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.
Table of Contents
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).