- Paperback: 454 pages
- Publisher: Continuum (September 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826416152
- ISBN-13: 978-0826416155
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music Paperback – September 1, 2004
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"Audio Culture is the best introduction to the long historical fades and theoretical jumpcuts of what millions in the 21st C. now listen to as music: overwhelming noise and disturbed silences, unfettered Improv and indeterminate obstacles, the performance of recording, electricity, eclectics, mistakes and just the thought of music."-Douglas Kahn, author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts, and Director of Technocultural Studies at the University of California, Davis
“[Audio Culture] is an indispensable primer full of the theories behind noise, Free-jazz, minimalism, 20th century composition, ambient, avant-garde and all the other crazy shit your square-ass friends can’t believe you actually like. With writing and interviews from all the players in question (quoting Stockhausen is five points in hipster bingo), this book deconstructs all the essential ideas: Cage’s themes, Eno’s strategies, Zorn’s games and Merzbow’s undying love of porno.” –CMJ New Music Monthly, 7/04
“The contributors include composers from the worlds of avant-garde classical music, pop, and jazz – e.g. John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Pauline Oliveros-as well as cultural historians like Marshall McLuhan and Jacques Barzun and literary experimentalists such as William Burroughs….Students of contemporary music will find this compendium useful.” -Library Journal, September 15, 2004
“Writings on the new music are frequently hidden away in hard-to-find, ephemeral publications, so a collection like this is welcome just by the fact that it brings all these items together….A collection like this encourages us to realize how really vibrant and successful new music has been and continues to be – both because of and in spite of its ‘marginality’ – and how fortunate we are to live in a time of its ascendancy. Cox and Warner have included well-organized discographies and bibliographies, and provide brief introductions to the individual entries, giving some background to each author’s work and ideas. Audio Culture will certainly be a useful teaching tool in the field of cultural studies, aesthetics and musicology; and fans and devotees of new music will find a lot here to mull over as well.” –Signal to Noise, Fall 2004
"It's a hideous fate to wish on an anthology as fine as Audio Culture, but if anyone's planning a college course on modern music, they couldn't find a better set text . . . . All in all, a wonderful book . . . the glossary, bibliography and discography are exemplary, guaranteeing Audio Culture is going to be used rather than merely dipped or cribbed. Though you can bet that'll be happening to it as well."-Brian Morton, The Wire (Brian Morton)
"Cox's and Warner's book is a wonderfully accessible anthology of essential readings for anyone-academics and enthusiasts alike-interested in the histories of experimental music and sound art."-Debra Singer, Executive Director, The Kitchen
"Cox and Warner's book is warmly recommended. It's highly unlikely that readers will have original copies of all the books and articles featured therein, so the simple fact that the editors have gone to the trouble of bringing them together in one volume is to be praised to the skies….Audio Culture is well worth the price of admission for the writings of Russolo, Cowell, Cage, Schafer, McLuhan, Reynolds, Eno and Cutler, to name but a few." —Paristransatlantic.com January 2005
"Ever wondered how modern music in all its mesmerizing diversity really works? If so, then this is the book for you….An endlessly fascinating read, a major reference resource, and great value for the money." —Julian Haylock, Classic FM Magazine (UK) Feb. 1, 2005
“To be honest, no one looking at the collection of 57 well-chosen essays written by some of the biggest names in music and reprinted from books and publications well-noted for their contribution to music theory will be able to resist reading and buying the book. In fact, there is just so much that makes this book valuable that it is difficult to name them all. Both the content and the structure of Audio Culture add to its strength…. The end result is a complete and cohesive treatment of modern music. Anyone who has edited a collection knows that such an outcome is not an easy one to attain, but it is certainly achieved here…. With growing interest in sound on web-based environments and the ease with which to produce it, Cox and Warner’s Audio Culture stands as a must-read for both aspiring artists and music theorists alike.” –Leonardo: The Journal of the International Society for the AAS, Sciences and Technology, October 7, 2004
“Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music is a cannily collected anthology of seminal music writing, your one-stop shopping destination for ear-opening essays on the nature and recent history of music. The obligatory pioneers and almost-pop icons are all there… Audio Culture coeditors Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner range boldly and widely, embracing noise, soundscape listening, minimalism, glitch, plunderphonics, and collective music making… Audio Culture passes the test of a good music book: It’s easy to read, insightful, and inspiring.” –The Stranger, October 7, 2004
About the Author
Christoph Cox is Professor of Philosophy at Hampshire College and a faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Daniel Warner is Professor of Music at Hampshire College, where he teaches electronic and computer music.
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Not all of the book spoke to me, because it covers an extremely wide range of topics, not all of which are of interest to me. But every single chapter that remotely connected with my interest in music, economics, culture, freedom, and sustainability spoke so clearly, so cogently, so powerfully, and so affirmingly YES! that I give the whole work five stars.
I was a reader (and lover) of The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, and what he did in the way of explaining the evolution of modern musical composition, this book does for modern musical production, as well as the recontextualization of modern music *experience*. Indeed, I will say that this book really does pick up, and deliver, about where Ross's book exhausts itself. And it does so entirely with the words of the great producers, performers, and philosophers of this modern era.
If you enjoy critical thinking about modern music, this is a must-have.