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TitleComputer Music - Synthesis, Composition, and Performance- 2 ed (Charles Dodge, Thomas A. Jerse).pdf
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Table of Contents
                            p. 136
	p. 137
		Front Matter [pp. 1-221]
		John Philip Sousa: The Illinois Collection [pp. 9-25]
		Black Music in the Academy: The Center for Black Music Research [pp. 26-36]
		Songs of the People: Plains Indian Music and Recordings, 1968-1996 [pp. 37-67]
		Notes for NOTES [pp. 68-70]
			Review: untitled [pp. 71-74]
			Review: untitled [pp. 74-77]
			Review: untitled [pp. 77-80]
			Review: untitled [pp. 81-85]
			Review: untitled [pp. 85-89]
			Review: untitled [pp. 89-90]
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				Review: untitled [pp. 135-136]
				Review: untitled [pp. 136-137]
				Review: untitled [pp. 137-138]
				Review: untitled [pp. 138-139]
		Books Recently Published [pp. 140-169]
		New Periodicals [pp. 170-172]
		Music Publishers' Catalogs [pp. 173-180]
			Review: untitled [pp. 181-183]
				Review: untitled [pp. 183-186]
				Review: untitled [pp. 186-189]
				Review: untitled [pp. 189-195]
				Review: untitled [pp. 195-199]
				Review: untitled [pp. 199-201]
				Review: untitled [pp. 201-203]
				Review: untitled [pp. 203-206]
		Music Received [pp. 207-219]
		Key to Abbreviated Imprints (With Agents) [p. 220]
		Communications [p. 222]
		Back Matter [pp. 223-272]
                        
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Page 2

NOTES, September 1998 NOTES, September 1998

temptation to plead "You just had to be
there!")

While championing the adventurous ap-
proach to operatic reinterpretation, Sut-
cliffe is no mere apologist. He cites the
failures as well as the successes, noting that
"innovation naturally does not always equal
excellence. The modern way is not always
best. Bad eccentricity is the worst thing of
all" (p. 14). Yet he argues convincingly for
the need to give directors the creative free-
dom they must have in order to challenge
artistic preconceptions and cause their au-
diences to rethink the dramatic import of
familiar repertory. Opera fans who prefer
the traditional approach may remain un-
convinced by Sutcliffe's manifesto. Yet they
can hardly fail to admire his determination
to help his readers toward a new under-
standing of the changing aesthetics of op-
era production.

CLIFFORD CRANNA

San Francisco Opera

Computer Music: Synthesis, Compo-
sition, and Performance. 2d ed. By
Charles Dodge and Thomas A. Jerse.
New York: Schirmer Books, 1997. [xv,
455 p. ISBN 0-02-864682-7. $42.]

This book is a valuable source of tech-
niques for computer sound synthesis and
sound processing. It explains the concepts
that an electrical engineer or a program-
mer needs to know to undertake work in
computer audio, and it is therefore appro-
priate as a reference or as a text for a col-
lege course in audio applications of digital
signal processing. It would be equally use-
ful in a music library or the library of any
scientific or technical school.

It is not, however, a book that a musician
without prior experience in the field will
readily understand, despite the authors'
efforts to start with basics. A novice would
likely find it appropriate only with the help
of an instructor, as a textbook in a course
on the underlying workings of computer
synthesis. For the reader who does have
some prior experience, however, it will be
valuable as a reference for broadening or
deepening existing knowledge. The au-
thors present the theory and the practical
implementation of a wide variety of meth-
ods of synthesizing and processing sound

temptation to plead "You just had to be
there!")

While championing the adventurous ap-
proach to operatic reinterpretation, Sut-
cliffe is no mere apologist. He cites the
failures as well as the successes, noting that
"innovation naturally does not always equal
excellence. The modern way is not always
best. Bad eccentricity is the worst thing of
all" (p. 14). Yet he argues convincingly for
the need to give directors the creative free-
dom they must have in order to challenge
artistic preconceptions and cause their au-
diences to rethink the dramatic import of
familiar repertory. Opera fans who prefer
the traditional approach may remain un-
convinced by Sutcliffe's manifesto. Yet they
can hardly fail to admire his determination
to help his readers toward a new under-
standing of the changing aesthetics of op-
era production.

CLIFFORD CRANNA

San Francisco Opera

Computer Music: Synthesis, Compo-
sition, and Performance. 2d ed. By
Charles Dodge and Thomas A. Jerse.
New York: Schirmer Books, 1997. [xv,
455 p. ISBN 0-02-864682-7. $42.]

This book is a valuable source of tech-
niques for computer sound synthesis and
sound processing. It explains the concepts
that an electrical engineer or a program-
mer needs to know to undertake work in
computer audio, and it is therefore appro-
priate as a reference or as a text for a col-
lege course in audio applications of digital
signal processing. It would be equally use-
ful in a music library or the library of any
scientific or technical school.

It is not, however, a book that a musician
without prior experience in the field will
readily understand, despite the authors'
efforts to start with basics. A novice would
likely find it appropriate only with the help
of an instructor, as a textbook in a course
on the underlying workings of computer
synthesis. For the reader who does have
some prior experience, however, it will be
valuable as a reference for broadening or
deepening existing knowledge. The au-
thors present the theory and the practical
implementation of a wide variety of meth-
ods of synthesizing and processing sound

with a computer, and although their ac-
count is quite technical, it is admirably
clear and concise. The book does not lack
detail and gives the reader fully adequate
information to implement any of the ideas
presented, yet it contains no more math-
ematical formulas than are necessary. The
authors rely heavily on diagrammatic flow-
chart depictions of the techniques and their
sonic results. This is a wise and effective
choice because the graphics are an excel-
lent complement to the text and are in-
dependent of any specific computer plat-
form.

This second edition differs most notably
from the first, published in 1985, in its ad-
dition of several ideas and techniques that
have since gained greater prominence,
such as phase vocoding, granular synthesis,
and physical modeling. The examples of
actual programming code originally pro-
vided in the now archaic FORTRAN lan-
guage have either been replaced with flow-
chart diagrams or updated to the modern
C+ + language. In the two chapters dealing
with music composition and performance,
many of the music examples have been
changed to include more recent works.

In the twelve years between the first and
second editions, the field of computer mu-
sic has become much larger and more di-
verse. Today the ubiquity and power of
personal computers and computerized syn-
thesizers have almost completely replaced
the 1985 modus operandi of laborious
software synthesis on large mainframe
computers described in the first edition.
Computer music is now as prevalent in the
studios of freelance composers and com-
mercial recording artists as in the academy,
and there are now so many branches of
interest that the term "computer music"
means radically different things to differ-
ent people. For this reason, it is worth
clarifying what this book is not about. There
is little or no mention of computer music
outside academic circles, or of synthesizers,
audio processors, or personal computer
software (contrary to the publisher's deci-
sion to adorn the cover with images ob-
viously intended to evoke a Macintosh com-
puter). This book is not a historical account
of the use of the computer in music, nor
does it deal substantively with cultural or
aesthetic issues. It deals specifically with
music composition and performance only

with a computer, and although their ac-
count is quite technical, it is admirably
clear and concise. The book does not lack
detail and gives the reader fully adequate
information to implement any of the ideas
presented, yet it contains no more math-
ematical formulas than are necessary. The
authors rely heavily on diagrammatic flow-
chart depictions of the techniques and their
sonic results. This is a wise and effective
choice because the graphics are an excel-
lent complement to the text and are in-
dependent of any specific computer plat-
form.

This second edition differs most notably
from the first, published in 1985, in its ad-
dition of several ideas and techniques that
have since gained greater prominence,
such as phase vocoding, granular synthesis,
and physical modeling. The examples of
actual programming code originally pro-
vided in the now archaic FORTRAN lan-
guage have either been replaced with flow-
chart diagrams or updated to the modern
C+ + language. In the two chapters dealing
with music composition and performance,
many of the music examples have been
changed to include more recent works.

In the twelve years between the first and
second editions, the field of computer mu-
sic has become much larger and more di-
verse. Today the ubiquity and power of
personal computers and computerized syn-
thesizers have almost completely replaced
the 1985 modus operandi of laborious
software synthesis on large mainframe
computers described in the first edition.
Computer music is now as prevalent in the
studios of freelance composers and com-
mercial recording artists as in the academy,
and there are now so many branches of
interest that the term "computer music"
means radically different things to differ-
ent people. For this reason, it is worth
clarifying what this book is not about. There
is little or no mention of computer music
outside academic circles, or of synthesizers,
audio processors, or personal computer
software (contrary to the publisher's deci-
sion to adorn the cover with images ob-
viously intended to evoke a Macintosh com-
puter). This book is not a historical account
of the use of the computer in music, nor
does it deal substantively with cultural or
aesthetic issues. It deals specifically with
music composition and performance only

136 136

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