Atoms and Errors: Towards a history and aesthetics of microsound

Thomson, Phil


Organised Sound 9(2): 207-218.

Language: English

Microsound is an emerging approach to music composition and analysis which places emphasis on extremely brief time-scales, usually a tenth of a second or less, as well as an integration of this micro-time level with the time-levels of sound gestures, sections, movements and whole pieces. This paper summarises some of the technical issues involved in microsonic analysis/composition, traces a history of microsonic techniques in contemporary music, and examines some of its aesthetic implications in a social context.