Computers and Music

The Future of Music Making

Surfing the web today, I came across a very interesting talk by our music colleagues from the MIT Media Lab. In this video talk Tod Machover, Adam Boulanger, and Dan Ellsey give a quick overview on their work on new musical instruments and the impact that their research has on society.

What I find most compelling in their presentation is the idea to develop musical instruments that non-musicians can play. I am convinced that amateur participation will become a major segment of the changing music industry (GuitarHero and RockBand are only the tip of the iceberg) and the real question that I see from a professional point of view is: will this development have an impact on “actual” music making? Will people learn more traditional instruments because they are exposed to these new ways of participating in music? Or will traditional instruments become less and less popular? How is this development changing the ways in which professional musicians work? Will this movement result in a broader and deeper understanding of what music is and what it can do for peoples’ lives?

See for yourself and let me know what you think. Here is the video (and lots more at TED)

Btw: I think should have really put Adam Boulanger’s name in the title as well.


3 comments for “The Future of Music Making”

  1. Thanks Matthias for this link. This is a very interesting talk. I agree with you: amateur / audience participation will go stronger. Not only in performing, but also in composition. On the instrumental side, another point will be interesting to observe: will traditional instrument makers make more “toy” instruments? Will they take more liberties with creating new instruments and extending existing ones (like it has been the case in the past… think Adolphe Sax’s time)?

    Posted by Jean-François Charles | July 12, 2008, 11:32 pm
  2. Yeah, I am looking foward to the “RockBand” version of Paco Marin’s new set of classical guitars. They would have made my studies at the Mozarteum much easier hehe

    Thanks for your comment, Jean-Francois!

    Posted by Matthias Röder | July 14, 2008, 10:24 am
  3. I think the possibilities for “listeners” to become “band members” is incredible. I really just get so excited by the things we can do these days – and imagine the future!

    Posted by Seamus Anthony | July 24, 2008, 3:11 am

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