Defining and Evaluating the Performance of Electronic Music

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. Defining and Evaluating the Performance of Electronic Music. In: Russ Hepworth-Sawyer; Jay Hodgson; Justin Paterson and Rob Toulson, eds. Innovation in Music: Performance, Production, Technology and Business. New York: Routledge, pp. 77-86. ISBN 9781138498211 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter presents suggestions for defining what constitutes a performance in electronic music. I propose the use of the term pseudo-direct causality to illustrate where a performer’s intended action results in the output of an intended sound and, although the causality is indirect, it is felt to be direct. I suggest considerations for composers, including gesture and audio-visual syncresis, when composing an electronic work for performance. I present my own gestural mapping designs as examples of methods for creating syncresis and pseudo-direct causality in electronic music instrument design. Parallels are drawn from acoustic music performance, and similar evaluative methods are presented in the aim of developing virtuosity in electronic music performance and evaluating performance separately to the composition and the tools.

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"This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Innovation in Music: Performance, Production, Technology and Business on 25 June 2019, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way."

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Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research


25 June 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

05 Dec 2022 14:37

Last Modified:

08 Dec 2022 11:06


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