The tip of the iceberg: laptop music and the information-technological transformation of music

Grossmann, Rolf


Organised Sound 13(1): 5-11.

Language: English

Understanding laptop music requires more than a new perspective on the configuration of a ‘weareable computer and an audio interface’ as a musical instrument for performance. It combines the strategies and traditions of electronic media-related music composition of the twentieth century, like reproductive music, electronic music, computer music and Net music in a single, digital, multi-purpose device originally designed for business and multimedia applications. Consequently, what we hear is mostly not a genuine laptop music, but one facet of the information-technological transformation of music that has been the result of the digital integration of these established traditions. This article gives an overview of the aesthetic implications of these traditions and with respect to laptop performance and musical style.