The evolution of music through culture and science

Publication Type:



Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press,, United Kingdom , p.xvi, 266 pages : (2020)



Call Number:



Acoustics and physics., Music, Music and technology., Physiological aspects., Psychological aspects., Social aspects.


Formerly CIP.Includes bibliographical references ('further reading' (pages 263-264)).Music : an ever-changing landscape -- Musical development assisted by technology -- Musicianship and the cult of personality -- Signal processing by the brain -- Interpreting complex sounds -- Scales: idealism or compromise? -- Musical changes driven by technology -- Development of fixed frequency keyboards -- Decay of information and data loss -- From live music to electronic offerings -- Analogue or digital recording -- The voice -- Acoustics of concert halls and rooms -- Orchestral layout and the best concert seats -- Music, emotions and political influences."The Evolution of Music through Culture and Science aims to recognise the impact of science on music, why it occurs, how we respond, and even to tentatively see if we can predict future developments. Technology has played an immense role in the development of music as it has enabled the production of new sounds, introduced new instruments and continuously improved and modified existing ones. Printing, musical notation, and modern computer aids to composition, plus recordings and electronic transmission have equally enabled us to have access to music from across the world. Such changes, whether just more powerful pianos, or new sounds as from the saxophone, have inspired composers and audiences alike. Acoustics and architecture play similar roles as they changed the scale and performance of concert halls, and with the advent of electronics, they enabled vast pop music festivals. No aspect of modern music making has been untouched by the synergy with scientific innovation. This is not a one-way interaction as the early attempts to make recordings were a major motivating force to design the electronics for amplifiers and these in turn inspired and enabled the designs of semiconductor electronics and modern computer technology. To appreciate the impact of technology on music does not require any prior scientific background as the concepts are invariably extremely simple and are presented here without technical detail. Understanding music and why we like different genres is far more complex, as this involves our personal background and taste. Both aspects change with time, and there is no contradiction in enjoying items as diverse as baroque madrigals, symphonies, jazz or pop music, or music from totally different cultures"--