Music is a time-dependent art - often conceived and expressed with explicit reference to the temporal placement and duration of sounds. Yet its attraction is generally in the temporal
design which may evoke a more subjective feeling of time passing. The patterning of time in music usually draws on familiar impressions of time, but is welcome because it is clearly outside the mundane due to its nature or treatment. Complex works often
compress and juxtapose different pacings of time within a relatively short duration, in amusing or unpredictable ways.
One of the problems with discussions about time is that the perspective can influence the choice of terminology and metaphor, and these are not always shared across disciplines. In
many disciplines, the regularity of the clock measurement aspect of time is considered the most useful model, whereas in the temporal arts, as in philosophy, the subjective experience is often the more central aspect. But for musicians, who use the clock time
model for both performance instructions and digital creation, the apparent dichotomy and possible correlation between these perspectives is rarely acknowledged, despite their being crucial to our craft.
To improve the effectiveness of our investigation, we would benefit from some easily shared language to speak about the perception and cognition of time and its manipulation in electroacoustics,
as well as an understanding of current theoretical models of time. This issue therefore is particularly interested in presenting a summary and critical review of existing schema, metaphors, terminology, software, etc. which have been used to describe temporal
aspects of music and how these might be adjusted, if necessary, to thinking about this corpus of music in its various manifestations. In addition, it would be helpful to compare these to perspectives of time used in cognate disciplines, to enable us to discuss
their advantages and weaknesses in relation to the analysis of electroacoustic music.
The investigation can also start from an examination of specific aspects of electroacoustic music composition and performance, as revealed, for example, in collected interviews or
psychological studies. Does the ability to work to millisecond precision and looking at visual sonographic representations of a work have an effect on the composer’s attitude towards the creation of illusions of time presented in the work? How does the presence
of previously unheard sounds or the absence of physical sound-producers affect the listener’s reception and sense of time? How does the absence of a quasi-universal symbolic system for the representation of time information influence electroacoustic composition
mechanisms? Do presentation formats – for example, listening in darkness, multi-channel diffusion – enhance the appreciation of temporal design in some ways? What are the performance challenges to mixed electroacoustic-live pieces, and how does the presence
of visible sound-producers affect the perception of time? How does/could our analyses of electroacoustics reflect temporal aspects? Would it be beneficial to build on extant philosophical frameworks (e.g. Bergson)? Does electroacoustic music provide exceptions
to the ‘note-based’ music discussed by previous authors about musical time (e.g., Zuckerkandl, Rowell, Yeston, Kramer, London)? Do we need to modify mainstream music psychology studies on rhythm to make them more applicable to the electroacoustic field?
Can we propose more relevant models for psychological-type investigation of electroacoustics? What are the differences/similarities between the forging of sense of time during composition, its articulation during interpretation, and its reception during listening
in EA/computer/technologically-mediated music? Finally, to paraphrase Bergson in a somewhat provocative way, is music the art of time (an uninterrupted stream of successive and similar temporal units), or the art of duration (made up of successions of variable
states of consciousness)… or both?
Thus, topics for investigation could include:
• critical schema of time representations which have been previously articulated by composers/analysts (e.g. Stockhausen, Xenakis);
• comparison of analytical approaches in their treatment of subjective temporal aspects of music;
• evaluation of representational models of time for EA and their impact on composition;
• a comparison of terminology and metaphors used in composers’ writings and/or textbooks about music;
• a comparison of musical concepts of time with reference to those in another field (performance studies, history, film studies, psychology, etc.)
• the perception and effects of audible reference to body movements in music – gestures, footsteps, etc. – whether artificially created, recorded directly, distorted, or mediated
by gestural controllers;
• the effect of tools and software on the conception and manipulation of time in ea (as opposed, for example, to acoustic music composition);
• shifting trends in the electroacoustic field of attitudes and techniques towards time manipulation;
• a comparison on various composers’ attitudes towards temporal aspects viewed in the context of the cultural/historical views of their environment/community;
• ontologies of time in EA music.
As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall
outside the scope of this theme are always welcome.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15 September 2019
Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published
issues of Organised Sound or at the following url:
Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to:
not to the guest editors.
Hard copy of articles and images and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally
max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files), both only when requested, should be submitted to:
Prof. Leigh Landy
De Montfort University
Leicester LE1 9BH,
Accepted articles will be published online via FirstView after copy editing prior to the paper version of the journal’s
Editor: Leigh Landy
Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton†
Regional Editors: Ricardo Dal Farra, Jøran Rudi, Margaret Schedel, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall, Lonce Wyse
International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Manuella Blackburn, Joel Chadabe, Alessandro Cipriani, Simon Emmerson,
Kenneth Fields, Rajmil Fischman, Eduardo Miranda, Rosemary Mountain, Tony Myatt, Garth Paine, Mary Simoni, Martin Supper, Daniel Teruggi
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