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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Contemporary music research and practice have leveraged advances in computing power by integrating computing devices into many aspects of music—from generative music to live coding. This efflorescence of musical practice, process, and product raises complex issues in audience reception. This chapter employs a comparative analysis in a longitudinal study designed to understand the psychological aspects of the audience reception of algorithmic music. It studies four compositions from the latter part of the twentieth century late, presented on fixed media to avoid variability in musical performance. Using a modified think-aloud protocol to collect data, this study shows that reception theory may be applied to the audience reception of algorithmic music using a cognitive-affective model to further understand the process of decoding of meaning. This study puts forth a robust methodology for future longitudinal and comparative research in the audience reception of music and makes recommendations for further research.

Keywords: audience reception, music psychology, algorithmic composition, think-aloud protocol, cognitive-affective model, Barry Truax, Mara Helmuth, Elliott Carter, Krzysztof Penderecki

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