Perhaps you don’t consider yourself a musician. And yet, you’ve no doubt pieced together bits of music from other artists, often from pre-recorded loops made by musicians or sound designers, and in so doing created something new.
If you’re a traditional musician, you might be accustomed to making music the old-fashioned way – by sitting down at the piano or picking up a guitar or microphone (and no, Guitar Hero doesn’t count).
But almost everyone who creates or manipulates music has been affected by changes in technology. “Cutting and pasting” used to actually involve scissors, or razor blades, and tape. Now, of course, we cut and paste sound files just as we do text within a document.
Veteran music designer, producer, consultant and blogger Terry O’Gara is perhaps the most thoughtful writer out there on how music is created and manipulated, and the various roles music plays in society. Last year he wrote a five-part series on different styles of music creation that is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how composers use modern tools to create soundtracks and other music used in multimedia projects. I highly recommend it.
As for the dizzying new technology available to those of us who create music and who need to use music, we’ll be talking lots about this. I’m particularly interested in the issue of the democratization of music – how the new tools allow almost anyone to create music, even those who wouldn’t dream of calling themselves a musician. Is this a good or a bad thing?
Yes, it is.
I’ll explain in a blog post soon.