Electroacoustic music is now in the mainstream of music, pervading all styles from the avant-garde to pop. Even classical works are routinely scored on a computer and a synthesized demo is a powerful tool for previewing a piece. The fundamental skills of electroacoustic composition are now as essential to a music student as ear training and counterpoint. The Art and Technique of Electroacoustic Music provides a detailed approach those fundamental skills. In this book Peter Elsea explores the topic from the fundamentals of acoustics through the basics of recording, composition with the tools of music concreté, and music production with MIDI instruments, softsynths and digital audio Workstations. Later sections of the book cover synthesis in depth and introduce high powered computer composition languages including Csound, ChucK, and Max/MSP. A final section presents the challenges and techniques of live performance. This book can be used as a text for undergraduate courses and also as a guide for self-learning.
Peter Elsea was principal instructor and director of the Electronic Music Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1980 until retirement in 2013. During his tenure, the program gained an international reputation for breadth and rigor. Alumni of the program have won or been nominated for Oscars and Clios for scores and sound designs or become chart-topping performers. Many others have found a place in the music software industry, designing tools that constantly advance the state of the art. Elsea's career began at the University of Iowa Center for New Music in 1972, where he studied under Peter Todd Lewis and Lowell Cross and worked closely with many prominent electroacoustic composers of the day. He is widely known as an internet author, with his posted articles referenced by thousands of sites around the web.