[ISEA97] Paper: David Rosenboom – Propositional Music: On Emergent Properties in Morphogenesis and the Evolution of Music; imponderable Forms, Self-Organization, and Compositional Methods


Propositional Music

I am interested in musical thinking that includes the view of composition as the proposition of musical realities -complete cognitive models of  music – using propositional musical language accompanied by a propositional language of music theory. This may also be related to what is called speculative music and speculative theory.

The term propositional music refers to a particular style of musical thinking in which the act of composing includes proposing complete musical realities, assuming no extant model of music and emphasizing the dynamic emergence of forms through evolution and transformation. How can we make compositional models in our new environment of knowledge about self-organization and emergent forms? We must begin with an understanding about how perceptual distinctions are made, how forms emerge and how we categorize the distinctions that we can hear among kinds of complexity in adaptive systems when the nature of the musical language we are experiencing is not known a priori.

  • David Rosenboom, USA (b. 1947), composer, performer, conduc­tor, interdisciplinary artist, author and educator, has explored ideas in his work about the spontaneous evolu­tion of forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques and notation for ensembles, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art, computer music systems, interactive multi-media, compositional algorithms, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system since the 1960’s. Known as a pioneer in American experimental music, Rosenboom has been Dean of the School of Music, Co-Director of the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology, and Conductor of the New Century Players at the California Institute of the Arts since 1990. During the 1980’s he was Darius Milhaud Professor, Head of the Music Department and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. lie studied at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded the George A. Miller Professorship in 1995, and has worked in many inno­vative institutions, such as the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY Buffalo, New York’s Electric Circus, York University in Toronto, New York University, Banff Center for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Aesthetic Research Centre of Canada, San Francisco Art Institute, and California College of Arts and Crafts.

Full text p.55-56