Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Welcome to the Electronic Music LibGuide. Contained herein is a plethora of resources to help you learn more about electronic and computer music. We encourage you to explore this Guide, which is full of basic information, research assistance, and hidden gems.
If you have any questions, please ask Scott Pfitzinger, the Multimedia Librarian whose contact info is in the right-hand column.
Related courses offered through the Dana School of Music:
MUSTC 5828 - Music Technology
An exploration of the use of computers and technology in music. Applications related to composition, performance, analysis, teaching, and research.
MUSTC 5834 - Electronic Music
Techniques of analog and digital synthesis including tape composition, musique concrete; advanced MIDI applications such as sequencing and sampling; and digital audio editing. Composition in electronic and mixed media.
Recommended Reading (General)
Any Sound You Can Imagine by
Call Number: ML 1092 .T38 1997
Publication Date: 1997-06-23
Describes digital musical instruments, industries that supply & promote them, & the meanings they have for musicians.
A Dictionary of Electronic and Computer Music Technology by
Call Number: ML 102 .E4 D6 1992
Publication Date: 1992-05-07
The rapid pace of technological development in electronic music has led to a plethora of instruments and systems. Until now, there has been no book to survey this burgeoning field objectively and insightfully or explain the transformations in instruments and the technology behind them. Assuming no prior knowledge on the part of the reader, Dobson introduces and explains this mass of technical information in clear, comprehensive entries dealing with common principles and techniques, such as those on the computer, electronic components, and synthesis. Specific products are then referred to as examples of a particular approach. This allows not only the links between instruments such as the sampler, synthesizer, sequencer, and signal processor to be examined, but also ensures that the text will not quickly become out-of-date. The DECMT thus works both as a reference work and as a tutorial text, moving from basic principles to specific examples. Included are entries on major commercial instruments and historical information on companies and individuals whose work has been central to the development of electronic instruments. Supplemented by three appendices, a general index, and one of instruments and manufacturers, A Dictionary of Electronic and Computer Music Technology will be indispensable for all composers, teachers, and performers in classical and popular music.
Electric Music by
Call Number: ML 1092 .J45 1976
Publication Date: 1976-06-01
Electronic and Computer Music by
Call Number: ML 1380 .M36 1994
Publication Date: 1994-12-29
This updated and expanded third edition of Peter Manning's classic text, Electronic and Computer Music, deals with the development of the medium from its birth to the 21st century. The first section of the book, which remains essentially unchanged in this edition, covers electroacoustic music from its beginning at the turn of the century to 1945, the development of post-1945 'classical' studios, development of voltage-controlled technology, and its commercial exploitation in tape works, live electronic music, and the early use of electronics in rock and pop music. Section two, Computer Music, is heavily revised and significantly expanded and treats the digital revolution from the early experiments during the late 1950s and early 1960s to the advanced systems of today. Emphasizing the functional characteristics of emerging digital technologies and their influence on the creative development of the medium, Manning covers key developments in both commercial and the non-commercial sectors.
Experimental Music by
Call Number: ML 197 .N85 1999
Publication Date: 1999-07-29
Michael Nyman's book is a first-hand account of experimental music from 1950 to 1970. First published in 1974, it has remained the classic text on a significant form of music making and composing which developed alongside, and partly in opposition to, the post-war modernist tradition of composers such as Boulez, Berio, or Stockhausen. The experimentalist par excellence was John Cage whose legendary 4' 33'' consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence to be performed on any instrument. Such pieces have a conceptual rather than purely musical starting point and radically challenge conventional notions of the musical work. Nyman's book traces the revolutionary attitudes that were developed towards concepts of time, space, sound, and composer/performer responsibility. It was within the experimental tradition that the seeds of musical minimalism were sown and the book contains reference to the early works of Reich, Riley, Young, and Glass.
On the Wires of Our Nerves by
Call Number: ML 1380 .O5 1989
Publication Date: 1989-09-01
The contributors to this collection of essays are all composers, who focus on the various technological media of electroacoustic music while keeping sharply in sight their role as creative musicians.