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Playing with Something That Runs – Technology, Improvisation, and Composition in DJ and Laptop Performance | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Playing with Something That Runs: Technology, Improvisation, and Composition in DJ and Laptop Performance

Mark J. Butler


The DJs and laptop performers of electronic dance music use preexistent elements such as records and digital samples to create extended improvisations. Analysis of these technologically mediated performances reveals a complex dynamic in which a modular approach to musical structure enables flexible adaptation and transformation of seemingly “fixed” products in live contexts. Musicians’ improvisational interactions with performance equipment challenge deterministic portrayals of technology as a force that controls and limits music making. Instead, the coexistent possibilities of music as activi ... More

Keywords: electronic dance music, technology, improvisation, performance, mediation, recording, ontology, interface, liveness, repetition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780195393613
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393613.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark J. Butler, author
Northwestern University