Networked Musical Performance Essay

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Networked Musical Performance An Exploration into NMP and the issues arising from it. Mick O Reilly Abstract The advances in networking technologies in recent years has brought the area of Network Music Performance (NMP) to a stage where it can be realistically implemented in real-time situations. Various research groups across the globe have been working on the idea of NMP and developing different ways to implement it and overcome the issues that arise from it. While some are focusing on developing systems that overcome these issues, others are using these same issues in a creative manner to develop new forms and techniques of musical expression. This essay aims to explore the current state of NMP and the different ways it has evolved. Introduction and History NMP enables real-time, bidirectional multiparty musical performance across the internet from different geographical locations. While NMP is a relatively new area of research the whole idea of NMP or as it’s sometimes called Telematic Music, has been around for decades. Even before the birth of the Internet experimental musicians have been intrigued with the idea of remote musical collaborations. As stated in [1], one of the first networked music performance experiments was John Cage’s “Imaginary Landscape No. 4 for Twelve Radios” which was composed in 1951. Cage “used radio transistors as a musical instrument. The transistors were interconnected thus influencing each other”. Once the development of the computer came along networked interactions became a realistic possibility as the computers facilitated data transfer from one to an other. In the San Francisco Bay area from the mid 70’s through to the late 90’s The League of Automatic Music Composers[2] who were later renamed The Hub were the first ensembles to experiment with computer newtorks as a medium for composition and

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