1st Edition

The Music of Sounds and the Music of Things Sonic Creativity Within Sampling and DIY Cultures

By Leigh Landy, John Richards Copyright 2025
    216 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates two areas in which the appreciation of sonic creativity can be easily acquired across diverse cultures, ages and interests: the music of sounds – making music with any sounds, part of today’s sampling culture and the music of things – the creation of instruments using existent materials (another type of sampling?) involving the notion of ‘instrument as composition’ as part of today’s DIY (or DIT, do it together) culture.

    The book offers broad discussions regarding the music of things (written by John Richards) followed by the music of sounds (written by Leigh Landy). These chapters are followed by a focus on the workshop demonstrating the collaborative and inclusive potential in both areas, and a spotlight on eight artists with a broad diversity of backgrounds and approaches to sound and music who discuss their perceptions. The book’s conclusion focuses on similarities and differences between the music of sounds and the music of things, suggesting, finally, that both might form part of the twenty-first century’s folk music landscape.

    The book is primarily aimed towards students interested in current forms of sonic creativity but will be of interest to those interested in broader issues of sampling culture, hacking and sound studies.

    Chapter 1 – Introduction

    Chapter 2 – On the Music of Any and All Sounds

    Chapter 3 – The DIY Sound-making Artist

    Chapter 4 – Recycling Sounds – Sampling Culture

    Chapter 5 – Workshops and Participation – New Communities

    Chapter 6 – Artist Statements

    Chapter 7 – The 21st Century Sound-based Musician


    Leigh Landy is the Director of the Music, Technology and Innovation – Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2), De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Leigh Landy’s compositions, most of which are sample based, include several for video, dance and theatre and have been performed around the globe. As a scholar he has presented keynote talks on every continent. His publications focus primarily on the studies of electroacoustic music. He is editor of “Organised Sound” (Cambridge) and author of nine books including “What’s the Matter with Today’s Experimental Music?” (Routledge), “Understanding the Art of Sound Organization” (MIT), “The Music of Sounds” (Routledge) and most recently “Experiencing Organised Sounds” (Routledge, 2023). He directs the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS) projects and is a founding director of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network (EMS).



    John Richards is a Teaching Associate in Music Technology Department of Music, University of Nottingham, UK. John Richards explores Dirty Electronics focusing on shared experiences, social interaction and critical making. He is concerned with the performance of large-group electronic music and DIY electronics, and he has come to consider these activities as a holistic action. It is a fluid, live practice associated with the ideas of workshop-installation and performance- installation. His work pushes the boundaries between music, performance art, electronics, and graphic design and is transdisciplinary as well as having a socio-political dimension. He has also written numerous texts on DIY practices, performance of electronic music, and object-orientated and material approaches in relation to sound art.