Book ID: CBB918206806

Digital Signatures: The Impact of Digitization on Popular Music Sound (2017)


Brøvig-Hanssen, Ragnhild (Author)
Danielsen, Anne (Author)

MIT Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: ix + 188
Language: English

Is digital production killing the soul of music? Is Auto-Tune the nadir of creative expression? Digital technology has changed not only how music is produced, distributed, and consumed but also--equally important but not often considered--how music sounds. In this book, Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen and Anne Danielsen examine the impact of digitization on the aesthetics of popular music. They investigate sonically distinctive "digital signatures"--musical moments when the use of digital technology is revealed to the listener. The particular signatures of digital mediation they examine include digital reverb and delay, MIDI and sampling, digital silence, the virtual cut-and-paste tool, digital glitches, microrhythmic manipulation, and autotuning--all of which they analyze in specific works by popular artists. Combining technical and historical knowledge of music production with musical analyses, aesthetic interpretations, and theoretical discussions, Brøvig-Hanssen and Danielsen offer unique insights into how digitization has changed the sound of popular music and the listener's experience of it. For example, they show how digital reverb and delay have allowed experimentation with spatiality by analyzing Kate Bush's "Get Out of My House"; they examine the contrast between digital silence and the low-tech noises of tape hiss or vinyl crackle in Portishead's "Stranger"; and they describe the development of Auto-Tune--at first a tool for pitch correction--into an artistic effect, citing work by various hip-hop artists, Bon Iver, and Lady Gaga.

Reviewed By

Review Krapp, Peter (October 2017) Review of "Digital Signatures: The Impact of Digitization on Popular Music Sound". Technology and Culture (pp. 1110-1111). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Horning, Susan Schmidt
Porcello, Thomas
Sinnreich, Aram
Davies, Shaun
Kennaway, James Gordon
Schäfer, Armin
Social Studies of Science
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Cold War History
University of Massachusetts Press
Contemporary Sound Arts
Ashgate Publishing
Duke University Press
Copernicus Books
University of Washington
Technology and music
Engineering, audio
Sound recordings
Technology and culture
De Forest, Lee
Khruschchev, Nikita Sergeyevich
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
19th century
18th century
United States
California (U.S.)
Paris (France)
Soviet Union
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
Boston (band)

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