Since digital technologies were first commercialised in the 1980s, their impact on music, on the relationship between music and other media, and on modes of consumption has been overwhelming: both the practice of music and thinking about it have changed almost out of all recognition. The Cambridge Companion to Music in Digital Culture will be a cross-disciplinary project, in which approaches reflecting the various branches of music studies will complement those of cultural theory, sociology and media studies. The envisaged volume will balance consideration of the various contexts for new musical media (technological, commercial, and social) with the various forms and genres into which the practices of new musical media have fallen.
The Cambridge Companion to Music in Digital Culture, edited by N. Cook, M. Ingalls, D. Trippett (CUP, 2019)
Sound and Virtuality
Immersive media have grown exponentially over the last decade, in part as a result of research driven by the markets for high-end gaming and military simulations. While vision has typically dominated discussions of virtual reality, sound has an undetermined claim to be the primary sense for situating our body in space. We hear in 360 degrees, while we typically see in 180, after all.
This book examines case studies of sound technologies that simulate environments. These range from obvious venues, such as digital simulcasting of theatres and operas in surround sound, to the transposing algorithms of hearing aids and devices for prosthetic hearing that augment our notion of what reality is, or can be. The book closes with an investigation into music's relation to posthumanism, a provocative worldview that, in its broadest sense, anticipates an increasing merger between human body and technological device as part of a new evolutionary mantel that redefines what being human means, culturally speaking, in the twenty-first century.