Prendergast, Mark


The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age

London: Bloomsbury.

Language(s): English


Socio-Cultural Aspects of Electroacoustic Music Ambient Music


In this comprehensive book, the author traces the intricate evolution of the sounds, styles, genres and technologies of music throughout the twentieth century from an ‘Ambient’ perspective (music as an immersive, environmental experience that is not fixed to a performed event, but carries with it its own sonic space, its own sonic landscape). He offers succinct biographical accounts of composers, performers and artists from across the musical spectrum, discussing their musical philosophy and their distinct contribution to the evolution of music. He suggests a listening repertoire of seminal works by many of the artists that he discusses, and also presents a discography of one hundred essential recordings that (he believes) represents a broad spectrum of the ambient music created throughout the twentieth century.

Table of contents:

1. The Electronic Landscape
2. Minimalism, Eno and the New Simplicity
3. Ambience in the Rock Era
4. House, Techno and Twenty-First-Century Ambience