The introduction describes the aims and scope of the book, presents its methodology, and states its core argument. The book furnishes an aesthetic theory of several types of post-1980 electronic music, while acknowledging the controversial status of aesthetic theory in contemporary culture. Aesthetic theory can complement existing sociological and cultural histories of electronic music by providing a point of view from an interpretive subject who investigates affinities among musics that current scholarship usually keeps separate. The introduction then identifies these usually discrete styles as “metagenres” of institutional electroacoustic music, electronica, and sound art. The book’s methodology is to present individual works against a background of genre, the expectations that guide listening experience. The introduction concludes by presenting the thesis of the book: that recent electronic music encourages a fundamentally different form of listening experience called “aesthetic listening.”
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