April 13th, 2012

Technomusicologically Speaking

I’ll be talking twice in the next two days about a thing I’ve been calling technomusicology.

avs media demo watermarks, visualized

If in a previous moment bi-musicality represented cutting edge musicological literacy, today’s tech-suffused world would seem to call for the development of something akin to technomusicology — which might also include a sort of technomusicality.

Aside from bringing into conversation work that focuses on the entanglements of music and technology, a crucial dimension of technomusicology — at least as I’m proposing — should also entail exploring new modes of tech-assisted research and publication (and obviously I’m thinking in terms of digital and networked tech at this point).

Indeed, I’m currently developing a course called “Technomusicology” for the fall. Beginning by reading across the growing lit that attends to music in the age of its technological reproducibility (Lysloff & Gay, Meintjes, Katz, Suisman, Sterne, et al.), in the second half of the course we will appraise and attempt a variety of new forms and practices — mashups and remixes, DJ-style mixes and audio & video collages, multimedia storytelling, archival representation — as potential openings for new directions in music scholarship, with a final project that engages some new form and aims for publication in range of new venues for such work. More about that in a few!

Anyway, if you want to hear more — literally! — and you’re in New England, you’ll have two chances in the next couple of days, beginning this afternoon! (Pardon the late notice. It’s been a busy month.) Here’s the deets:

>> TODAY!!! Friday, April 13, 4pm :: Marlboro College

My talk today is entitled “Technomusicology” and I’ll be discussing the practice as both musicological and creative endeavor, demonstrating and explicating a number of projects in this vein. Thanks much to Matan Rubinstein for the invitation.

>> TOMORROW: Saturday, April 14, 2:30pm :: NECSEM @ Tufts University

Here I’m giving a brief presentation as part of a roundtable discussion called “Ethno Tech Talk” alongside the venerable David Locke and Eric Galm. I like that the title evokes the somewhat horrid 90s phenom “ethnotechno,” but I believe we’ll mainly be talking about pedagogical strategies — the subtitle is “A Conversation about Applied Technology within Ethnomusicology” — and I don’t think anyone is going to mention Enigma or Deep Forest (though now I’m tempted to).


  • 1. Dave Carter  |  April 15th, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Like the idea of ‘technomusicology’ – think it crosses over a lot of stuff that’s been discussed in relation to a musicology of audio recording production. I’m sure they’re on your radar but Albin Zak’s The Poetics of Rock + a couple of other texts in that space might be relevant.

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  April 17th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Thanks, Dave! And I’ll always welcome recommendations, whether or not they seem obviously on or off the radar!

  • 3. Kiri  |  May 18th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Cool that you’re teaching this class in the fall; bummer that I’m teaching my technoculture seminar the same semester! (Otherwise you might have seen some guests from Brown.) Would love to see your syllabus when it’s done. (My 2010 version is here, but I’m planning to add a bunch of great new stuff this summer.) Also, hey, great minds.

  • 4. wayneandwax.com » I&hellip  |  September 11th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    […] second class, Music 190r: Technomusicology (PDF), is, as I’ve noted here before, something of a concept that I’m making up as I go along. Really, though, it’s an idea […]


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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