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Near-Future Musics


Music has more or less been structured around the same pillars— melody, harmony, and rhythm as it's traditionally conceived— for at least eight centuries, since the Notre Dame school of Léonin and Perotin initially and simultaneously aligned polyphony, rhythmic modes, and near-modern notation under what was later dubbed the ars antiqua. However, music is on the brink of a culture-wide transformation. These pillars will soon be equalled or overtaken by a host of other categories and relationships imagined by experimental musicians of recent centuries and made possible and popularly instinctual by the recording, synthesis, and digital manipulation of sound. The Universal Research Group is holding a working group on these near-future musics, following a programme roughly and accessibly outline in the introduction below, written over a decade ago. The first session will be on "Music Beyond Sound" (notes below).

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Grey Papers:
Introduction: Near-Future Musics (from 2006)
Stub: Music Beyond Sound