1st Edition

New Music and the Crises of Materiality Sounding Bodies and Objects in Late Modernity

By Samuel Wilson Copyright 2021
    182 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the transformation of ideas of the material in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century musical composition. New music of this era is argued to reflect a historical moment when the idea of materiality itself is in flux. Engaging with thinkers such as Theodor Adorno, Sara Ahmed, Zygmunt Bauman, Rosi Braidotti, and Timothy Morton, the author considers music's relationship with changing material conditions, from the rise of neo-liberalisms and information technologies to new concepts of the natural world.

    Drawing on musicology, cultural theory, and philosophy, the author develops a critical understanding of musical bodies, objects, and the environments of their interaction. Music is grasped as something that both registers material changes in society whilst also enabling us to practice materiality differently.

    Introduction: New Musical Materialisms

    Part 1: Musical Bodies

    Chapter 1: The (Dis)possession of the Musical Body

    Chapter 2: The Composition of Posthuman Bodies

    Part 2: Musical Objects

    Chapter 3: Orientations and the Piano-Object

    Chapter 4: Contemporary Composition and/as Plastic Art

    Part 3: Musical Materials

    Chapter 5: On the "Material" of Musical Material

    Chapter 6: Natures and Ecologies of Composition


    Samuel Wilson's research focuses on music and twentieth- and twenty-first-century modernity. He lectures in music aesthetics at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and interdisciplinary theory at London Contemporary Dance School. He is the editor of Music--Psychoanalysis--Musicology (Routledge, 2018).