In Sonic Writing: Technologies of Material, Symbolic, and Signal Inscriptions
(Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), Thor Magnusson
)--musician, Professor of Future Music, and member of the Experimental Music Technologies Lab
at the University of Sussex—provides a sweeping overview of the tools and techniques of music-making both before and after the dawn of computing as well a set of forward-looking strategies for thinking critically about our future relationship with new music technology. Importantly, Magnusson identifies many similarities between present and past sonic creative practices as he takes the reader through an impressive survey of music technologies spanning the analog–digital divide. Consistently thematising the act of writing throughout, Sonic Writing
calls attention to the rich and continuous history of inscription practices such as staff notation, instrument building, phonographic sound recording, and programming digital synthesizer patches, practices that have been so intimately connected with the shared creation and enjoyment of music over its long and fruitful history.
Eamonn Bell (@_eamonnbell) is a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin in the Department of Music. His current research project examines the story of the compact disc from a viewpoint between musicology and media studies.