In this newly revised book On Sonic Art, Trevor Wishart takes a wide-ranging look at the new developments in music-making and musical aesthetics made possible by the advent of the computer and digital information processing. His emphasis is on musical rather than technical matters. Beginning with a critical analysis of the assumptions underlying the Western musical tradition and the traditional acoustic theories of Pythagoras and Helmholtz, he goes on to look in detail at such topics as the musical organization of complex sound-objects, using and manipulating representational sounds and the various dimensions of human and non-human utterance. In so doing, he seeks to learn lessons from areas (poetry and sound-poetry, film, sound effects and animal communication) not traditionally associated with the field of music.

part |8 pages


chapter |6 pages

What Is Sonic Art?

part |117 pages

The Sonic Continuum

chapter |34 pages

Beyond the Pitch/Duration Paradigm

chapter |22 pages

The Nature of Sonic Space

chapter |16 pages

Sound Structures in the Continuum

chapter |17 pages

Gesture and Counterpoint

part |111 pages


chapter |34 pages

Sound Landscape

chapter |14 pages

Sound-Image as Metaphor: Music and Myth

chapter |14 pages

Is There a Natural Morphology of Sounds?

chapter |46 pages

Spatial Motion

part |86 pages


chapter |24 pages


chapter |24 pages

The Human Repertoire

chapter |12 pages

Phonemic Objects

chapter |16 pages

Language Stream and Paralanguage

chapter |8 pages

The Group

part |10 pages


chapter |8 pages

Beyond the Instrument: Sound-Models