Newton Armstrong

Technology and Musical Composition

Department of Music

Newton Armstrong takes a media-theoretic approach to the relationship between composers and compositional technologies. In his paper, "The machine that put an end to music," he argues that the technologies through which the processes of composition are mediated are not without their biases, and that these biases play a role in determining the systems and structures of compositional thought. Armstrong suggests that the exchange between composer and composing media has for the most part been ignored, or at best understated, in writings that attempt to describe the patterns of compositional thought. This oversight has not helped in arriving at a clear articulation of new compositional epistemologies, or of the conditions from which those epistemologies arise.