Dewey and Brün

The creative process of an artist can be greatly modified by the participation or lack of participation of new technologies. Herbert Brün, a pioneer in computer music, chooses to point out the lack of editing capabilities that computer music had compared to composing with pen and paper in 1973, a quality that is no longer a fact with today’s technology. Today’s music technology has surpassed pen and paper by a landslide, a composer can edit not only notes, but also add intentions to the interpretation with an instant reproduction of what is being modified. Today’s technology makes the process of composing ten times faster than using pen and paper, it has also replaced the need for a real orchestra, and lowered music production costs. As the composing process gets faster one might speculate that in a capitalist industry the artist has less attachment to his work than when composers used to spent hours writing and erasing on staff paper.

John Dewey differentiates between a reactive primal discharge of emotion and planned aesthetic expression. According to Dewey, a true expression is a consequence of adversity and engages the public invoking a certain emotional reaction in them. Expressing an aesthetic idea requires a complete understanding of the environment and of the adversity that surrounds it, understanding the meaning is important in expression. To differentiate expression with a primal discharge of emotions there has to be also a certain mechanical training to achieve proper technique that may assist in conveying the message more efficiently.



  1. That is so true – technology has matured so much these days in terms of music that creation can be done in a much less time-consuming way and it is more cost effective. I don’t get why this gets such a bad name though. Technology now has opened up so many doors and made it so much easier for people to become musicians and creatives. Some people are just jealous that they had to put in so much more work…maybe they should just stay in living in that era.


  2. I agree with the fact that today’s music goes beyond pen and paper; with the growth of technology everything else has grown or changed too. On the other hand, I do agree with the fact that emotion and expression have to do with the reaction that these emote but I don’t think these characteristics depend solely on the reaction.


  3. I agree with you when you say that “Expressing an aesthetic idea requires a complete understanding of the environment and of the adversity that surrounds it”. I think it is a nice way of understanding the meaningful vs the superficial, good vs bad. It is a difficult subject but your response helped clarify this idea!



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