tape manipulation (speed change, splicing, backwards, etc.), synthesis techniques (additive, subtractive, FM, waveshaping), signal processing (filtering, flanging, reverberation, spatial location), MIDI/Analog sequencing, etc.
- What equipment was used?
- Where was the piece made, what studio/city? (might relate to influence - see below)
- Composer (s) - Name, nationality, background, influences, general philosophy of music, ideas about this particular piece (from program notes, conversations or record notes)
- Composition History - composed for a particular performer? First premiere, commission, collaboration, for radio? Film? Concert? To be performed live? Tape only? Performer with tape? Synthesizer band?
- Essence of the piece -- what is it ABOUT??? -- Mood, story, basic poetic/musical ideas.
- Aesthetic or genre (not always an easy label) - musique concrete, rap fusion, post-Webern, post-modern, minimalist, etc.
- Overall form, length -- What changes? When does it change? How much does it change? How is it organized? Sections (how articulated?), Continuous?, Transitions? How does time pass (Clock time vs psychological time)
- Compositional processes -- how do they relate to the technology?
- Musical details: tempo, harmony, melody, rhythm, timbre, texture, register, dynamics, phrasing, articulation, etc.
- How does the technology influence/create the music?
- Did the piece succeed according to the composer's plan?
- What did you like/dislike about the piece and WHY?