Emmerson, Simon


'Live' versus 'Real-time'

Contemporary Music Review. Vol. 10, No. 2: London: Harwood: 95-101.

URL: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/07494467.asp

Language(s): English


Live Electronics Real-time Indicative Fields and Networks Acousmatic Causality Surrogacy Electroacoustic Music Timbre


The term ’live electronic music’ faded slowly but steadily from the vocabulary between about 1975 and 1985, giving way to the term ’real-time’. But language cannot so simply obscure a fundamental misunderstanding that has come with this change. The human performer has somehow been subsumed into the computer itself, as into the terminology that goes with it. In this article, the author hopes to start to unravel some of the confusion this situated has created, concentrating on timbral cues and their relation to the terms ’live’ and ’real-time’.

All references of the same author:


Emmerson, Simon (1976). Electronic Music in Education
Emmerson, Simon (1982). Analysis and the Composition of Electro-Acoustic Music
Emmerson, Simon (1986). The Relation of Language to Materials
Emmerson, Simon (1989). Composing Strategies and Pedagogy
Emmerson, Simon (1991). Interview with Jonathan Harvey
Emmerson, Simon (1994a). ‘Local/Field': Towards a Typology of Live Electroacoustic Music
Emmerson, Simon (1995a). Analysis of Live Electronic Music
Emmerson, Simon (1995b). Electroacoustic Music: Aesthetic Situation and Perspectives
Emmerson, Simon (1996). Sentences for Soprano and Electronics: Towards a Poetics of Live Electronic Music
Emmerson, Simon (1998a). Acoustic/Electroacoustic: The Relationship with Instruments
Emmerson, Simon (1998b). Aural Landscape: Musical Space
Emmerson, Simon (2000a). Crossing Cultural Boundaries Through Technology?
Emmerson, Simon (2000b). ‘Losing Touch?': The Human Performer and Electronics
Emmerson, Simon (2000c). Time Regained
Emmerson, Simon (2001a). New Spaces/New Places: a Sound House for the performance of electroacoustic music and sonic art
Emmerson, Simon (2001b). From Dance to Dance: Distance and Digits
Emmerson, Simon (2001c). Pentes: A Conversation with Denis Smalley
Emmerson, Simon (2001d). The Electroacoustic Harpsichord
Emmerson, Simon (2006). In what form can ‘live electronic music' live on?