Contemporary Music Review (Contemp Music Rev)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Journal description

Contemporary Music Review is a contemporary musicians' journal. It provides a forum where new tendencies in composition can be discussed in both breadth and depth. Each issue will focus on a specific topic. The main concern of the journal will be composition today in all its aspects--its techniques, aesthetics and technology and its relationship with other disciplines and currents of thought. The publication may also serve as a vehicle to communicate actual musical materials.

Current impact factor: 0.00

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.00
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.00
Website Contemporary Music Review website
Other titles Contemporary music review
ISSN 0749-4467
OCLC 11128997
Material type Music, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Sound Recording, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after a 18 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis (Routledge)'
  • Classification
    green

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between music and politics in the discourse of creative practitioners is often reduced to assertions of causality between specific musical works or aesthetic traits and particular political actions or ideologies. The association between the musical avant-garde and emancipatory politics (and their perceived common failure to fulfil a historical destiny) is evidence that a unidimensional understanding of the interconnections between these two practices can have a saturating effect on musical reception and creation. A direct result of this reductive approach is the emergence of an artistic category that could be labelled, imaginary musical radicalism—a creative approach in which artists replicate musical strategies of the avant-garde movements, detached from their original modernist vision (Rancière). This article proposes a heuristic and multidimensional approach, based on a radical historicist analysis (Rockhill) of musical and political practices as an alternative model for the creative practitioner working at the intersection of music and politics.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: This article consists of an interview with composer Caroline Lucas. Throughout the interview, we discuss identity politics and radical artistic practices with reference toLucas's recent compositions. Towards the end of the article, we problematise the implicit elitism and the social exclusion embedded in the practice of avant-gardeacademic music.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: This article is a response to issues raised in the theoretical and aesthetic writings of Mathias Spahlinger, most notably his two extended and related articles published in Contemporary Music Review, the first in 2008 and the second in 2015 (the latter in the present issue). It argues that the composer conceives his compositional praxis as a form of critique that exists in the tension between aesthetic autonomy and political commitment, and that this force-field is central to his poetics. The aim is to identify the conceptual context of Spahlinger's theoretical writings, and particular focus is given to the composer's idiosyncratic use of the terms ‘open’ and ‘closed’ forms and their relation to his notion of ‘new music’. It is also argued that there is a utopian dimension to Spahlinger's concept of ‘openness’ that is both exploratory and critically reflexive, and which shows a strong affinity to Adorno's aesthetics of negation.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: Mathias Spahlinger's (b. 1944) orchestral work passage/paysage (1990) is a concentrated and nuanced investigation of continuity, a topic which the composer has also discussed in some of his writings. Spahlinger describes a ‘barbarity of continuity’ arising from the way in which listeners impose some form of continuity on whatever they are presented with, while discarding whatever does not ‘fit’ into this narrative. Adorno's assessment of temporality in new music is taken as the starting point for an analysis of the work that has issues of temporality and continuity at its heart.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: All music, by its nature, is political, whether explicitly concerned with political subject matter or not. A composer's stylistic decisions, choice and treatment of material, along with who plays the music and who listens to it, are all aspects determined to a large degree by political factors. In this paper I shall explore two distinct modes of compositional practice to illustrate my position. The first mode involves the use of techniques that explore the ‘dehierarchisation’ of material. The second mode utilises a notational practice that requires a method of working in which the process of rehearsal acts as a model of political practice. I examine the creation of non-hierarchical relationships between composer and players, and look at how my choice of subject matter functions as a celebration and reminder of an alternative history of protest and social struggles. I also suggest how music can become a site for the practice of new social relations.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: Questioning power relationships, and the relevance of inherited structures of authority and deference, was a prime mover behind the activity of many British experimentalists within 1960s classical music. But such questions were also crucial to the radical explorations of the British freely improvising musicians concurrently forging a new musical language; both groups were seeking to remodel the institutionalised composer-interpreter hierarchy. How did composer/musicians from the jazz/improvising tradition attempt to square the circle of ‘telling others what to do’ while pursuing the ideal of individual freedom? Are there paradigms outside the classical tradition which might provide composers with a more viable, communitarian working model? The author's current research seeks to answer such questions through musician interviews, along with extensive study of experimental scores in the BMC archive at Huddersfield University. In addition, the author has himself over 30 years experience in both freely improvised music and composing, conducting or otherwise structuring music involving improvisation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: The conception of projective music that I have attempted to realize over the last quarter-century attempts to rescue the visionary component of Modernism from the exhaustion into which the discourses of both Formalism and Postmodernism have sunk. Drawn from Kandinsky's century-old model, projective music stakes claims on the future, but unlike Kandinsky's conception, it avoids the utopian model of a single, inevitable future for all of society. Instead, from the standpoint of presently-existing conditions, it projects a possible future, either hoped for or dreaded. It resembles Critical Composition in requiring ceaseless critique of presuppositions, strategies, and materials, but differs from it in its refusal to reduce the artwork to an instrumental level. Projective music speaks of and for its own time, but it also aims to create artworks enduring enough and of sufficient thematic interest to hold the interest of future times.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: in the period following the 1968 protests, the question arose of how a transparent music could be conceived, especially one which it would be impossible to misunderstand, and which would therefore be protected against political misuse. this was very often the object of discussion. in a paper delivered at the ‘musik und politik’ symposium held in vienna in 1991, i developed four political aspects of music: function, content, means of production, and the poetic. to explain:function: music composed for ritual and representation, etc, or music composed to increase productivity, or enable an increase of consumption, either in the workplace, the cowshed, or the shopping centre.external content/subject: music with text, plot, or programme.means of production and distribution: free art or dependent work.the methods by which the music is made, its poetry and its style (spahlinger, 1991).as a composer, i am most interested in the final point. i would like to explore this as posing the main set of problems for this paper, as well as posing the question of which processes effect meaning in a new music that can be differentiated from traditional music. i shall devote the first third of this article to this issue. i will then be in a position to question whether analogies exist with political thought. i will briefly examine the other three political aspects, in particular the means of production.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: Competing and polarised positions related to the possible political nature of material in contemporary music are exemplified by the work of postmodern composers and of post-war modernist composers. Whilst the former argue for the political nature of their compositions by the inclusion of contemporary issues and imagery, the latter argue for the political nature of their manipulation of otherwise politically neutral musical material. This opposition can be understood as a dialectic between content and form, and is expressed by Adorno as the opposition between representational and ‘committed’ work. This paper examines one example of each type of work—Luigi Nono's Il Canto Sospeso (1955–1956) and Johannes Kreidler's Audioguide—and their relationship to a conception of the ‘beautiful’ in music. These expressions of the ‘political’ offer a framework through which the musically beautiful can be interrogated in the opposition of committed and autonomous artworks, and understood as an experience of alienation. Eco's exploration of Entfremdung and Kristeva's concept of abjection can both be employed to argue that the ‘political’ dimension of autonomous works offers the potential for a radical experience of beauty as a transcendence derived from present conditions, whilst committed works negate beauty as a condition of re-presenting the present.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores a recent, broadly 'electroacoustic', fixed medium composition by Tullis Rennie, which uses his background in ethnographic fieldwork to explore (in this case through auto-ethnography) modes of listening, and the role of technologies in mediating this listening. Muscle Memory: A conversation about jazz, with Graham South (trumpet) (2014) begins to answer questions about how one work can comment on and analyse or critique another through its own agency as music, bringing composition and ethnography together in fruitful collision, and illuminating the human capacity to manipulate and be manipulated by musical activity. The paper uses the piece to test the extent to which four functions, identified by Simon Frith (1987. Towards an aesthetic of popular music. In R. Leppert & S. McClary (Eds.), Music and society (pp. 133-49). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) as crucial to the meaningfulness of popular music may, in the context of ubiquitously technologised music, have broader application than he originally intended.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: This article critiques Nelson Goodman's seminal account of worldmaking on the basis that it focuses on the abstract at the expense of the concrete and therefore over-emphasises rightness and coherence in the creation of world versions. Suggesting that his account ought not to be abandoned altogether, Goodman's five worldmaking processes are used in conjunction with Judith Butler's account of gesture as event. The article suggests that worldmaking inevitably involves worldbreaking not simply in the sense of transforming already existing world versions but in terms of the co-existence of world versions within a single location. Pussy Riot's action 'Mother of God, Chase Putin Away' in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour forms the case in point, drawing out the dynamic between worldmaking and worldbreaking and showing how it is inevitably and powerfully bound up with performance and context.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: Examining three entangled notions of 'home', this paper opens up and expands 'the scope and critical sensibility' [Soja, E. W. (1996). Thirdspace, journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. Oxford: Blackwell] of frequently accepted accounts of Hindustani instrumental music. In this critical 'approximation' (Soja, 1996) of assumed innate relations between conceptions of home and abstracted elements of acoustic events perceived as Hindustani instrumental music, the paper borrows insights from cultural, post-colonial and spatial theory. Listening away from formalised, closed and essentialist assumptions about Hindustani instrumental music, the paper explores processes through which components of acoustic events come to be perceived, rejected or legitimated in terms of a specific home during encounters with the music in western Europe. On a meta-level, the argument of the paper also reads as a plea for a re-negotiation of the boundaries of musicological knowledge production, emphasising the potential that a radically open listening has to offer.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: I imagine what it means to talk about 'the home of listening'. I analyse this phrase as denoting something about the functioning of listening within the transcendental constitution of the auditory subject, where the preposition 'within' denotes the presence of a home 'within' which the auditory subject can be found, and insofar as the phrase denotes a property of listening along the grammatical lines of the phrase 'the colour of paint'. I imagine home obliquely, set in motion by several of Lyotard's essays on place, and Szendy's archaeology of contemporary listening practices. Describing how listening regimes regulate the rhythmic constitution of the auditory subject, I work towards the conclusion that there is nevertheless an existential failure built into listening with respect to its desire to return home: listening lags behind the sound that decays before listening. The essay concludes by describing this spiral double bind.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: The so-called 'gong-chime' belt of Southeast Asia is home to great cultural diversity. Various communities, sometimes occupying borderland areas that stretch over national boundaries, are connected to one another through their practice of different but yet related styles of gong playing. Such groups 'music' their home. Importantly, locale is not necessarily a primary reference for all of these groups. The Sama Dilaut, for instance, a maritime people who inhabit a heartland of the gong-chime belt of the Southeast Asian islands, understand their place in the world not by maps and historiographies but by itineraries, relationship networks and chains of events. This paper investigates Sama Dilaut conceptions of space, specifically their concept of home, and that concept's relationship to tagunggu.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: Cartridge Music (1960) initiated crucial developments in John Cage's compositional processes and aesthetics. By allowing performers to use different sound sources and texts, it anticipated Cage's more open indeterminate works. By creating a theatrical situation in which performers produce live electronic music, manipulating dials on amplifiers and inserting and removing objects in and out of phonograph cartridges, it looked forward to subsequent works focusing upon actions as well as sounds. Examining the performance practice Cage and his colleagues developed for this work also draws attention to his changing views regarding improvisation. Finally, with Cartridge Music, Cage adapted his music to his evolving perceptions of broader cultural practices. The amplification of sounds that would otherwise be inaudible, constituted a musical metaphor for Cage's rapidly developing ‘McLuhanesque’ world view in which electronic circuitry creates an extension of the human nervous system to the outside world.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, I focus on the music tourist. Concentrating on the geographical movement that takes place within steelpan music-making as players move to Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the national panorama competition, I suggest that although these players (music tourists) do not belong to the location that is visited, they are afforded a sense of belonging through music-making. Following Nicholas Cook's notion of music as performance [(2003). Music as performance. In M. Clayton, T. Herbert, & R. Middleton (Eds.), The cultural study of music: A critical introduction (pp. 204-214). London: Routledge], I explore the notion of dwelling in geographical movement, focusing on the concepts of the stranger and of home in order to draw out the ways in which the steel-orchestra, panorama and the performed arrangements, negotiate and compose identities musically. Discussing in particular the sociological accounts of the stranger offered by Lawrence and Simmel [(1976). Georg Simmel: Sociologist and European. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons.] and Zygmunt Bauman [(1996). From pilgrim to tourist - or a short history on identity. In S. Hall & P. de Gay (Eds.), Questions of cultural identity (pp. 18-36). London: Sage] I suggest that musical performance allows another perspective of the stranger to emerge.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Contemporary Music Review
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    ABSTRACT: With a focus on Vivaldi Recomposed (2012), composer Max Richter explores his approach to and understanding of composition and music in terms of storytelling and place. He discusses his changing relationship to The Four Seasons, the interchange between his own musical voice and style and that of Vivaldi's, and the kinds of engagement his work aims to encourage.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Contemporary Music Review